February 19, 2011
The road ahead
By Bill Berry
As we left Madison Friday, there was a strong pull and a voice that said, “Stay.”
But we had been out a good while, and old horses need some watering. All the same, it was hard to leave.
Here is a promise: We will be back.
That is what happens whenever human rights are violated. Solidarity is built among those who feel it. Make no mistake about it. These days of discontent in Wisconsin, the ones right now, are about human rights.
My sister from Platteville will be there tomorrow. Neither of us works in the public sector. I have labored most of my life in the private sector, as my Social Security records show. My friends, this is as much about the private sector as it is the public. We are one and the same, those of us in the middle and lower classes, and we are all under siege here. The human rights of many are on the line in this battle.
As an old horse, one who has marched before and will again, it is heartening to see young people participate in this moment of solidarity. The torch has truly been passed to them, and that is a good thing to see happening before our very eyes. We are living in the moment, dear friends.
The demonstrations in our state’s Capitol will change lives forever, and in a good way, but only if we follow up.
My guess is one day soon, this governor, the unyielding one, will order the National Guard to clear the square and empty the Capitol of protestors. He wants nothing more than business as usual right now, the kind he dictates, so that he can continue to enact the plan that others have fashioned for him. It will soon come home to local communities and schools across the state. It will not be pretty.
But it will be too late for the violators of human rights. Recall petitions will be circulated in short order. Elections are around the corner. The mobilization of those who stand in solidarity today will continue. The violators of human rights may win a battle, but the stories will roll out of the damage done to the Wisconsin we know and love, and those who enact it will answer.
Old horses may need some watering now and then, but only because we know there is more work ahead. We will be back.
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I wish we had started earlier. First they came for our manufacturing jobs and we allowed entire Wisconsin communities to be hollowed out as their work was sent overseas. I see former factory workers at the Capitol supporting public sector workers now. I wish we had done more to support them back when. This assault on labor has been long in the making.
-janeofdane | Madison, WI | February 19, 2011
Be mindful that there are still too many in our state and nation who continue to side with Walker and who remain convinced they are right and the rest of us are wrong. In fact, these misfits persist in their own narrow mindedness that there is no reason for our beliefs and there's no space for us as long as we have chosen to disagree.
I have spent 2 days at the capitol. I am convinced Walker has contingents of riot police hidden in the recesses of the basement cellars. For him to call in the guard would be no surprise. It would give this scoundrel his raison d'etre and the fuel the conservatives want for their fires. Fox News probably has its stories and oucomes already written.
-Maria Caliente | middfleton | February 19, 2011
The letter about first they came for the manufacturing job and then they came for.....
Reminds me of a old saying about the Jews and other classes of people the Germanys tried to exterminate. It ended saying that when they came for me there was nobody left to stand up for or with me. This line has been running through my head and I am afraid that there are not enough to stand against the wave of hatred in this county.
In the past I fought against some union issues, binding arbitration, and I saw the changes in pay and benifits and the costs. Still things are NEGOTIATED not dictated and so I stand with the union and the workers.
This all looks so bad. The police and fire union in Milwaukee supported Walker and look what they got. The fools, when Walker has busted the teachers and state employee union he will go after the fire and police unions as well. Still it is all about the GREED. "I got mine and you can go to hell attitude" was and is still the modivating force for a lot of people. I hear people complain about the retirement government workers have but in most cases they worked for it and took less pay in many cases. Also there is a lot of jealousy in what I hear.
I am afraid that Wisconsin is headed down a dark and dirty road. The division of wealth will get worse and the state will start to become like some of the southern states. The level of education will fall, wages will drop and the enviroment will become unhealthy for most.
I am a pessimist but I hope I am wrong.
The best we can do now is not allow Processer in the court.
-CarlG | Twin Lakes, WI | February 20, 2011
The people who believe Walker are the "Wal-Mart" Republicans. Those who have been led to believe that those big bad unions are the ones who cause their miserable lives. When it is the corporations who feed them this bull are the ones to blame, but enjoy a few of the benefits that the unions fought for, but think corporations have given them through the their "generosity".
-WisconsinLiberal | Fox Valley, WI | February 20, 2011