More than 10,000 Wisconsinites marched on the state Capitol and crowds rallied in cities around the state. Students walked out of high schools and public employees lined roadways holding banners protesting an attempt by Republican Governor Scott Walker to remove their collective bargaining rights and certain appointments to state government positions.
The protests, never seen before in Wisconsin history, are being organized by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the Wisconsin Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin and others—in anticipation of a vote on whether to give the governor powers that senior members of the state legislature describe as nothing short of dictatorial.
One protester said: “The governor is trying to ram this through the legislature. But the people of Wisconsin aren’t just saying ‘no, ‘they’re saying: ‘Hell no!’ ”
Even President Obama has weighed in saying, “…Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally seems like more of an assault on unions. And I think it’s very important for us to understand that public employees, they’re our neighbors, they’re our friends. These are folks who are teachers and they’re firefighters and they’re social workers and they’re police officers. They make a lot of sacrifices and make a big contribution. And I think it’s important not to vilify them or to suggest that somehow all these budget problems are due to public employees.”
TCU President Bob Scardelletti said, “Wisconsin is fighting back against their Governor trying to strip away their rights. TCU stands with our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin and against anyone who wishes to obstruct freedom.”
Click here to read the AFL-CIO blog on this issue.