I am a Wisconsin citizen. It's been a crazy month here, and from the looks of it, it's about to get crazier.
I'm liberal. I disagreed with what Governor Scott Walker was attempting to do to the collective bargaining rights of public workers in Wisconsin. I supported the 14 Democratic senators that fled the state in order to force Walker to negotiate to reach a bill that everyone was alright with. I understand that Wisconsin is in financial trouble; the entire Goddamn country is. But I don't think that targeting public workers is the answer. Making them pay more for pension and insurance, fine, that doesn't really effect me; it doesn't seem fair, but so be it. However, these people have the same rights as any other workers in the country, including the right to unionize and collectively bargain. Yes, we all know that unions have issues, but lets face it: every group has issues. Some priests embezzle from church congregations, some CEOs rob their employees' pensions, and some union bosses are the same. But those are only a few bad apples.
Like I said, I'm liberal. I didn't vote for Scott Walker. 48 percent of Wisconsin voters didn't vote for Scott Walker. The amount that did hardly makes Walker king of Wisconsin, despite the fact that he believes he did. This is not a one party system. America is not a one party system. Concessions must be made on bills all the time. The Democratic senators fled Wisconsin to halt the bill and force Walker to negotiate, a desperate act that seemed to be working until now. Tonight, Republican senators in Wisconsin modified the bill to overcome the 3/5 quorum that stopped the bill from passing. They passed a bill that stripped public unions of their collective bargaining rights. By taking the fiscal parts of the bill out, they proved that this was purely political, not to balance the state budget.
The protests in Madison have been peaceful so far. I fear that this will change. But tomorrow, I will return to the capitol, and show solidarity with public workers across the state.
The full story of what has happened tonight can be read here: