Yesterday I took another trip to downtown Madison, Wisconsin to protest around the Capitol, this time with my 17-year-old brother in tow. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, because I wanted to document the goings on for later, and to share with people who haven't seen it first hand. On the other hand, however, it was the largest protest that has taken place in the past month, with upwards of 100,000 people packing the square around the capitol building. Signs, chants, music, the whole nine yards. Earlier in the day, state farmers drove tractors around the square in solidarity with unions as well as to protest the cuts to Badgercare, Wisconsin's publicly subsidized healthcare plan. Right before we left to get my brother to work, the 14 Democratic party senators who left the state to stall the passage of the bill to further debate and negotiation took the makeshift stage, and began speaking to the crowd.
Either way, it was astounding. The amount of people out giving a shit about each other and the rights of public workers was amazing. The bill had passed, but the legal process was far from done. The Wisconsin Secretary of State has said that he will not approve the bill until March 25th, to give the various inquiries and lawsuits a chance to be reviewed by the courts and the State Attorney General. Now, there are also petitions to begin the recall process of state senators, 16 in total, 8 democrats (those that left the state), and 8 Republicans (the party that modified the bill to overcome the 3/5 quorum). There is only one petition I as a voter am able to sign, because they are based on district, and that is for one of democratic senators. Then again, I support him, so if the recall goes through I'll vote for him in the election. Thanks to all the people who have commented and read these last couple of posts and showed support for Wisconsin.
However, far be it from me to have my state be the only thing on my mind. As everyone has now heard, Japan has been rocked by a giant earthquake, either 8.9 or 9.0 depending, and then had to deal with a Tsunami. I'm not a religious person, so I don't pray, but I really wish the best of luck to the Japanese people during the aftermath of this shitstorm. I was discussing it with a friend last night, and we came up with a possible idea. I'm not the most charitable person, and it's pretty fucking clear I could do with a little humility and try and fix my impossibly negative karmic rating, if I believed in Karma, which I don't. I feel unfulfilled in life now, and we discussed the possibility of going to Japan to volunteer with relief efforts. It's not like I have a job or anything to stop me from going, but as of now, the relief efforts are purely monetary. So me and my buddy are keeping our ears to the ground for now, and we'll see what happens.