Big Labor Marks One Year Anniversary of Defeat, Protests, Occupation

‘Week of Action’ Kicks Off Today

MacIver News Service | February 11, 2012

[Madison, Wisc…] One year after suffering their most significant legislative defeat in generations, labor unions are once again joining forces with radical and Marxist groups hoping to reignite unrest at the Wisconsin Capitol.

The Wisconsin AFL-CIO, AFT, TAA, MTI, and AFSCME joined with the Autonomous Solidarity Organization, Occupy Wisconsin, Wisconsin Wave, Socialist Alternative, and the International Socialist Organization in endorsing “Week of Action,” an anniversary protest of last year’s Budget Repair Bill protests.  The events are also being referred to as “one year longer, one year stronger.”

Wisconsin Wave states on its website one of the goals is “To reconvene the empowered community that launched the Capitol Occupation and organized state-wide protests, and to reinvigorate the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that fueled them.”

Capitol insiders recently told the MacIver News Service they’ve noticed the unions trying to distance themselves from such radical elements. Week of Action appears to run contrary to that trend.

The Week of Action will begin with a protest at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce at 10:30 Saturday morning over the mining bill.  The next day, organizers plan to picket the Governor’s Mansion.  On Tuesday, the TAA plans to march from the UW to the Capitol, where they will deliver valentines to the Governor’s Office.

The Budget Repair Bill Protests lasted for 27 days, beginning on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, when union members began picketing at the Capitol.  Governor Walker signed Act 10 on Friday, March 11, and the next day Democrat Senators, who had fled to Illinois, returned to Madison to a crowd of tens of thousands of people from all over the country.

Although March 12 could be considered the last day of the Budget Repair Bill Protests, full-time agitators have continued to protest at the Capitol on a daily basis.

During the Week of Action, protest groups and labor unions hope to forge a new plan forward. As the Wisconsin Wave’s website explains, “To create a space where our movement can articulate a long term vision for structural change centered around social, economic, racial, and environmental justice for all people.”

See a facebook page that is serving as one of the online repositories for this week’s events, here.