Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

My New Favorite Wisconsin Update

So many thanks to my Uncle Brad for these continually inspiring updates. I appreciate both the on-the-ground details and his bigger picture connections. So true! People everywhere are starting to recognize their own power and sovereignty. Yay, world! Keep reaching. We all deserve the very best lives we can imagine, and I’m happy to say people are gaining courage to imagine better and better lives. It also comes quite synchronously with some Martin Luther King, Jr. moments yesterday, despite my not knowing of the speech reading at the Capitol. Much Love and Increasing Light!! And now, a report from Brad Palmer:

Hello, ALL Wisconsin!

Well, interesting afternoon. The capitol square was quiet, only a smattering of demonstrators. I noticed people entering the capitol building, and I hadn’t been there in two weeks. So I entered. Of course, I
was screened, emptied my pockets, and told if I didn’t remove my jacket–because I have so many buttons on it promoting Wisconsin, solidarity, recalling Walker and Olsen, that I would set off the metal detector. Or, the capitol police (who are independent from the city police) would have to scan me. I said, “Scan away.” I was brought to the side, asked to spread my arms, and then explain each beep…my copper bracelet, my watch, my belt buckle, my rings, and, of course, my buttons. Apparently satisfied that I was not a domestic terrorist hiding knives, bombs, and weaponry, they let me pass. And then I heard….singing. Many voices.

Those who know me recognize that singing is the call of the wild to me. As I entered the rotunda the singing was louder. Once inside, a circle of about 125 people, with another 25 on the second floor, were singing freedom and union songs. It was a “Solidarity Sing-along.” And between each song, the moderator read excerpts from Dr. King’s Memphis speech of April 3, 1968–the day before he was killed. I’ve heard that speech many times over the years….”….I may not get there with you. But that doesn’t matter to me now, because I have been to the mountain top….” With each paragraph he read after each song, I choked up. Dr. King is a hero of mine. Whatever shortcomings great people may have, the work and sacrifices they make for the betterment of all of us in a sacred gift. His was especially so, paid for with his life.

The songs included, “Bread and Roses,” “We Shall Overcome,” If I Had a Hammer,” “Which Side Are You On?’ Every once in a while during my hour stay in the rotunda–a place that just weeks ago was ALIVE with thousands of voices making one voice–some one would yell, “Whose House?” To which we all responded, “Our House!” When the announcement was made at 4 :30 and 4:45 that the capitol was closing, the chant began again. And that Badger pride, along with Dr. King’s words–read by another, but no less profound–swelled into my heart. Those people in the rotunda, those in Baraboo, those 150,00 on the square, the fire fighter I thanked, the poster vendor I talked with, the State Street patrons, the homeless man selling the Street Pulse newspaper, the coffee clerk in Michelangelo’s Coffee house–they aren’t liberals. They’re people who live and work here, who just want to be alive and enjoy the freedoms that so many before us sacrificed so much for; the soldiers, the union organizers, the merchants and small business people, women’s rights workers, the fighters of dominion and greed….we are ALL united in this fight. And we’re starting to cherish each other and cherish these moments together and we’re seeing a government being reborn out of tyranny. And WE are those people.

As the final announcement came, the moderator suggested we all exit together in song, via the Martin Luther King Street exit, singing, “If I Had a Hammer,”….in order to assist the capitol police in their clearing of the building and fulfillment of their duties.” Just before we lined up to exit, a sudden quiet prevailed. I couldn’t help it. I yelled as loudly as I could, “Who Is Wisconsin?” The immediate reply came back with one voice 150 strong, “We Are Wisconsin!” Just before I stopped, I yelled, “Thank you!” and the reply was returned, “Thank you.” We turned to exit in song. As we dispersed, we waved to each other. Some continued to sing, some shook hands. We were one in the rotunda. Most of us had never met, but we parted as friends.

Just before exiting, an announcement was made–no microphone, no bullhorn, so I hope I got the details correct. The “Day of Action” march will begin at 4 PM on the capitol square tomorrow, April 4. At 7 PM, Rev. Jesse Jackson, along with two members of the Memphis Sanitation Union–who Dr. King was supporting in Memphis in April, 1968–will lead a march around the square. We will sing, “We Shall Overcome,” all the way around. Lest you think this is all a bit solemn, an extra verse was added in the rotunda sing-along; “Walker won’t be governor for lo–oh–oh–ong.” Rev. Jackson marched with Dr. King, and his presence is appropriate and welcome.

A note for Madison’s Tuesday election; there is a non-binding preference referendum to undo the sinister “corporate personhood” the Republicans passed to give corporations the same rights as individuals. This was a first step in eliminating, “one person, one vote.” We all encourage Madisonians to vote, “Yes.” It’s another way to be heard, another worrisome matter for the emporer with no clothes to ponder.

I headed down State Street and encountered my (“my,” because I see him selling his wares every time I’m in Madison, and I’ve grown to like him) homeless man, asking passers by if they’d like a copy of Street Pulse. You know the deal, he gets to keep the dollar after his initial 25 cent investment. I gladly gave him $3 and took a copy. He’s working, he’s trying, he’s not begging for change. I admire that, I admire him. These people we’re united with, they aren’t liberals. They’re Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, religious and non-religious, capitalists and non-capitalists, all ethnicities, all lifestyles, all professions, from
laborers and service people to physicians, teachers, and nurses, engineers, drivers, employed and unemployed, homeless and housed. The are ALL of us, and we are ALL of them. And we are now united in a great struggle that we WILL win–because we cannot afford to lose.

And when this marathon is done, when Wisconsin history is written this summer and fall of 2011, when the trash is gone from our government beginning Tuesday, extending through the successful recall of the Republican traitors to Wisconsin, and ending with the eviction of the soon-to-be unemployed Walker back to Colorado where he can lobby for Koch industries with an asterisk — “recalled in Wisconsin” — our work is not done. We must lead and assist our sister states and sweep the dirt out of government from Maine to Washington, California to New Jersey, and start the battle again. And Wisconsin will do so. The work we do here, the work ALL of you are doing is strong because we are united. We remain and welcome the title, “Ground Zero.” We are up to this task for as long as it takes….because We are Wisconsin, and we live here, and this is OUR home.

Beginning with Tuesday’s election, we will send the first official messages to Walker that his time is about up, and Madison will send word about what the Supreme Court can do with “corporate personhood.” Dauntless, refusing to be misinformed or misled, we remain strong and united. The rotunda was alive today, and it breathes with the inspiration of its people. Thank you for the work you ALL do. Please join the march if you can. If not, please continue your great work that is invaluable, and without which we can’t succeed. Badgers, PLEASE get out the vote Tuesday and fire the first shot into Walker’s paper regime. After his puppet is defeated, we can tell him, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Shoulder to shoulder,
Strong in unity,
Undivided.
Solidarity, my friends.

Brad

Waking Up the World: Wisconsin

Another inspiring update from my Uncle Brad. This one shares some major breaks and leaps forward — reminders of what happens when people keep focused on what they know they want and need. Thanks to Brad Palmer for his tireless efforts and cheerful reporting:

Greetings, Believers–A very good day, indeed.

The rallies are daily now, in nearly every town on the map in Wisconsin. I went to Baraboo tonight to participate in a rally for the rights of working families. It rained, it was 34 degrees (Fahrenheit), cloudy and gray, a damp, windy chill in the air. Yet somehow, 60-75 showed up, most with signs, all ages, to march around the square, which is similar to Madison’s, though a fraction of the size in accordance with Baraboo’s population of 12,000.

Nonetheless, we marched some 10 laps around in bad weather, united, undaunted. Cars honked in approval as we walked. The local press was there for interviews and photographs. My friend, Scott, marched with us, despite a condition that made every step painful, to continue his participation in the cause of freedom for working families. Baraboo, like Portage, is no political town like Madison. There are no waves made there, no boats rocked–until now. And this demonstration has given rise to the next, for every alternating week. And it, too, is what democracy looks like.

News travelled rapidly amongst us about the good events of the day. Judge Sumi continued the temporary restraining order, preventing Walker and the Fitzgerald gang from executing their disgraceful plan. The Supreme Court election on Tuesday next looms large in our minds as a referendum on Walker’s arrogance. The Republicans admitted they may not have enough support if they now re-vote their workers’ rights eradication. The courts are awash in moves not only questioning Walker’s legality, but requesting the ringleaders of the senate to testify, since they are named as defendants, despite their heretofore advantage of immunity, which they still employ. One of the Republican districts has turned in its petitions, having garnered enough signatures for recall a full month ahead of deadline. Another district is calling for all petition volunteers to turn theirs in for submission.

Our district is VERY comfortable in its progress, with ongoing efforts the next two weeks. Volunteers are increasing, people are driving distances to get petitions signed. At least one other district is claiming proximity to goal. Other districts continue their work, none of them wanting to divulge their progress and weaken the momentum from complacency. And when we have enough by May 2, the REAL work begins. We must slate candidates, campaign, and win the recall elections in unprecedented numbers never before seen in Wisconsin. We are, indeed, writing history as we go. Posterity will read about these two years, the
actions of the people to re-claim their rightful ownership of government, and the unification of cause. And next we recall Walker with over 500,000 signatures required statewide–then the trash will have been taken out of our state.

A Chicago company has decided not to build its wind farm in Wisconsin — that would have created jobs, something Walker campaigned on — laying blame directly on the governor’s and legislature’s refusal to cooperate. Apparently, jobs for working families is not a priority, only Koch Brothers directives to employ low-waged labor.

Our support continues from all locales, foreign, local, and nation-wide. Sister states like New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Texas, Maine, and others whose rights are disappearing, like Tennessee and Oklahoma, carry signs saying, “We Are Wisconsin.” I want them to know this–we will succeed in Wisconsin, we will lead in Wisconsin, we will stampede in Wisconsin. And when our hard work is realized, and our state again truly becomes “The Badger State,” made of laborers, professionals, technicals, homemakers, volunteers, and all the other honorable professions here, and our schools are reinstated to quality institutions of education, and the corporations are required to pay their fair share, rewarded with the highest quality and ethics of working Wisconsinites, then WE will carry signs, saying, “We Are ALL Ohio,” “We Are ALL Indiana,” We Are ALL Michigan….”. History will write of Wisconsin, her battle to resist tyranny at the state level, the courage of her people to abjectly REFUSE to succumb to corporate takeover and scandal, who REFUSE to be sold in this second decade of the twenty first century. And every defiant face against Walker and the Kochs, whether in Wild Rose, Baraboo, or Madison, is our strength.

All the towns, villages, cities, and rural areas of Wisconsin are ringing with the unification of residents. Baraboo came out today, and will return with bigger numbers in two weeks. We have and will continue to out work Walker’s gang and their misinformed, dwindling numbers. I was amused when one of the Directors of the Recall Luther Olsen office told me the best news of the day to him was — Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Prosser, the current and soon-to-be-retired Wisconsin justice. Additionally, Prosser’s campaign co-chair — former governor Patrick Lucy — not only resigned today, but endorsed Prosser’s opponent, Joann Kloppenburg. These events come 4 days before the election. He also related that Wild Rose, population 734 and at the northern-most of our district, produced 300 recall petition signatures. Do you think Luther Olsen is cleaning out his office?

I believe the Republicans are suddenly concerned that our resolve is NOT imagined, that we will NOT go away, that we will NOT accept anything but accomplishment of our goal — take out the trash, make liars pay the penalty, and even more frightening to them, derail a nation-wide transparent plan to eradicate the middle class and make America a corporation. They are reminded, this government BY and FOR the people may have slept, but is now wide awake. And we’re not sleepy anymore.My hope is to be in Madison tomorrow, Sunday, and perhaps Monday (the latter being designated a “Day of Action,” though I may be unable to attend.) If so, Kathie will attend and her report will continue the reverberations of the Rotunda. (“Echoes,” versus “Report,” as you’ve correctly surmised, is dependent on my location; The Rotunda Report itself is always from Madison, Rotunda Echoes is from outside Madison.)

While the major networks, controlled by corporate news management, would lead one to believe the cause is fading by failing to report it, you all have proven you’re not so gullible. The net, progressive radio, similar reports like this one, web sites like http://www.MoveOn.org, http://www.Alternet.org , http://www.defendwisconsin.net, http://www.dailykos.org., are sending out the truth, and ALL of you are hearing it. That’s why our strength increases, why the rallies are more numerous, why the numbers of demonstrators at Walker’s speeches are larger than his audience, why the success of people like us–through toil, work, knowledge, networking, participating in any way–grows hourly. We will accept no less than the reinstatement of our rights and the removal of the perpetrators of this corruption. The Koch Brothers may have $43 billion. But they don’t have us. And that is their Achilles heel.

The 75 faces in Baraboo tonight were no less determined than those of 150,000 in Madison. The faces of Baraboo reflected the knowledge that we are just and right, that what we do not only affects the rest of America, but our children and grandchildren as well. Those cold, wet, shivering faces that refused to lower their signs an inch were warmed by your support, your work, and the continuous endorsement of class strugglers in Poland, England, Canada, Ireland, the rest of Europe, perhaps further.

Tell your relatives, neighbors, and friends, Badgers, that Tuesday is MOST important. We MUST vote to remove Prosser, the Walker puppet. Thank you for your work.

Stand with Wisconsin.
Remain steadfast, fearless, strong.
We the People–Solidarity!

Brad

More Wisconsin Updates from Uncle Brad

Another post by Brad Palmer, who continues to send out his informative, inspiring emails all around the globe, including to me, his quasi-local niece. I’ve been busy contacting people about Monsanto, which has hired a lobbyist for Wisconsin. In case you missed my earlier posts about this, Monsanto is trying hard to preempt successful legislation for local food sovereignty like that in Maine and in Marin County. This same issue is up for vote in November in Sonoma County, too.

Essentially, while everyone’s busy looking at Japan, Scott Walker and Libya, Monsanto’s making a big push to make local food sovereignty illegal, so that they can come into states and control the entire food supply with GM Frankenfoods that continue to alter DNA and cause reproductive damage and other recently discovered (and still being researched) issues.

In ANY case, if you value access to organic foods, you really might want to get on this in your own town or state. Local food sovereignty laws protect towns and states from invasive monocrops and Monsanto thug intimidation tactics. (No, that’s not an exaggeration.) Oftentimes a bit of preparation, or in this case pre-emptive legislation, saves oodles and oodles of time and effort down the road. I’m not just a Lazy Raw Foodist. I’m kind of a lazy lots of things, so please consider this my heads up that it will be much easier to get your representatives to pass preemptive food sovereignty legislation than it will be to get Monsanto out once they’re in.

OK, off my Dr. Bronner’s Soap Box … and onto Brad Palmer’s report. Thanks, Uncle Brad, and thanks to everyone around the world and in Wisconsin — keeping the vibe high, but firm, and keeping the focus clear and positive. Much Love to everyone.

Hello, Street Fighters!!

OK, some of this is for non-Wisconsinites (we Badgers have already heard this good news), some of it for Badgers. The good news is, we won a round. Judge Sumi, the Dane County district judge that issued the original restraining order against the implementation of Walker and Fatzgerald’s (oops, another typo?), I mean, Fitzgerald’s ramrod of an illegal law, has issued a NEW restraining order to STOP any further implementation of the collective bargaining “law.” Sounds like the GOP pissed her off a little by ignoring (flaunting, really) her original order. They are, of course, going to fight this, but for now, a judge has ruled against them. The entire process is complicated, folks, involving who can publish the law to make it
a law. Walker said the Legislative Reference Bureau’s publication, bypassing the Secretary of State, made it law. By that reasoning, I suppose “Field and Stream” could have published it to satisfy them. Not so fast, thieves, even YOU have to obey the law once in a while.

I already emailed most of you regarding the Wisconsin signs in London’s huge demonstration, so we’re still international. Walker’s Janesville speech arrival tonight was greeted by “hundreds” of protesters who agree that they’ve had enough of him. They chanted for his recall. They outnumbered the guests inside.

My friend, Sheri, is sending these reports out EVERYWHERE, so while I’m humbled that such meager writings are making their way across the nation, I’m grateful she’s spreading the will of the people of Wisconsin, firing up our sister states–and countries; and getting some truth out there that the news media will not (for obvious reasons, they’re owned by corporations who pay little or no taxes–and they don’t want to.) Poland’s Solidarity organization sent support to Wisconsin via net a day or two ago. My personal thought is that even if Walker and his bandits somehow enact this hypocrisy, bad laws can be rescinded…..and we will do that. Oakland did so with a great song on YouTube, called simply, “Madison.”

The statewide prediction for the April 5, election in Wisconsin that pits Kloppenburg against Prosser is a 20% turnout. We have to do better than that, we can’t just rely on Madison. Compacency is our biggest enemy. We need to get EVERY eligible voter out there for Kloppenburg–not because she would rubber stamp everything we’re asking for, but because a Walker troglodyte would be ousted, and a message sent that the Republican senators are next, then Walker and the Republican 2012 representatives.

And so, my fellow democracy lovers, the battle continues. The recall effort has been heavy and tireless, and it continues with vigor. The recall elections will be even more difficult, for we must have viable candidates and successful campaigns. The Walker recall will require enormous support and work from us. BUT….we SHALL impose the will of the people of Wisconsin on the capitol, in Madison, and then all around the country. We can do this, we will do this…..because as you all know by now, WE ARE ALL WISCONSIN!! And so are you! Thank each one of you for whatever you do, you make up our strength. Just keep Wisconsin on your lips, and watch what we do. We’re going to make history.

Stay Strong, truth is our ally.
Be tireless and fearless, Walker and his ogres will not turn back unified Wisconsin.
We remain resolved….Solidarity.

Brad

800,000 Protestors in London: Inspired by Wisconsin

I just got this email from my Uncle Brad. Yay, Wisconsin … teaching the world how to keep the vibe high and change reality into one that makes just a weeee bit more sense to the vast majority of people on this planet:

Hi–Just a quick note, I’ll include this in a more extensive email–but
wanted you to know. A co-worker’s son was in a demonstration in London yesterday. It was NOT reported by any major new network, had to go to Free Speech TV and the internet to get it. 800,000 people demonstrated in London against cutting health care, labor unions, wages, while allowing large corporations to pay no taxes. A multitude of signs, according to the eyewitness, referenced “Wisconsin”. They also referenced Egypt and Lybia. LONDON demonstrators calling to Wisconsin, using Wisconsin to lead the fight. WISCONSIN for God’s sake!! The world, the nation is watching. NOW is the time to stay strong.

Thought you should know this, Wisconsin pride, Wisconsin strong.

“Believing is halfway to flying.” (Charlie Brown)

Solidarity!!!

Brad

Rotunda Report from Madison on March 11

Another report from my Uncle Brad. It’s somewhat bizarre to have moved to Madison from Chicago, and yet to be visiting some dear friends in Chicago during these last few days. My friends are leaving the US, so I feel good about the decision to spend extra time with them, but I’ve been sending lots of love, Reiki and Runes to Madison and around the world. It seems many other exciting spots have popped up this week. Thanks again to Brad Palmer for his on-the-ground reports, humor and good cheer:

Hi, Kids….I expected tonight would be a light one on the capitol square, what with the anticipation of Saturday–Teamsters, AF of L-CIO, the Tractorcade, the return of the Wisconsin 14–and the latter ARE going to march with the predicted tens of thousands of demonstrators, in unity for the people of Wisconsin’s support for them, and our thanks and support for them. Personally, I’m hoping for over 100,000 people. And I further anticipate the continuation of these demonstrations until we get our state back. We are Wisconsin, not a division of Koch Industries.

There were perhaps 200 marching around the square tonight when we arrived at 6:10 PM, many carrying their signs, some chanting, some playing musical instruments. The satellite TV news trucks were everywhere in anticipation of tomorrow. Milwaukee, Madison, and beyond represented. The Teamsters’ semis were lined up and outlined in tiny lights all round the trailers. Kathie and I walked around the square three times, exchanging quick conversations, like, “This is NOT over,” and those we met responded in kind. We could actually FEEL the anxiety, the expectation of tomorrow in the air. It was like most save a few of us were charging up for the protest.

We dined, and Kathie went back to Portage. She is going to walk recall petitions around Portage on Sunday and Monday to pick up any signatures we might have missed. Portage had another 150 volunteers to do the same for the recall of our disgraceful senator, Luther Olsen. Luther said his escorted exit from the senate after the illegal, immoral, unethical vote to ram Walker’s reprehensible bill was “the scariest gauntlet I’ve ever run.” I wonder why Luther doesn’t press skin with his constituency lately????

I returned to the square, wanted to experience some one on one with these pesky demonstrators. I came upon a group of women carrying signs, and asked one around my age if she was one of those union thugs. She laughed, said, “Yes,” and asked if I was, too. I replied, “No, I’m just a slob.” (Reference senator Fitzgerald’s reference to the 100,000 demonstrators of two weeks ago as ‘union thugs’ and ‘slobs’ and ‘some of that State Street bunch.’) I came upon a band of a baritone, clarinet, hand symbols, an accordion, and a drummer playing, “When the Saints.” I stopped and sang a few choruses with them, and continued walking. Cars on the street honked in approval of my “Recall Scott Walker” sign. I walked up to an elderly man (even older than I!) and said, “This ain’t over, young man!” to which he replied, “No, it’s not!” He said his wife was in a union. I came next upon a young couple whose two children were chanting, “Scott Walker has got to go.” I told them they were getting a better civics lesson than I ever got.

A new twist is the chalk art on the sidewalks of the square. (I wonder what cost Walker will assess to that “damage.” You recall he said the tape adhesive “damage” to the capitol was $7,500,000, a figure he later corrected to $250,000. Having been in the capitol building a lot ourselves, we would assess the “damage” at somewhere between $0 and nothing.) The most poignant thing I saw, in bold letters and bright yellow chalk, said; “If we can’t change the minds, we can change the faces.” –Lena Taylor. Well said.

The preponderance of the citizens of this state want these Republicans not only out of office, but out of our lives. I perceive the anger, determination, and perseverance of these people. Walker is uniting all of
us. I trust Saturday will only be a preview of things to come–a constant reminder to the media of this disgraceful misrepresentation of Wisconsin citizens.

Just to buck you all up a little, I listened to a woman from Michigan who phoned the host of 92.1 FM (progressive radio). Michigan’s governor (a Republican, go figure) has declared a “financial emergency” and is
attempting to elicit monies from pensions to line pockets. They are in far worse economic shape than Wisconsin. She said that what is happening in Wisconsin has got the Michigan residents, “Charged up!” America continues to look to Wisconsin to lead this fight of the middle class versus corporate
giants, and it looks like David just might KO Goliath again. We JUST AREN’T GIVING UP!

By the time I get to downtown Madison Saturday, the enormity of it will likely keep me from getting close. I hope that’s the case, I have previous appointments I must keep. I’m relying on my family (so far, seven of them will be there) to give me details. I’m sure the media coverage will be massive–but I DO NOT trust the media, they, too, are owned by Clear Channel, et al. I will do my best to tell you the truth in my own, albeit,
solidarity way.

I was heartened by the determination of children, students, grandparents on the square tonight–still walking when I left at 9 PM. NONE of them were conceding anything, all of them convinced and determined Walker’s pitiful short-lived regime is about to end–through the Constitution of Wisconsin and the absolutely heroic and historic will of her people.

Madison is about to explode into the largest peaceful, unified demonstration I will have seen in my lifetime. This is really going to be somethin’.

Solidarity, We are Wisconsin…

Brad