Here is another update from Jeff in Wisconsin. Jeff and his son Rourke are heading home soon, having had an amazing experience.
"As we leave WI to return home, WI governor Scott Walker prepares to layoff 1,500 state workers in an attempt to force the 14 Dem. Senators back into session so that he can push through his budget bill and end collective bargaining. Senate Republicans votes to hold the 14 in contempt and issue arrest warrants for them. People are strong and resolute but it is hard to sustain the intensity of the protest for this long. Please consider a trip to WI. Drag infusions of energy are vital and much appreciated. All of our futures are at stake."
Also, please take a moment to check out this excellent column by Richmond Times Dispatch's columnist Micheal Paul Williams. Williams took a lot of time to interview Jeff and gave a great overview of the scene in Wisconsin and what it means for VA. Here is an excert:
He has been on lots of road trips as an activist, but this one was special. "This is a real piece of history here. This is one we're going to remember for decades to come."
He believes what happened in Madison won't stay there. And if Walker is indeed taking a new public-union-busting model for a test-drive, Winder hopes the response eventually will "move beyond reacting" to improving and consolidating workers' rights.
If Winder wanted to show Rourke the sausage-grinder that is democracy, he could do worse than taking him to the home of bratwurst. Wisconsin has a rich history as a laboratory for political movements, from the early-20th-century progressivism of Robert M. La Follette Sr. to the red-baiting paranoia of Sen. Joseph McCarthy to the welfare-reform initiatives of former Gov. Tommy Thompson.
Ironically, Wisconsin in the first half of the 20th century was a national leader on the issues of workplace-injury compensation and unemployment compensation.
Virginia and North Carolina, on the other hand, remain the only states in the nation that ban state and local government employees from collective bargaining. This is not something to be proud of. When Winder returns to Virginia, he should organize a state Capitol sleep-in.
Click here to read the full column, Michael Paul Williams: A father and son from Nelson County joined Wisconsin protests
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