Things are really heating up here in Madison. 30,000+ people have showed up to protest at and in the Capitol, schools here and elsewhere in the state have been closed since Wednesday because so many teachers have called in sick to join the protests. Gov. Scott Walker won't back down, despite being reprimanded by President Obama. The State Senate Democrats left the state yesterday morning rather than vote (see a video of this here). The highest-ranking Catholic, archbishop (I think) of Milwaukee made a statement in support of union workers. So did the Green Bay Packers (they're union). The Mayor of Madison called an emergency session of the city council to go ahead and ratify union contracts for certain city workers through 2012 in case the budget repair bill goes through. The reverend Jesse Jackson is in town.
And it's getting ugly. Fox News reported violence here, which was a complete misrepresentation of the situation. You won't find more polite protesters anywhere than in Madison, I promise you. The Tea Party is planning to show up tomorrow with some busloads counter-protestors; I can't guarantee that the Tea Partiers will be as polite as the union supporters.
Anya's been sick for a couple of days, so I haven't taken the kids downtown since Wednesday, but I plan to go this weekend, even if I go alone. In the meantime, I've been checking news updates online obsessively, from Madison.com and the TAA website.
The implications of this bill are huge. Walker wants to undo nearly 50 years of strong labor history in a single fell swoop, and if he succeeds (I still fear that he may), other states with Republican governors may follow suit. I am angry. I am angry at our governor and the Republicans in the state legislature who plan to vote for this awful bill. I am angry at the people of Wisconsin who voted this turkey into office in the first place. I am angry at the assault on workers' rights here and elsewhere. That is why, even though I'm not even a state employee currently, I plan to stand up tall and fight this thing.