Streets around the world are filled with people who are demanding dignity and respect from their government. Cairo, Tripoli. Bahrain, Tehran…and Madison.
Local 1000 stands with its union brothers and sisters…along with AFM Locals 8 (Milwaukee) and 166 (Madison) in resisting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempts to bust unions and deny workers collective bargaining rights.
In recent days it has become clear, after unions agreed to accept the Governor’s reduction in benefits, that his real goal is to strip workers of their rights to negotiate anything other than wages, which are already legally capped. Workers would have no say on working conditions, vacation and family leave, health care, pension, grievance.
Wisconsin is a mere test case for similar measures waiting in the wings in Indiana, Ohio, and beyond. Workers are willing to lift their share of the burden when it comes to helping balance state budgets.
But this current assault is not about money. It is about power. It is about justice.
And, in this fight, it’s easy to decide “Which Side Are You On?”
-John McCutcheon, President of Local 1000 AFM
Thanks to our members who are showing their solidarity across the USA:
Ray Korona and Spook Handy, AFL-CIO rally in Trenton, New Jersey, Feb 25, 2011.
“On Feb 25, 2011,Union brother Ray Korona and I sang an hour’s worth of labor songs at the Solidarity with Wisconsin Rally in Trenton, NJ. From the steps of the State House, overlooking the sea of red shirts and jackets under umbrellas or exposed to the pouring rain, I estimated the crowd to be about 5000 in number.
We sang favorites like Union Maid, Solidarity Forever, We Shall Overcome, If I Had a Hammer, This Land is Your Land and Which Side Are You On?
As the crowds grew so did the percentage of audience singing along. By the end of our hour set, the crowd was on fire, loudly singing “You can’t scare me – I’m sticking to the Union … til the day die!”
When the speakers took the stage, they had a hot, excited, energized community of union supporters ready to let their voices be heard. I am humbled by the opportunity to be a part of this great movement to re-awaken America and the word to the issue of worker’s right from the viewpoint of the podium.
All the best to all who stand in Solidarity.” -Spook Handy (read more about this rally)
Aaron Fowler, Topeka, Kansas, Feb 26, 2011 ”Statehouse police reported that more than 1000 folks gathered on the steps of the Capital on Saturday February 26th. I was the only Local 1000 member there, but there was lots of singing. We closed the rally with This Land Is Your Land.”–Aaron Fowler
A montage of photos from Wisconsin’s rallies are set by Anders Lindall to a song by Local 1000 member, Billy Bragg:
Tom Kastle, Madison, Wisconsin, March 3, 2011 ”Joined in the Arts March on the Capitol last Thursday. David HB Drake is the singer in the center, I’m off to the right with guitar. Have also been a tenor banjo player for the New Orleans style Funeral for the Bill and have participated in many a percussion jam, march, and chant on cowbell (ounce for ounce and decibel for decibel, the finest political instrument there is). Have been hundreds of musicians over the days and nights and weeks. Thanks, all!”
Local 1000 sister, Michelle Shocked, was present in Madison, Wisconsin, March 5, 2011:
Emma’s Revolution (Pat Humphries and Sandy O) were in Madison on Sunday and Monday March 6-7, 2011
Member Tom Juravich re-releases his single “When Did I Become the Problem?”
Member Steve Eulberg moves his setting of Martin Niemöller’s famous quote to the top of his playlist: