On Wisconsin, forward, sift, winnow for freedom, worker and ecology rights
By Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk
Global people's power rebellions sweeping Middle East and American states are our last best chance for shared abundance on a finite Earth. We are one human family with natural human rights to freedom, worker rights, ecological sustainability, equity, knowledge, truth and justice. This essay calls for continued protest, more civil disobedience and a general strike if necessary to achieve these ideals in Madison and the world.
In the late winter/very early spring of Cheesehead discontent, the Cheddar Rebellion in Wisconsin is resisting a corporate take-over of the state by the neo-Fascist wing of the GOP teabagger nuthouse. The new tyrannical Governor – Scott Walker – is bent upon stripping teachers and other public workers of their collective bargaining rights; pushing through massive tax breaks for corporations and the rich at the expense of education, unions, workers and the poor; and deregulating environmental protections while selling the state to corporate interests. I don't believe in Scott Walker's god or family values yet he sure as hell is ramming them down my/our throats. He and his ilk continually vilify teachers, firefighters and cops as slobs and thugs.
Darth Walker's power grab manipulates a manageable budget shortfall as an excuse to take away state employees' collective bargaining rights and imposing an authoritarian worldview upon Wisconsin. Collective bargaining is the established human right of workers to freely associate with others, to organize and negotiate, to sell their labor. People own their bodies, their hands, their minds and their work; and they have a RIGHT to collectively organize for their interests and for maximal benefits. It is only due to the grace of 14 fabulous state Senate Democrats having gone into exile, and hundreds of thousands of protest participants, that Wisconsin remains free for now.
Scott Walker's government represents the full blossoming of the tea party into American fascism. The conservative ruling elite botched 911, wars, climate change and the economy; now they want to break the middle and lower classes, destroy ecology for more inequitable consumption, and gut freedoms to hide and pay for their failures. The protests have exposed close ties between Scott Walker and David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who helped bankroll the Tea Party movement. The Kochs wrote a million-dollar check to the Republican Governors Association; and Koch Industries, through its PAC, donated $43,000 to Mr. Walker's campaign, his second largest donor.
I absolutely never thought I would live to see fascism in Wisconsin – my homeland – or a more elegant, spontaneous, civil and uniquely Wisconsin citizens' response. For going on four weeks, up to 125,000 Wisconsin citizens have daily occupied and protested at their capitol for workers rights, against regressive budget cuts, and to resist fascist tyranny. These entirely peaceful, respectful and even polite protests have been met with widening restrictions upon civil liberties including freedom of speech and assembly. If the tea party had protests of this magnitude, they would have dissolved into violence weeks ago. The Cheddar Rebellion has thus far been, and shows every indication of remaining, a textbook example of peaceful people power protest.
Yet, under Dictator Walker, Wisconsin's previously open and accessible capitol – the "people's house" – is now barricaded with intense searches just to enter and spontaneous protests are no longer welcome. For over a week Walker has been in contempt of court for failing to fully open the capitol, and most recently for not returning it to the pre-protest access policies. In contrast, protestors recently ended their continuous 18 day occupation of the capitol- with hundreds sleeping overnight on the cold marble – based upon the same court order.
With our NGO EcoInternet (EI) and me being based in Wisconsin, I have some personal insights into the situation. I knew Scott Walker well in college as a friendly adversary. He lied, was dumb and was not liked then too, losing the University student body's Presidential election to a write-in candidate, cheated and lied, and never graduated. He was as plastic, superstitious, dangerous and self-absorbed then as he is now. Walker is a demagogue, who played upon the worst in people to get elected Governor. Wisconsin is more openly racist, intolerant, unfair, repressive and potentially explosive than ever before thanks to the Koch/teabagger/Walker fascist corporate take-over.
America and the world know more about what is going on in Libya than in Madison. I have traveled some distance down-state to Madison three times in recent weeks to protest; and it is the smartest, most polite crowd of people I have ever seen. Police largely support the protestors and there has been minimal conflict. This revolution is being tweeted, but not televised, as it is clear the corporate media could give a damn about massive protests in America for social justice. Fox "News" even went as far as broadcasting footage of violent protestors with palm trees in the background, clearly impossible in a Wisconsin winter.
IT'S THE INEQUITY DURING TIMES OF GLOBAL ECOSYSTEM COLLAPSE STUPID!
Across the board humanity is at risk of losing the fruits of hard fought battles for human advancement. Over the past 300 years progressive and liberal thought and action have largely ended monarchy, slavery, and achieved equality, human rights and voting rights for much of the world. We have gained knowledge regarding ecology and our place in the world's web of life, and fully understand Earth and humanity are threatened by global ecosystem collapse. Globally we are all witnessing political and social implications of collapsing ecosystems, resource scarcity and economic inequities.
In the United States some 400 individuals possess more wealth than the 155 million Americans in the bottom half. Globally 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 day; 800 million do not have enough food, and the same number lack clean water. The challenge of our generation is to stop Earth's biosphere from collapsing, making our home uninhabitable; while maximizing human freedom, fairness and dignity. It is pure evil that so few have so much, while so many suffer daily, failing to meet basic needs.
A NEW GLOBAL DREAM
The American dream is a myth built upon once-off economic growth destroying global ecosystems and unfairly sharing the ill-gotten proceeds. A new global dream is emerging from world protests. We are one human family with natural human rights to freedom, workers rights, ecological sustainability, equity, knowledge and justice. Humans have a right to associate with whomever they wish, and a right to cooperate in negotiations. We all also have the duty to protect our habitat, and to protect and restore shared ecology at all costs. And like all peoples, we have the right to change our government when it becomes abusive.
Governor Walker has lost the people's respect and is unfit to lead. Darth Walkers's illegal power grabs must be resisted fully now or we can look forward to a more unfair, poor, illiterate, stupid and superstitious America. Everyone has compromised but Scott Walker. What part of “court order” does this dolt not understand? The villain must drop the regressive budget and elimination of collective bargaining, and he must fully open the capitol to its people NOW! Failure to do so means he must resign, be recalled or impeached, and/or imprisoned. EI calls upon on all Cheeseheads to continue shunning Scott Walker and to further resist his fascist government.
Global people's power protest sweeping the globe is humanity's last best chance for survival during a planetary ecological and social emergency. And what has occurred already is truly global, as witnessed by people from Egypt ordering pizzas for Wisconsin protestors to show solidarity! Thank Gaia free speech remains alive and well, for now, in America and Wisconsin. NOTHING will be gained for workers, the United States or the world if we place limits upon our freedom and rights. Let's start valuing brain power too. It is cool to be smart, and to have been taught by Wisconsin teachers to sift and winnow to find the truth on fundamental matters of such importance.
EI's global network and ecologists stands with workers in Wisconsin. We call upon all Wisconsinites and concerned affinity protestors to descend on the capitol and defend their rights. And that all peoples living under tyranny, or not having basic rights or needs met, rise up now – coming next to Saudi Arabia and China. Both EcoInternet and our New Earth Rising project will honor and support Wisconsin labor's calls for a General Strike if or when they are made. And we are willing to participate in active civil disobedience to stop the fascist budget and rollback of rights, and are committed to not letting the protests become violent, playing into the fascists' desire.
We hope this commitment to a New Earth Rising is shared by the World, that people's rebellions spread like wildfire nationally and globally, and that the whole human family participates and benefits. There is one positive thing that has arisen from all this mess. As noted on the #wiunion twitter feed, many of us have fallen more deeply in love with Wisconsin than we ever thought possible. There will be no backing down or the ruling elite and corporate fascists win. As Nelson Mandela noted, “It always seems impossible until it's done.” On Wisconsin.
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On Wisconsin, forward, sift, winnow for freedom, worker and ecology rights