Lee Saunders President of AFSCME Joins Front Lines Of WI Scott Walker Protests (VIDEO)
Today on the south lawn of the Wisconsin state capital in Madison, Lee Sanders, the President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees International union, made a stop to pledge support of its 1.6 million members to the Solidarity Sing-Along protests. The protests have garnered national attention as Koch-supported Republican Governor Scott Walker is widely believed to be readying for a Presidential run in 2016.
Although the daily protests have recently relocated outside the Capital, Sanders reaffirmed the Constitutional right for the peaceful assemblies, which have caused the arrest of hundreds if not thousands of protestors, to take place inside the building;
“…This is a democracy. This is still America. This is the people’s house here, and to stop folks from singing inside, not disrupting anything, not being violent in any kind of way, but to stop them from singing and arresting them, arresting kids, arresting seniors, that’s just unacceptable in Wisconsin; that’s unacceptable in America. It’s so important that we make our voices heard and say that it is unacceptable and that’s why I’m here. I wanted to show support for the folks that come here every single day… who are still continuing that fight; who are still objecting to the policies of Scott Walker…”
When asked how unions in Wisconsin stay relevant after Scott Walker’s union-busting tactics, Sanders replied;
“We have folks that are engaged, they are active, and it’s back to grassroots 101 organizing. You’ve got to organize your communities, mobilize your communities, and educate your communities…”
Watch video via Devil’s Advocate Radio:
Much national attention has been given to the Solidarity Sing- Alongs, which started at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on March 11, 2011, during the ultimately unsuccessful Gov. Walker recall efforts and have been held at noon every weekday since then, with arrests happening by the dozens on a daily basis. They are nothing more than peaceful gatherings of singers that are protesting the Governor’s reign of terror. This video shows Wisconsin Friar Philip Gerboc proclaiming that the daily string of arrests are “no less than fascism,” and another shows the Capital Police injuring a 70-year-old Vietnam Veteran while arresting him for nothing more than peacefully singing protect songs. Even state Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Middleton) was threatened with arrest simply for watching the demonstrations.
Union-busting in particular enraged Wisconsinites, as Wisconsin is the very birthplace of the labor movement and organized labor. In splitting the unions, Walker (R) promised this would create a plethora of jobs around the state; in actuality Wisconsin ranks 44th in job growth in the United States from September 2011 to September 2012, and unemployment has jumped to 7.2 percent.
In an interview with Democracy Now!, Matthew Rothschild, The editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine, and host Amy Goodman discussed a potential Walker presidential run. Rothschild called the prospect “horrifying,” and added;
“He is devastating the state. He can talk all he wants, but he’s ruining what used to be a pretty decent state here. He’s cut Medicaid, he’s cutting abortion rights, he’s let the mining companies write their own law and it’s going to destroy the environment in the northern parts of the state including on Native American lands… Scott Walker is a puppet of the American Legislative Exchange Council.”
That interview can ben seen HERE.
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