Report from Madison, WI

A brief report from an IMT member on the ground in Madison, WI, written just before the big demos planned for Saturday, February 26th:

“… I sold several papers and I and another comrade distributed flyers. When I was handing out leaflets in the capitol one guy responded: ‘Socialism – now that’s what I’m talking about!’ and he bought 2 papers after that.

“The mood at the capitol is interesting. There are illusions in the Democratic senators that fled the state, but what I found interesting was a speech by a retired public sector worker. He said, ‘If these Republicans want class warfare that’s what we’ll give them!’ and later he attacked the Democrats for not doing anything. Both statements got a positive response from the crowd. The rally itself was interesting, I had our sign ‘Hands Off Public Sector Workers” with the CMPL website and was able to take it through the center of the crowd during a student march.

“It’s truly inspiring to see the transformation of the workers and students in Wisconsin. It seems everyone has an opinion on the topic and that no one is apathetic.  I watched thousands of students pour into the capitol screaming ‘What’s disgusting? Union busting!’ It’s clear that a whole new generation is being introduced into labor solidarity. Yesterday the police actually had a march, where over a thousand cops and their families came in with signs that said ‘Cops for Labor’ and raising their fists in support. What a spectacle to witness!

“Today should be the big day. It is estimated between 70,000-120,000 people will be showing up. Also, they’re trying to kick people out of the capitol sometime this weekend. They closed early yesterday and are supposed to stop letting people in after 6:00 pm today. Yesterday, after they closed the doors, a guy came out and slept on the doorsteps with a sign that said ‘I Will Not Be Moved.’ Clearly people are willing to fight this out!”

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