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PORTSIDELABOR  February 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDELABOR February 2011, Week 4

Subject:

How You Can Help Wisconsin

From:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 24 Feb 2011 21:43:51 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (295 lines)

The Battle for Unions in Wisconsin - How You Can Help

by Kathleen McElroy,
Madison, Wisconsin
UAW Local 1981 National Writers Union

Folks from outside Wisconsin are contacting me and asking
how to help with the battle to save collective bargaining
for public employees in Wisconsin.   (Additional information
on the current status of things here is at the end of this
letter.)


YOU CAN PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
People of generally modest means, including many college
students, are continuing the occupation of the Capitol and
the daily picketing in resistance to the Governor's plans.
Most teachers have had to/have chosen to return to their
classrooms, but many other union members remain, people from
private sector unions and public unions including police and
firefighters.  There are many private citizens, often
seniors.  Those remaining in the capitol and on the picket
lines need food, water, transportation, housing. The
Wisconsin AFL-CIO is coordinating much of that support. No
matter how small, financial support is welcome:


ONLINE:  The AFL-CIO is accepting donations online through
PayPal or any major credit card. Please go to
http://wisaflcio.org  for the link.

CHECKS can be made payable to the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO
Defense Fund, 6333 W. Blue Mound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53213
(Please indicate the purpose, e.g. "Capitol protests" or
"Madison rally", on your check.)

* * * *

SEND FOOD AND WATER DIRECTLY TO THE PROTESTERS

These two close-by shops will supply food and water to those
in the Capitol or on the picket line: Ian's Pizza
608-442-3535   minimum order $20.00   These folks are now
taking orders only for delivery to the resistance, they've
stopped all delivery to the general public.   They tell me
they deliver to wherever the people are -- if they're inside
the Capitol, they go in.  If people are marching and
picketing, they take the food to the picket line. Subway on
the Square 608-255-1636   NOTE: minimum order $100.00   They
have set up a fund there for your orders, and they are
giving free food from that fund to any union member or pro-
union demonstrator who requests food.  Thank Pat for
arranging that, I'm sure this is the first time they've done
anything like this.

* * * *

CONVEY YOUR OPPOSITION IMMEDIATELY TO THE LEGISLATORS AND
GOVERNOR

This legislation can be stopped in the Wisconsin Senate. The
state has shut down the Legislative Hotline (!) through
which you could reach the Wisconsin Senators.  So each needs
to be contacted directly.

The Republicans

We need only 3 Republicans to vote "no" to stop this. I'm
listing here Republicans who may be willing to listen:

Eau Claire area -- Terry Moulton
[log in to unmask] (608) 266- 7511  District 23

Green Bay area -- Rob Cowles [log in to unmask]
(608) 266-0484 District 2

LaCrosse area -- Dan Kapanke [log in to unmask]
(608) 266-5490  District 32

Ripon area -- Luther Olsen [log in to unmask]
(608) 266-0751  District 14

Richland County -- Dale Schultz
[log in to unmask] (608) 266-0703 District 17

Racine area -- Van Wanggaard
[log in to unmask] (608) 266-1832  District
21

Sheboygan area -- Joe Leibham
[log in to unmask] (608) 266-2056  District 9

Menasha/Fox Valley -- Michael Ellis
[log in to unmask] (608) 266-0718  District 19

Fond du Lac area -- Randy Hopper
[log in to unmask] (608) 266-5300  District 18

Dodge County -- Scott Fitzgerald
[log in to unmask] (608) 266-5660   District
13

To contact other Republican Senators, or if a voice mailbox
is full, try sending an email. Email addresses are above, or
at the senate home pages. Try this link:
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate

If you live here or if you vacation here, contact the
Senator from your District and urge a "no" vote on this
legislation. If you know someone who lives or vacations in
Wisconsin, ask them to contact the appropriate Senator. If
you don't live here, contact as many of the Republicans on
the list as you can with your opposition to the legislation.
("The Whole World is Watching")

The Governor:  Gov. Walker is not listening to us, and is in
fact bragging about having received 19,000 emails in favor
of the legislation to get rid of unions.  So we need him to
hear us.  Try his phone 608-266-1212     That mailbox will
probably be full.  There are several email routes, I've used
them both.   Email him directly at
[log in to unmask]      Or go to http://walker.wi.gov
and scroll down to the "Citizen Suggestion" box and give him
your suggestion.

* * * *

KEEP THE RESISTANCE ALIVE, WIDESPREAD, HIGHLY VISIBLE AND
VIBRANT

* Participate in a protest rally

Come to Wisconsin or urge those you know who live here to
get involved.  The Capitol in Madison is occupied 24 hours a
day, with pickets outside at all hours.  Come on down! Daily
rallies and protest activities are happening throughout
Wisconsin.  Join in the activities near you.  Two sources
for detailed and timely information are
http://wisaflcio.org    [scroll down to Capitol and to In
District Events]  and   http://www.wiafscme.org/   [scroll
down to the Activities List]

* Organize a rally, a protest, an act of solidarity or civil
disobedience wherever you are in support of Wisconsin
workers and our cause.  Alert the local media that you are
acting in support of public employees' right to keep their
unions in Wisconsin.

* Spread the word in whatever way you can: postal mail,
email, Facebook, twitter.

* Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and to
the editorial directors of your local TV and radio stations.

* Send this email on to anyone who might help with this
fight, via email or postal mail.

* * * *

SUPPORT THE "WISCONSIN 14"

In a remarkable act of civil disobedience and courage, the
14 Democratic Senators have left the state to deny the
Senate a quorum.  Without at least one of them, the Senate
cannot pass this particular legislation.  Their leaving had
to be done quickly and some left, literally, with just the
clothes on their backs.

Contact information for the "Wisconsin 14" is listed below.
I suggest:

** Send them messages of solidarity and support, and urge
them on.

** Most of these folks are not wealthy.  Consider writing a
check to their campaign committee to help with these
extraordinary expenses.  Send it to their home addresses and
be sure to write it to "The Campaign Committee of Senator
xxxx"   -- home addresses are on their senate web pages
("voting address") which you reach via
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate    (The Government
Accountability Board here has ruled that campaign
contribution funds can be used for these expenses.  No
personal gifts are allowed, and they will be returned.)

Tim Carpenter  Dist 3   [log in to unmask]
608-266-8535

Spencer Coggs   Dist 6  [log in to unmask]
608-266-2500

Tim Cullen  Dist 15  [log in to unmask]
608-266-2253

Jon Erpenbach  Dist 27  [log in to unmask]
608-266-6670

Dave Hansen  Dist 30  [log in to unmask]
608-266-5670

Jim Holperin  Dist 12  [log in to unmask]
608-266-2509

Bob Jauch  Dist 25  [log in to unmask]
608-266-3510

Chris Larson  Dist 7  [log in to unmask]
608-266-7505

Julie Lassa  Dist 24  [log in to unmask]
608-266-3123

Mark Miller  Dist 16  [log in to unmask]
608-266-9170

Fred Risser  Dist 26  [log in to unmask]
608-266-1627

Lena Taylor  Dist 4  [log in to unmask]
608-266-5810

Kathleen Vinehout  Dist 31  [log in to unmask]
608-266-8546

Bob Wirch  Dist 22  [log in to unmask]
608-266-8979

Thank you.


****
Update as of Tuesday February 22:

The battle lines here have been definitively clarified: Last
week, the public employee unions all agreed to the
Governor's economic demands contained in this contested
"Budget" Bill. But the Governor continues to insist that the
abolition of collective bargaining, as included in the Bill,
is non-negotiable. So as we've known all along, this Bill is
not really about budget issues . . .

Also, FYI, the Legislature's reach with this Bill is far
beyond collective bargaining.  Other major components of the
Bill are an assault on any decent notion of the civil
society to which we aspire.

For example, access to health care assistance for the poor
and elderly will be curtailed.  And supervision of the
privatized workers who care for the most vulnerable among us
would be effectively abandoned.  Important civil service
positions, now filled by merit selection, are converted to
political appointment  -- including such civil arbiters as
agency lawyers.

Legislators are meeting today (remember, the Republicans
have majorities in both houses of the legislature) to
continue this juggernaut as best they can without a quorum
in the Senate.  They are limited to non-fiscal actions in
the Senate without the quorum denied them by the Democrats.
The situation in the Capitol is tense.  Police are now
everywhere, and reporters tell me that the call has gone out
for more police to be sent to the Capitol.  Access to the
Capitol is limited, with one door open and slow security
searches of all entering.

People are concerned that they are attempting to slowly
strangle the occupation -- hallways of the Capitol have been
emptied and then closed off.  Last night, those sleeping on
the 3rd floor of the rotunda were told to move "to clean
that area", and they've secured that area.  Internet access
has been cut off.  It appears the tactic is to limit access
to the building and confine protesters to smaller and
smaller spaces.  This process, which may elude high-profile
and organized resistance from the protesters, can lead to
minimum media interest  -- as we are all slowly just pushed
out the door and out of any semblance of a democratic
process.

____________________________________________

PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.

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