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Feel free to post, distribute etc.
During the week of July 24, the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) publicly released a membership survey where the majority of the membership rejected to open up their current 2011-13 contract to give more concessions. Based on the member’s vote, the MTEA Executive Board decided not to pursue any additional concessions.
“Undoubtedly, some critics of public education will use the survey to continue their scapegoating of teachers and our union. We know we did not create the financial crisis in the state. We did not cut over $80 million from MPS. We did not create the unfair state funding system that has underfunded MPS for decades. Nor did we create the private voucher program that takes $50 million from MPS annually… I hope the energy of the protests this past spring in Madison and the enthusiastic involvement of MTEA members in the upcoming recall elections will continue to inspire us in the work ahead,” wrote Bob Peterson, MTEA President, in a letter to members after the survey results were tabulated (http://www.mtea.org/home.nws).
A ‘visit’ of the “Tea Party Express” to cities in Wisconsin from August 5-8— a region of the country that has been one of the most devastated by the economic crisis of capitalism — must not go unchallenged. Activists and community members in Wisconsin are already organizing to confront the “express” at their stops to denounce the right-wing attempt to divide poor and working people and to show that the racist, sexist, anti-LGBT, anti-immigrant, anti-union, corporate-funded Tea Party and all its groupings does not speak for working people. Tea Party members are the ones who spit on and physically threatened Representative John Lewis and other progressive members of Congress.
Similar to groups such as the Klu Klux Klan, the Tea Party is attempting to appeal to the popular discontent in the face of the economic crisis and attacks on poor and working people in the form of budget cuts, layoffs and union-busting attempts by Wall Street. However, they want to fuel that discontent into a reactionary program that scapegoats immigrants, targets people of color and LGBT people, blames unions, attacks safety nets like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare and opposes women’s rights.
The Tea Party and all its groupings present themselves as grassroots organizations, but in actuality it’s funded by corporate, ultra-right organizations such as FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers who fund politicians such as Alberta Darling and Scott Walker. These bigots have been heavily assisted by the corporate media in relaying their message to the public.
Instead of blaming Wall Street for the capitalist meltdown, the Tea Party targets those classes below them on the economic ladder. A powerful movement is needed that points its fire at the rich and that fights for a massive public jobs program, real national health care, a moratorium on foreclosures, ending the wars, canceling student debt, building schools not prisons and using Pentagon dollars to pay for education, housing, social services and rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.
Activists across WI are beginning to organize to confront the Tea Party and send a real message of unity and working-class solidarity. Join us!
Bring signs, banners, noisemakers etc. to the counter-protests!
Check back on this blog for updates and new locations for the tour stops etc.
SOME SUGGESTED SLOGANS FOR SIGNS & BANNERS
Shut Down The Big Business Tea Party!
Hands off our unions, healthcare, pensions, wages and social security!
NO to racism & Tea Party! YES to Healthcare for all!
JOBS not racism and war!
TEA PARTY EXPRESS TOUR STOPS
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
12:00 Noon – 1:30 p.m. Rally in Hudson, WI
Location: Lakefront Park Bandshell
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Rally in La Crosse, WI
Location: Copeland Park Oktoberfest Shelter
1130 Copeland Park Dr.
La Crosse, WI
SATURDAY, AUGUST 6
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Rally in Kenosha, WI
Location: Birchwood Grill
7515 125th Ave
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Rally in Milwaukee, WI
5:30pm – 7:00pm :: Rally in Milwaukee, WI
Location: Thiensville Village Park
250 Elm Street
Thiensville, WI 53092
SUNDAY, AUGUST 7
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Rally in Fond du Lac, WI
Location: Village Park
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Rally in New London, WI
Location: Crystal Falls Banquet Facility
1500 Handschke Dr.
New London, WI 54961
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Rally in Merrill, WI
Location: Riverside Park
East End of O Day Street
Merrill, WI 54452
MONDAY, AUGUST 8
12:00 Noon – 1:30 p.m. Rally in Rhinelander, WI
Location: Rhinelander Band Shell
Young Street (Next to Trig’s RiverWalk Centre)
Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Rally in Allouez, WI
Location: Legends Brewhouse and Eatery
875 Heritage Rd
De Pere, WI 54115
INTERESTED IN GOING TO CHICAGO FOR NATO/G-8 ORGANIZING MEETING AUGUST 28?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Thomas J. Mertz Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (608) 215-1942
“A need for national, state, and local action”
……As hundreds of thousands of public school supporters gather in Washington DC the weekend of July 28 to 30, 2011, Wisconsin advocates will hold a rally in support of the Save Our Schools agenda at 3:00 PM on Saturday July 30, near the State St. entrance to the Capitol.
“Public schools are under attack. There is a need for national, state, and local action in support of our schools. Wisconsin has been ground zero in this; the Save Our Schools demands from the Guiding Principles provide a great framework to build our state movement and work to expand opportunities to learn” said education activist Thomas J. Mertz.
The Save Our Schools demands are:
• Equitable funding for all public school communities
• An end to high stakes testing used for the purpose of student, teacher, and school evaluation
• Teacher, family and community leadership in forming public education policies
• Curriculum developed for and by local school communities
Doing more with less doesn’t work. “The time to act is now. While phony debates revolve around debt ceilings, students and teachers across the country are shortchanged. We need real reform, starting with finally fixing the school funding formula, and putting families and communities first. What child and what teacher don’t deserve an excellent school?” said rally organizer Todd Price, former Green Party Candidate for Department of Public Instruction and Professor of Teacher Education National Louis University.
The event will feature speeches from educators, students, parents and officials, as well as opportunities for school advocates from throughout Wisconsin to connect and organize around issues of importance in their communities.
Photos of Madison rally: