FIST in Madison, Wisconsin February 25, 2015
Occupy! Shut RTW Down!
By Heath Ginnar Tschetter
Earlier this week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Senate republicans attempted to shove through right-to-work-for-less legislation. This legislation would greatly reduce the living standards as well as worker’s representation in the workplace all across Wisconsin, as it has done in every state RTW has been implemented.
RTW states are well known to be low-wage states with deep histories of racism and discrimination. Union leaders and supporters as well as various activists participated Feb. 25, occupying the many floors of the Capitol building while the Senate took their vote chanting slogans such as “What’s disgusting? Union busting” and “Don’t sell us out.” I spoke with members of the Steamfitters Local 601 from Milwaukee. One member said: “I want my voice to be heard and I won’t let what was fought for and sacrificed for in the past be in vain.” Another said “I lost money being here. I have no paid days off. If I don’t work I don’t get paid. I missed a day of work to support this.”
This is a direct testimony to the attitude of the working class and oppressed peoples in Wisconsin towards the politicians the capitalist class has bought and paid for and our attitude towards this RTW legislation. I joined the protests with members of Illinois and Wisconsin Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST). We were on the scene for a variety of reasons. The primary ones were to oppose Scott Walker’s incessant attack on unions and worker’s rights which will disproportionately affect people of color, the LGBTQ community and women.
This is not the first time Wisconsin has come under heavy assault from the bosses and their lackeys. In 2008 General Motors had decided it was going to abandon the working class of my home town Janesville, leaving many workers to be left without a job or a means of providing for themselves and families. For sale signs now dot the landscape. With this loss of manufacturing jobs all that remains is dead end service sector jobs or low-wage factory work that is non-union. If RTW passes, this trend will continue. We will not accept this!
Every sector of the working class & oppressed is being attacked in Wisconsin and this has increased with bill after bill in the right-wing legislature since January. We call on everyone being attacked to come to the state capitol to protest and occupy the capitol again and if need be Madison to shut RTW down!
Heath Ginnar Tschetter is a FIST member from Janesville, WI.