ACT 10 A DECADE LATER: SOLIDARITY FOREVER: An Interview With Susan Ruggles, Retiree, AFT Local 212


Ten years ago this month, in February 2011, Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature proposed Act 10, also known as the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill, which effectively ended collective bargaining rights for public sector employees (with the exception of police and fire unions), and significantly weakened union power. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the massive protests against Act 10 and explore the anti-worker effects of the law, we interviewed Susan Ruggles, a retired member of the American Federation of Teachers Local 212 in Milwaukee and a photojournalist who took part in the demonstrations against the bill as an activist and photographer. Ruggles shared her experience of the protests and her thoughts on the legacy of Act 10, labor issues facing teachers and unions today, the late activist and singer Anne Feeney, and much more.

…. How do you respond to those who protested Act 10 but call the uprising inconsequential for not succeeding in stopping the bill?

The protests against Act 10 may have failed in their immediate aim to kill the bill, but they launched a powerful movement. Tens of thousands of people learned the value of organization and solidarity, and stayed active in their communities. Unions developed new tactics and overcome huge obstacles to reorganize themselves. Since 2018, we’ve seen a wave of strikes as public school educators fight for funding and smaller class sizes. The #RedforEd movement really took off, and it paved the way for walkouts and protests during the pandemic. All this organizing has paid off, since Gov. Evers is now proposing rollbacks in Act 10. This sets up a fight with the legislature, with the outcome uncertain. But community support for teachers and healthcare workers has never been higher — especially during a pandemic. The tide may finally be turning in our favor….

As a member of the American Federation of Teachers at the time, what is your sense of the labor issues facing teachers and unions today? Where do they go from here?

Unions are in an organizing and rebuilding stage, and their efforts are especially critical now, as we battle a pandemic. Community support for teachers, health care workers, and unions is increasing, because people see what an essential role they play. Teachers unions are demanding a seat at the table to decide when schools can reopen safely for in-person instruction. Public schools need the resources, safety protocols, and vaccines to protect teachers, staff, and students. Increasing the minimum wage, expanding access to healthcare, paid sick leave, affordable child care, addressing the student debt crisis, fixing our infrastructure, and protecting the rights of students — these are all union issues. By taking on these fights, we can strengthen our communities, build resiliency, and improve the lives of all working people….

Kenosha, March 6, 2021: Black History Forever; Facts, Film, & Fun!

Event by Leaders Of Kenosha – LOK

Black History Month ends February 28th, but the true history of Black culture in the world continues every day. More importantly, our acknowledgment of these leaps in history is key in keeping the fight going for our future generations.

Join us for a night of trivia, Black activist history & a socially distanced dinner. The evening will consist of a film with dinner from Super Steaks and Lemonade, a trivia game, dancing, and a DJ. Please R.S.V.P. on Eventbrite. Dress your best and wear a mask.

Get your tickets here!…/black-history-forever…

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March 4, 2021: Car Caravans to Last Meal Celebration with Kenosha 4

Event by Building Unity

On this date, the Kenosha 4 – Justin Blake, Joe Cardinali, Andy Berg, and Rev. Jonathan Barker – plan to have their last meal for over 22 days. We are invited to join them.

They are embarking on this fast demanding climate justice for Wisconsin in this state budget. Climate justice for Wisconsin is a hopeful vision for our community where everyone has a livable future, the opportunity for good paying green jobs, clean air to breathe, and clean water to drink.

Building Unity will join the “Kenosha 4” on this day of celebration and hope in Kenosha with car caravans from around the state, as well as by live-streaming portions of the event to the Building Unity Facebook page.

The details of this event are still forthcoming. Please watch this and upcoming event post for updates.

This will be an outdoor, safely-distanced event. Please wear masks.

Please call Tim at 608-630-3633 if you have questions, if you would like help organize, or if you would like to be part of one of the caravans going to Kenosha.

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Three Speeches in Detroit (1963-1965): Malcolm X from the Grassroots to the African Revolution

Malcolm X Speaks At Wayne State University Nov
Malcolm X Speaks At Wayne State University

By Abayomi Azikiwe

Lessons delivered then have implications for the 21st century

Note: These remarks were delivered at an African American History Month virtual webinar hosted by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition on Monday February 22, 2021. The event was held in honor of Malcolm X, El Hajj Malik Shabazz, on the 56th anniversary of his martyrdom. Other speakers and performers at the meeting included Detroit educator and poet, Wanda Olugbala; Sara Torres, musician and member of Moratorium NOW! Coalition; Julie Hurwitz, Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild Detroit & Michigan Chapter; Sammie Lewis, a leading organizer for Detroit Will Breathe; Derek Grigsby, an organizer for Moratorium NOW! Coalition; Kenya Fentress, organizer for Racial Profiling Across 8 Mile; Anthony Ali of Detroit Will Breathe served as moderator; and David Sole of Moratorium NOW! Coalition delivered a proclamation honoring organizational member Walter Knall for his years of service to the African American struggle and the peoples’ movement as a whole.

AFGE continues aggressive fight for hazard pay for feds

On its way out the door, the Trump administration filed a motion to dismiss AFGE’s lawsuit seeking hazard pay for federal workers who have been required to risk their health and safety by working in hazardous conditions in order to continue to perform the essential functions of the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. AFGE earlier this month opposed that motion, urging the court to deny the government’s request to dismiss the case. “The coronavirus pandemic made thousands of jobs more dangerous than they normally would be. Recognizing that federal employees are at times exposed to dangerous conditions their jobs do not normally entail, Congress provided for hazardous duty pay and/or environmental differential pay,” AFGE argued in opposition to the motion to dismiss. “As a result of these hazardous conditions and the Government’s failure to account for these conditions in Plaintiffs’ position classifications, Plaintiffs are entitled to hazardous duty pay, environmental differential pay, and additional overtime wages to compensate for their repeated and ongoing exposure to COVID-19.” Read more here

Milwaukee, Feb. 25, 2021: Justice For Jay Anderson!

The Peoples Revolution Milwaukee/ Day 272 of Action /Protest (February 25th, 2021)

4pm 901 n. 9th Street, ((Milwaukee County Courthouse))


On June 23, 2016, then Wauwatosa Police Officer, Joseph Mensah, would fatally shoot and kill a nearly sleeping 25 year old man. His name was Jay Anderson Jr.

Mensah, who was involved in a fatal shooting less than a year prior, was claimed to have followed procedure by WPD. After that, the family who has committed to always fighting for Jay, was told that Mensah would additionally NOT face federal civil rights charges.

Then a couple years later Joseph Mensah killed again. 🚨

The lack of accountability, the large risk proven true of continuing to employ a killer cop, and the corruption within WPD, was now too obvious to continue to hide. 🚨‼️

The truth is unraveling.‼️

Today, we will stand with the Anderson family as the case begins and reopens as a first of it’s kind to Wisconsin, a John Doe Hearing. The hearing will begin at 2pm. Stay tuned to the page for a virtual option to tune into. Only one media is allowed to be present and will go live during the hearing.

After, we will March these streets in honor of his name. 🚨🖤🚨

SAY HIS NAME 🚨🖤🚨📣📣📣 JAY ANDERSON 📣📣📣#JayAndersonJr#JusticeForThEEthrEE#ConvictJosephMensah


The Peoples Revolution Milwaukee

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