Every day in Madison the solidarity gets more intense. Day 11 saw 160 trade unionists fly in from Los Angeles. They were led by Maria Elena Durazo, leader of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor. They marched into the state capitol rotunda to thunderous applause, cheering and chanting. (see Video below)
Sheet metal workers and pipefitters embraced college students. Militant nurses from Chicago danced to drums beating out, “What’s Disgusting – Union Busting!” Friendly cops helped retirees across the slippery marble floors. Firefighter union bag pipers marched in full Irish parade dress, followed by dozens dressed in full firefighter equipment. A young African American student led the crowd in shaking the building with, “Everywhere we go. People want to know. Who we are? So we tell them. We are the union. Mighty, Mighty Union!”
Meantime local merchants brought in food and drink for a free cafeteria established in the Rotunda. While others brought in stacks of pizzas paid for by supporters from all around the country. Last night at the People’s World African-American History celebration in Chicago, folks collected money to help buy more pizzas for the protesters in Madison. This kind of support all happens every day.
Med students and volunteer doctors set up a clinic that is mostly dispensing lip balm and throat lozenges. It’s cold outside and folks do a lot of yelling, chanting and singing.
If you haven’t made it yet to one of these demonstrations in your area, you gotta go. It’s history. It’s a sleeping giant awakening. And it’s fun!