Video: Farmer-labor alliance reborn in Wisconsin

Madison, Wis. – Last Saturday (March 12) the big tractors thundered into Madison, Wisconsin. (Video below)

Farmers and their families came to join over 150,000 angry workers, union members and their supporters protesting anti-worker legislation signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker. Farm families also came because the battle against the Republican dominated legislatures and Governor’s austerity budget has terrible consequences for rural communities.

Reaching deep into Wisconsin’s history of farmer-labor alliance, they proclaimed an unbreakable community of interests with public workers. Numerous farm families include public workers in rural community health and service vocations. And lots of public workers have relatives who still farm for a living. Many of the farmers come from conservative rural communities, but several had signs saying “Republican No More!”

The video features Tony Schultz, a third generation farmer who runs a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) co-op farm that provides beef, chicken, pigs and maple syrup for local markets. Tony is a member of the Family Farm Defenders  and the Wisconsin Farmers Union

Photo by Scott Marshall / PW

Madison Scenes from the Class Struggle March 12, 2011 from Scott Marshall on Vimeo.


Scott Marshall
Scott Marshall

Scott Marshall is a vice chair of the Communist Party and chair of its Labor Commission. Scott grew up in Virginia where he first became active in the civil rights movement in high school, working on voter registration and anti-Klan projects in rural Southern Virginia and Tennessee. He was also active against the war in Vietnam.

Scott has been a life long trade unionist and was active in rank and file reform movements in the Teamsters, Machinists and Steelworkers unions in the 1970s and '80s. He was co-chair of the Save Our Jobs committee of USWA local 1834 at Pullman Standard in Chicago and active in nationwide organizing against plant shutdowns and layoffs. He was a founder of the unemployed organization Jobs or Income Now (Join), in Chicago, and the National Congress of Unemployed Organizations in the 1980s.

Scott has worked for the Communist Party since 1987 when he became the district organizer for the party in Illinois, a post he held until he was elected chair of the National Labor Commission in 1997. Scott remains active in SOAR (Steelworkers Active Organized Retirees). He lives in Chicago.