Video: Fighting, teaching and learning in Walkerville

MADISON, Wis. – June 11 was day seven of the “Walkerville” tent city. Hundreds of union members and their supporters have been camping out across the street from the Wisconsin State building here in Madison.

It was surprising to see only a couple of hundred “Walkerville” residents around the capital on a beautiful Saturday afternoon – until you realized that hundreds of people who have been protesting here are out every day working in several Wisconsin state senate districts.


Six Republican senators, who voted to support Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to take away collective bargaining rights for public workers, are in the fight of their lives to avoid recall. Union activists, joined by hundreds of supporters who are also alarmed at Walker and the Republican senator’s draconian budget proposals and attacks on voting rights and democracy, are canvasing the neighborhoods every day.

But what a treat to walk around and talk to the “Walkerville” citizens! Great discussions going on all the time. History, political economy, trade unionism, coalition building and many other topics fill the air. The people of Walkerville are not backing down. They are organizing, educating and mobilizing.

Then in the evening, as they return, they are greeted with live music, dancing, history lessons, good beer and food. They can rest and relax with good feelings about where their movement is going. If you get a chance, drop in and give them a hand. You’ll enjoy it.

Photo: Whitney Mann and Kyle Jacobson perform at the Walkerville tent city in Madison, Wis. Scott Marshall/PW


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.