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#WiUnion / #Recall

I broke down and added a #WiUnion CATEGORY to my blog. It's all about solidarity, man.

A short aside from the usual #WIUnion ranting about information security.

Here's one of what will, certainly, be many, many, legal decisions compelling Gov. Walker to fork over taxpayer money for breaking the law: Gov. Walker has settled with the Associated Press and the Isthmus, offering to not only provide the emails requested in a correctly filed open records request, but also to pay the costs associated with bringing the case to court. (Get used to that 'pay the costs associated' phrase, Wisconsin.)

But here's the part that amuses me: From the Isthmus article:

The requesters also agreed not to use, publish or disclose any home addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers or Social Security numbers that may be contained in these emails.

Emphasis mine.These sort of negotiations are usually pretty standard in open records request, but what really makes me laugh is the fact that there might be a Social Security Numbers in those emails.

So, let me spell this out for you, Walker supporters, because I know many of you aren't really very good at this email stuff. If you sending your Social Security number in an email, there is something very wrong with you.

Don't get mad: Organize!

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Editor's Note: This is a republish of a Facebook "note" written by my dear friend Bob, which I'm sharing as far and as wide as possible (with a few extra linkies.) I hope it inspires you as it has me.

WI Protests

by Robert Paxton

 

 

There's a page from the Republican playbook titled "Piss off the liberals". Google it -- you'll see blog posts, t-shirts and bumper stickers. It's a strong theme for them, because it's a way of forging tribal identity. If it pisses off a liberal, the thinking goes, we must be doing something right because "they" aren't like "us".

The Governor's mind - - as well as those of the Republican caucuses in the Senate and Assembly - - will not be changed by protests. It doesn't matter how cunningly worded the signs are or which lefty star we get to stand up and deliver big applause lines. Why not? All this sturm und drang is proof positive, to the modern Republican, that they're on the right track. You see it in the video, you see it in the sneering contempt of letters like Sen. Fitzgerald sent to Sen. Miller the other day. We're all worked up, and hoo boy, did they ever hit a motherlode!

So: if you believe that your time spent out there will persuade them to change their minds...let me tell you, heart-to-heart from a confirmed and unabashed Liberal, that you will not succeed in that goal. But! Don't let that stop you from going out and protesting. It won't stop me.

See, all this stuff happening right now? The Tea Party, the 2010 election upsets, the 17 (SEVENTEEN!) states all looking to screw the unions all at once? This is the end result of a coordinated and well-funded effort spanning three decades. They're playing a long game, with feudalism as the goal. If you hadn't already guessed, your role is to be a serf.

This has been tried before, several times in our country's history, and we have tools at hand to stop it. Those tools have handles that are hard to grasp, and some of us haven't had to really put hands to them in our adult lives. They have names like recall elections, and strikes, and canvassing for candidates, and getting the vote out on Election Day like it really personally matters - - because it does.

All those teachers and state workers who will soon see their paychecks a couple hundred bucks lighter every month? Those increasing class sizes? Those sweetheart corporate deals which somehow never really materialize any jobs? That's all stuff that can be fixed. But it can only be fixed by looking at this not as a series of "freakouts of the moment" which get people to drop their dinner forks and run to occupy the Capitol...but as a long, sustained and serious commitment on the part of a whole lot of you, to bring your talents and money and energy to bear.

So what are these protests good for? This is the crucible and the flame in which the metal of this next movement are being forged. We're learning how to use the tools now: look at #wiunion on Twitter, or the care and thought the Capitol Committee put into supporting round-the-clock protests for weeks...supplying food, medical care, people to talk with, purpose for congregating. These protests are where we can intertwine our roots, exchange email addresses and build the resolve to see each other again at the next targeted, focused inflection point where we can genuinely cause a shift.

The recall petitions for the 8 eligible Republican senators are the first place which could use help. The election of Kloppenburg to the Supreme Court in 3 weeks is the next. In November, the petition drive to get Walker and Kleefisch out of office is the next after that.

These are all goals that will take a concerted effort to pull off. These protests will not make them happen, but they WILL provide needed enthusiasm and networking. That's their real purpose - - the engine by which we can not bowl others over with the sound of our own voice, but buoy ourselves and each other up for the long road ahead.

Don't get mad: organize.

Justice Dawns

Here's the most important thing, I think: Even if you're going out to protest tonight, do something fun. Enjoy yourself. Today has been grueling. Relax, take a breath, and do something you enjoy.

This is not the end of the fight. This is not the way the world ends. This is neither the bang nor the whimper.

Come dawn, the sun will wash across the capitol again. Come 100 tomorrows, the sun will rise, and bathe us all in its glory and light. Come 1000 tomorrows, the skies to the east will welcome morning's first holy rays.

I want to see them with you.

The energy of our drums can change the world

The drums of war called me in my dreams last night. I helped deliver truckloads of drums to those on the front lines.
The drums were ferreted away througought the capitol building, and we had to find them where they were stuffed and hidden away for us by our forward-thining progenitors.

You were there. And so were you.

Ngoma!

We drove our van fast and hard, taking the drums to the people who needed them; we brought them the tools they would use to wage war. It was not a war of differences. It was not a war of killing. It was a war born of unity.

Music Djembé man

Our weapon was our solidarity. Our weapon was our hearts and minds acting as one. The drums beat as one in heart and harmony as the lines and lines of warriors acted in love.

Our love can turn the tide. I believe we can do this. I have seen it in my dreams. Our humanity unites us all.

Click on photos for Creative Commons Attributions.

humanity shared between a throng of human beings-- almost

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I am moved to tears, watching this video. I don’t recommend doing so, but I think you should watch it. It depicts 12 harrowing minutes in the life of Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman as he is heckled, pursued and cornered outside the Capitol by demonstrators. It also depicts some genuine amazing humanity shared between a throng of human beings.

At first, I am shocked at the flashing of the peace sign with a forceful rage. “PEACE! PEACE!” a man screams, flashing his two upward pointed fingers in the face of a would-be aggressor. Later, the same man uses his powerful voice and commanding presence to clear a lane for Sen. Grothman to pass out of the warren he’s trapped himself in. It is with that first aggressive burst of Peace, that the tide turns.
This is the fire-with-fire battle of which so many have been talking. This is a war raged not out of anger, but love. It’s an aggressive, angry love. It’s root-level survival love. This is what it means to hold your anger in your heart.

With those angry shouts of “Peace! Peace!” the energy swirls away from chaos, and and transmutes. You can see the change occur in the video. The crowd isn’t calm, yet, but we’ve dropped below the explosion point. The chant of “You Suck” is replaced with a chant of “Peaceful!” The peacemakers have done their work.
There are aggressors are still in there, lost in their anger, and their range. And some meet their fire with with fire, some shut them down by doubling back their own aggressiveness with a peaceful intent. Some push forward. Some push back. But with desperate calls of “he’s a human being!” the peacemakers hold their space. Even for their enemy. This is the healer’s place on the battlefield. This is the cleric’s role in war: To prevent the melee before it happens.

It is a horrible scene to watch unfurl. Nobody deserves to be dogged like Grothman is as he tries to make his way into work. (He must not have got the secret tunnel memo.) Nobody deserves to lose their pensions, benefits and human rights without representation. Nobody deserves to reap the rewards of raising the ire of so many others.

Nobody deserves what is happening right now in Madison. It is only hurt. We are injured by it.

But, if I believe one thing, it is this: Through the fires of hurt comes change. The spring wind carries on it a sweet song of tomorrow. There will come a thaw, and the earth will continue to turn, and the bottom of the depths of dispair will give us a greater appreciation of the next peak.

The sun will rise again.

Keep Going!

It is easy to forget that, for all the protests, for all the energy, for all the excitement, rage, turmoil, joy, happiness, and change that happens in Madison, life, for most of us, goes ever on.
I saw a tweet today, (a twitter post, as they’re called,) wherein the tweeter backpedaled and apologized for continuing to talk about the Gov. Walker’s continued effort to break unions in Wisconsin. (#Wiunion) I take from that post that someone had told them the were ‘sick of talking politics’ or some such.

Don’t do that.

Keep tweeting, unabashedly, people. Keep talking. Keep singing. Keep protesting. Keep walking. Keep dancing. Keep Drumming. Keep Going.

This is not a short term action. This is never going away. This is how we live now, in a state governed by an angry movement who does not love the People, and sees the People as a collateral to be spent and manipulated to its own end.

If this is not a cause to rally against, to keep speaking out against, to walk the picket line in protest of, then there is no cause so worthy.
This is about the freedom of the middle class. This is about the right to band together. This is about the power of our collective voices. This is about the very real likelyhood that someone you love is going to suffer, arbitrarily, due to someone else's power trip. Is that not a thing worth “tweeting” about?

Tweet, people. Tweet as if your very freedom depends on it.
Because it do.

Fear is the thing we have to fear.

Silence.

People of Wisconsin. Your 1st amendment rights have been attacked. Regardless of what side of the "pubic employee" debate you're on, you are being denied your right to speak through agressive tactics and threats of violence.

What can you do about it? Be brave, and use your words. Act from your heart, and not from your instincts. Think about what you're saying and doing before doing it. Understand the long term implications. Think strategically, not tactically.

But whatever you do, be sure you're on humanity's side. It's not us versus them. It's us and them-- Like it or not, we're all one.

Lead by being the good and noble People I know you to be. Do not give in to your hate, fear, and anger. It the words of Uncle Bill. "Tell them firmly: I am not paid to listen to this drivel."