One year anniversary of demonstrations at State CapitolOrganizers who launched the pro union rallies at the State Capitol last year briefly occupied the rotunda again Tuesday to celebrate the one year anniversary of what they call the "uprising."
By: By Gilman Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Organizers who launched the pro union rallies at the State Capitol last year briefly occupied the rotunda again Tuesday to celebrate the one year anniversary of what they call the "uprising."
It was a year ago this week that thousands of people crowded into the State Capitol to protest the passage of a bill that stripped public employee unions of most of their bargaining rights. It was the UW-Madison Teaching Assistants Union that led the charge and created a command center in a hearing room to coordinate the round the clock occupation of the capitol that lasted for the next 17 days. This anniversary crowd of about 200 people was nowhere near the size of the massive rallies of a year ago, but TAA union president Alex Hanna says the political momentum surrounding the effort to recall Gov. Walker is still growing.
“It's going to keep on going and manifest in other ways. We're going to rebuild our organizations we're going to have vibrant unions and vibrant student organizations,” Hanna said. “Something like this couldn't have happened if we didn't have that kind of community. The recall is one important part of it and we're going to go beyond that too."
Hanna says his members at the university are feeling the pinch of the budget cuts included in Gov. Walker's budget.
"They're canceling classes and have less positions for graduate employees and also faculty and relying more on contingent labor,” Hanna said. “We need legislators in office and executives who are going to defend public education and really commit to the Wisconsin idea, this being the 100th anniversary of it."
Hanna says he's optimistic about the outcome of possible recall elections and the chance to elect a governor willing to reverse the current policies.