Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Democracy in Action on the Capital
I am always hesitant to blog about politics but there is no way out of this one. As I often discuss the square, let me tell you what is looks like today. (See photo) If you aren't a local or haven't noticed us in the "Times," , it is a pretty heavy and stressful time in the land of "Progressive Madison."
A radical move to take away bargaining rights, force public workers to pay more into their benefits, and taking major cuts within schools and governments is just the tip of the iceberg.
And without giving my personal opinion, I will say that I am truly moved every time I walk around the square. On a normal winter day, I look into the windows of eateries and banks.
And now, it is thousands of protesters. A normal walk with my dog is becoming a historical moment. The progressive Madisonians and beyond are chanting various versions of "Walker is evil. He's no Badger." Other variations are "Walker is a weasel. Go home." Weasel or Evil, public employees, teachers, multitudes of union workers, and even toddlers are all over the capital with their signs.
Some people are walking up to the square with pillows and sleeping bags. I am guessing this is a 1960s type of situation. Will it make a difference as this proposed budget bill is aggressively trying to be pushed through legislation? What does this mean to me?
Well - again, I digress and I really don't feel like I can get into it (after all, this blog has my true identity and I am really "Janie Winston").
I will just say that I am moved by all of the people. Madison schools were closed today while all of the teachers were on the square protesting.
And here's another thought - all the local commerce down town is booming right now. Hotels look busy with protesters who want to stay down here, coffee shops are busier than usual and the restaurants and shops around the square are probably doing as well as they do on the Ironman weekend, Badger home games, and the such.
Maybe we need to do this more often. And, if the Egyptians could do it with Mubarak, maybe we can do it with Walker.
I made it without ranting. Let's just say we can agree to disagree.