By Cynthia & Michael Orange
Ed Note: Cynthia and Michael Orange are both published authors and contributing journalists to VetSpeak.org, their most recent piece being from Kent State on May 16th of 2010, the 40th Annual Commemoration of the National Guard shootings at Kent State on May 10, 1970, entitled The Start of The Crescendo. They are in Madison this week-end, covering the demonstrations regarding union busting legislation imposed on the people of Wisconsin by Governor Scott Walker and his band of Teatards and mean spirited Repug operatives in the Wisconsin legislature. They are blogging live, and Speaking Truth To Power on the outrageous implications of this legislation and the resulting demonstrations from the heart of the struggle... WH
Madison, Wi - Cynthia and I are in Madison. We've been marching, singing, and shouting for 5 hours already today. The energy here is electric! This IS what Democracy looks like! I'm especially impressed by the dedication, enthusiasm, and creativity of the youth protest. I haven't seen this level of youth participation since I was protesting as a youth 40 years ago. It's so wonderfully encouraging. To see them shoulder-to-shoulder with the union representatives, the teachers, cops, firefighters, and the regular peacenik crowd I'm used to is amazing. The Capitol Rotunda is a power plant of energy. Organization is amorphous--meaning, there is none. There's a battery powered microphone in the center of the Rotunda that is open to one and all. We use songbooks with all the classic songs of protest and some modified lyrics to rhyme with "Wisconsin," which shows up a lot after the first verses.
Tomorrow offers a continuous sequence of events and the numbers are expected to swell to perhaps a hundred thousand. This is Wisconsin, so the farmers are driving in 50 tractors and surrounding the Capital tomorrow. Over a thousand high school students walked out of classes yesterday and today (also in 14 other states). Democracy Now has given events great coverage as did MSNBC last night with Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow.
Regardless of the undemocratic actions of a handful of Republicans here to reverse decades of law and practice, this is a great victory for the people that is unfolding for the long run.