The Wisconsin State Capitol in downtown Madison is center stage in the struggle between unions and a Governor who the unions say is trying to destroy them. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have stormed the Capitol Rotunda this week. Public school teachers have refused to go to work. State Senate Democrats are also playing hooky to stop newly elected Republican Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union actions. By all accounts, the cheese state has ground to a halt.
Our camera crews are on the way to Madison to cover the events live.
The irony in Wisconsin is thick. Governor Walker and the Republican-dominated legislature are trying to balance the state’s budget on the backs of unionized public-sector employees — in the state that, throughout much of the 20th century, represented the heart of the Midwestern labor movement. Wisconsin may be the most dramatic example, but legislatures all over the United States are hacking away at the public sector, education, public transportation and vital services for society. And in Madison, Wisconsin, organized labor is making its biggest stand.
TheUpTake’s journalists Jacob Wheeler and Oliver Dykstra are joining other Media Consortium members — including The Nation, Mother Jones, Free Speech TV, GritTV, Truthout, the Progressive and In These Times — to bring you around-the-clock news from Madison. We’ll camp out with demonstrators occupying the State Capitol, interview unionists, teachers, students, and both GOP and Democratic legislators, and gain perspective from luminaries including The Progressive’s Matt Rothschild and The Nation’s John Nichols.
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