imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Tea Party Stooges Join Wisconsin Protests

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 at 1:06 AM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

worker struggles

Tea Party Stooges Join Wisconsin Protests - by Stephen Lendman

It was reminiscent of November 22, 2000 Florida, outside the Miami-Dade County Canvassing Board offices when dozens of imported Bush-Cheney ruffians rampaged through Miami's County Hall, disrupting the recount of about 10,000 undervotes, ballots with no presidential choice registered.

They assaulted Democrat party representatives, near rioted, and succeeded in halting the process. As a result, hundreds of Gore-Lieberman votes weren't counted in largely Democrat Dade County.

Fraud, intimidation and ties to big money infest US politics. Washington's criminal class is bipartisan, but Republicans are especially brazen. Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker matches the worst of his Capitol Hill counterparts. Likely he's been chosen for his role and was directed by party bosses to wage open warfare on labor rights, the same scheme playing out across America, including by Democrats, many as extremist as Republicans at a time working people are being hammered relentlessly.

Target one is America's middle class, headed for extinction by decades of wealth shifts to super-rich elites, millions of high-pay/good benefit jobs offshored to cheap labor markets, and unions earmarked for elimination - policies Washington's duopoly endorses.

Outside the beltway, Wisconsin is ground zero, but anger is spreading and may erupt anywhere at a time workers are struggling to save hard-won labor rights, targeted for elimination. As Wisconsin goes, so goes America perhaps.

The stakes are that high. Bipartisan complicity is involved. So are union bosses tied to corporate interests against their own rank and file, concerned only for their own welfare and self-enrichment. For decades, they betrayed their loyal members, functioning as wealth and power instruments, not legitimate labor leaders the way early organizers envisioned.

Reports from the Scene

On February 20, Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel headlined, "Biggest protests yet as pro-Walker side, larger union crowd meet peacefully." Well, mostly. One Tea Party announcement said: "bring cleaning supplies to clean up the pigsty the liberal union goons left behind at OUR house."

Overwhelmingly against them were teachers, students, police, firemen, other public service workers, and many private sector ones, knowing their own rights are at stake.

Against them were pro-Walker supporters brought in by influential extremist groups like Americans for Prosperity, the billionaire Koch brothers (David and Charles), Freedom Works (chaired by former Republican House majority leader Dick Armey), and other right-wing organizations, with America's major media providing anti-worker coverage.

According to Media Matters, right-wing media, especially TV, "characterized the protests as 'riots' and 'uprisings' and attacked the protesters as 'thugs' who could 'get violent.' " In fact, they're working class Americans, teachers, professors, students, police, firefighters, nurses, and supportive spouses, united in solidarity for decent jobs, a living wage, essential benefits, and a secure retirement. Throughout days of protests, they've been resolute and peaceful, showing remarkable restraint despite an all-out assault on their rights.

Walker wants to double their out-of-pocket contributions to healthcare and pensions, amounting to an eight to 20% haircut by most estimates. Most disturbing, however, would be loss of collective bargaining rights, indexing pay raises to the grossly understated CPI index, and giving Walker emergency powers to fire workers unilaterally.

On February 19, Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reported "no political compromise in sight," writers Bill Glauber and Don Walker headlining, "Struggle could change the way government does business with its employees," saying:

At issue is "nothing less than a defining moment for organized labor in America." It's a national battle pitting rank and file workers against politicians, corrupt union bosses, and big money, "an epic struggle" to save hard-won worker rights on the chopping block for elimination.

Wisconsin's Historic Significance

Ironically, Wisconsin is AFSCME's birthplace - the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, representing a diverse group of 1.6 million public employees.

It's also where government workers, in 1959, first gained collective bargaining rights, three years before federal ones. Today's conditions are far different. States across the country claim budget shortfalls require painful choices on the backs of working people, not elitists getting tax cuts.

As a result, workforces are being slashed and benefits cut, including wages, healthcare, Medicaid and other help for the nation's poor. Everything's up for grabs for reductions or elimination in a ruthless race to the bottom at a time America's super-rich get more than ever, thanks to bipartisan policies favoring them at the expense of most people losing out.

According to Cornell University Labor Studies Professor Richard Hurd:

"Attempting to dramatically change the laws and the way collective bargaining is handled will be noticed in Wisconsin. It's happening there. It's happening in Ohio. Even in New York" with a Democrat governor and legislature. "This is the first time we've seen such a widespread thing to seek concessionary bargaining in the public sector (to) roll back" important rights.

As a result, they're literally on the line. At stake is losing them entirely with Walker spearheading the assault, a Republican-chosen attack dog.

On February 19, New York Times writers Monica Davey and AG Sulzberger (son of Times publisher Arthur Punch Sulzberger, Jr.) said "Republicans waited in frustration, Democratic senators showed no inclination to return and Mr. Walker put off the release of his budget proposal (until March 1), with no end to the battle in sight."

In a separate article, Davey headlined, "For Wisconsin Governor, Battle Was Long Coming," saying:

Angry protesters demand his recall, "calling him a bully and likening him to Scrooge, Hosni Mubarak, even Hitler. (He's) become a national figure," a lightening-rod, "the man who set off a storm of protest, now spreading to other states..."

"Critics and supporters alike say Mr. Walker has never strayed from his (political) approach....pressing for austerity, and never blinking or apologizing for his lightening-rod proposals."

He's unabashedly pro-business, anti-labor, and, like all politicians, beholden to big money backers. According to Democrat Senator Chris Larson:

"Unions have always been his pinata, over and over. And this time I think he's trying to out-right-wing the right wing on his way to the next lily pad."

Unfazed, Walker said he's "not going to be intimidated, particularly by people from other places." Within days of taking office, he hung a sign on his office doorknob saying: "Wisconsin is open for business," meaning he's brazenly pro-business/anti-labor.

Straightaway, he and state lawmakers passed 7 million in mostly business tax breaks, exacerbating state budget problems. Moreover, according to Democrat party spokesman Graeme Zielinski:

He's "a hard-right partisan who does not negotiate, does not compromise. He is totally modeled after a slash-and-burn, scorched-earth approach that has never existed here before."

Clearly he was chosen for his role to ram through harshness to be replicated nationally. Last fall he was preparing. Before taking office, he urged Republican lawmakers not to approve new lame duck session public workers contracts. Once governor, he wanted "maximum flexibility" to force passage of anti-labor measures. Now he's got it, arrogantly and dismissively, saying:

"Months from now, when this is is enacted and people realize it's not the end of the world, not all, but I think the vast majority, including the vast majority of the public employees, will realize this was not nearly as bad as they thought it was going to be. And we'll get back to work in the Capitol."

Popular Anger Perhaps to Spread Nationally

Opposing him are tens of thousands of committed angry workers, teachers and students, university ones facing a 20% tuition hike, unaffordable for many. Ground zero remains the capitol rotunda, resonating chants, drumbeats, banners and posters showing slogans including: "Tax the Rich." "Wisconsin workers: unite or die," and "United we Stay" combined with "Hell no, we won't go," "Kill the Bill" chants.

One worker spoke for many, saying "Walker wants to turn Wisconsin into" WalMart. Another added, "If they cut our pay further, I would qualify for BadgerCare (health insurance for low income, uninsured families with children), food assistance and home heating assistance." Diluting them ahead is planned, perhaps eliminating them in future cost-cutting. It's happening elsewhere - in California, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and many other states nationally, one round of cuts begetting others in a race to the bottom war on workers.

Their sole defense is resolute unified resistance through protests, strikes, and other actions, hanging tough, staying the course, no matter the long odds against them. The alternative is too grim to imagine, a long march to serfdom, what Walker et al have in mind.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

TheMilitary of Yemen IN In The 1990's A26 5:42PM

The Shortwave Report 04/27/18 Listen Globally! A26 4:03PM

Federal Bank Examiner FDIC recalls year long 1999 robbery in 2017 A26 3:24PM

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy