Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tea Party Served a Tepid Brew in Wisconsin

For all of the hype about the Wisconsin protests being teabagged, the protesters ended up outnumbering the teabaggers 35 to 1. That's what they get for letting Sarah Palin drive the bus. Poor dear is still out there looking for the place, getting directions from Michele Bachmann. They'll never make it.

I wrote yesterday of how the Wisconsin firefighters were standing in solidarity with the public servants, and I love what they said:
"The reason that we are here is because it's important that labor sticks together. There was a message from the governor's office to conquer and divide...collective bargaining is not just for us, police and fire, it's good for all involved. It's a middle-class upbringing."

"When firefighters see an emergency, one thing we do is respond. And we see an emergency in the house of labor, so that's why we're here."

"Every day, if you notice, we lead the AFSCME employees, the SEIU employees, all the public sector employees into the building, because we are here to fight with them."

"Collective bargaining is not about union rights; it's about rights of workers...We ask Gov. Walker to come back and negotiate with the people, negotiate with the state workers' unions, and get things worked out, as opposed to just putting out this bill and we don't hear from him again."

"Us as firefighters, we have been exempted from this bill...There's a 5.8 percent pay into the pension, there's a 12.4 percent pay into the health care premium benefits...For the betterment of the government, for the betterment of the state, we don't mind helping to pay for that. We don't want to price ourselves out of a job. Ever. What we want to do is have a fair and equitable treatment among our members."
And now these protests are spreading to other states, and even China is a little on edge.

Yeah the people.

And another nice thing happened with these protests, perhaps inspired by the firefighters. The two sides put down their (metaphorical) weapons and talked to each other. Can you imagine political discourse without all the yelling? Be still my heart.
When the two sides in Wisconsin's bitter battle over the future of the state's unionized public employees converged on the Capitol on Saturday for dueling rallies, the fear was trouble would break out. Instead, the day was marked by a surprising civility when the shouting stopped and the one-on-one conversations began.
My favourite photo though, was tweeted from Egypt.

And on that note, it's time to get on your feet again and walk like an Egyptian (and a Wisconsin(ite?)

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