|The Wisconsin state capitol lights up as night falls after a day of protests. (Photo taken 2/26/11 by Bryan Radue, former colleague.)|
I can't describe how amazing it was to be a part of something so big. To be marching and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with over 100,000 people is invigorating. For too long, we have remained quiet; we have let dishonest politicians and wealthy corporations decide how our lives will be lived. Not any longer.
I do have a sad feeling, however, that we in Wisconsin may lose this battle against Governor Walker and his bill. We may lose the rights that belong to all workers--the only thing left that gives a prominent voice to the middle class. But I also feel that we started something important here, something that is far more significant than one single bill or one governor or one state.
The idea has existed for generations that we, the regular middle class, can make an impact on our government. We study it in school, read about it happening in history books, and watch it in documentaries, but until now, I think a lot of people (myself included) were beginning to doubt that we could really change anything about our country. Now, however, I am filled with hope that what is happening in Wisconsin means our voices still make a difference.
Here are pictures from the event:
|The immense crowd of protesters gather around the capitol (Photo taken by Bryan Radue)|
|Signs depicting Gov. Walker as a puppet of the Koch brothers (Photo by Bryan Radue)|
|The rotunda, inside the capitol. I didn't actually make it inside. The line snaked all the way around the capitol and into the street. (Photo by Bryan Radue)|
Here, also, are two of my favorite videos on the Wisconsin protests:
If you're reading this, I hope you'll take the time to find out what this issue in Wisconsin is really about. Realize that it's not about private vs. public workers. It's not about money or the budget (public workers have already agreed to give up part of their take home pay to help with the deficit issue). And it's not a unique problem that exists only in this state. It's all of us in the middle class. All Americans. If you get the chance to join something as important as this, I hope you'll participate and make your voice heard.