Young and old, students, teachers, union workers and non-union workers alike — they came from all over to the state Capitol in Madison Saturday for the third week in a row. There was very little organization, and this protest is taking on a life of its own.
They came from all over Wisconsin. And some came from all over the nation. There was a group of state troopers who came all the way from New York. The fake David Koch also came from New York, to a hero’s welcome. And there was a guy who was up late in New York City the night before, writing about the Madison protest and what it meant. About 2:00am, he decided he might as well head to the airport, fly to Madison, and deliver it as a speech. That was Michael Moore, who gave a rousing speech to a huge crowd that spilled outward from the King Street corner of the Square. You can play the video and read the complete text here, on his website. A sample:
Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois — whatever it took, you have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the beginning. The smug rich have overplayed their hand. They couldn’t have just been content with the money they raided from the treasury. They couldn’t be satiated by simply removing millions of jobs and shipping them overseas to exploit the poor elsewhere. No, they had to have more – something more than all the riches in the world. They had to have our soul. They had to strip us of our dignity. They had to shut us up and shut us down so that we could not even sit at a table with them and bargain about simple things like classroom size or bulletproof vests for everyone on the police force or letting a pilot just get a few extra hours sleep so he or she can do their job — their $19,000 a year job. That’s how much some rookie pilots on commuter airlines make, maybe even the rookie pilots flying people here to Madison. But he’s stopped trying to get better pay. All he asks is that he doesn’t have to sleep in his car between shifts at O’Hare airport. That’s how despicably low we have sunk. The wealthy couldn’t be content with just paying this man $19,000 a year. They wanted to take away his sleep. They wanted to demean and dehumanize him. After all, he’s just another slob.
And that, my friends, is Corporate America’s fatal mistake. But trying to destroy us they have given birth to a movement — a movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the country. We all knew there had to be a breaking point some day, and that point is upon us. Many people in the media don’t understand this. They say they were caught off guard about Egypt, never saw it coming. Now they act surprised and flummoxed about why so many hundreds of thousands have come to Madison over the last three weeks during brutal winter weather. "Why are they all standing out there in the cold? I mean there was that election in November and that was supposed to be that!
And that’s why people are coming here from all over the country. It’s their fight too. We’re fighting for the future of all America. It’s not just about unions. It’s not just about money. It’s about democracy.
Tagged: , michael moore , #wiunion , #notinmyWI , #solidarityWI , union , public , employees , rally , protest , speech , madison , wisconsin , capitol , protesters , democracy