The wave of pro democracy protests that started in Tunisia is spreading farther and farther. First, it was Arab countries. Then, it Iran. Now, the pro democracy wave has hit the state of Wisconsin. (AFP 2/17/11)
A bill aimed at busting public workers unions in the US state of Wisconsin prompted mass protests and a statewide police hunt for Democratic lawmakers who fled to block the measure's passage Thursday.
Police estimate that more than 20,000 protesters flooded the state capital of Madison, some even sleeping overnight in the public galleries of the statehouse.
Normal life was brought to a halt by the legislative crisis, with scores of schools closed as teachers and other government workers called in sick and hit the streets to fight for their collective bargaining rights.
Just as was the case in pro democracy protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere, there is a major economic element to the pro democracy protests in Wisconsin. In all of these cases, you had corrupt illegitimate leaders stealing from ordinary people in order to enrich the wealthy elites of those societies. The AFP coverage acknowledged that the protesters see the connections.
Many protestors appeared to be taking inspiration from the recent democratic uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, with some even wearing King Tut hats.
Keep in mind that the fringe right extremist Scott Walker is illegitimately holding the office of Governor of Wisconsin as the result of massive election rigging involving big money campaign contributions from wealthy donors (including the Koch brothers), corporatist PAC money, direct corporate campaign spending, and a highly censored and propagandistic corporate press which is reminiscent of the non free press in the former Soviet Union and its satellite states.
The "election" that put Walker in power was as fake as the "elections" that Hosni Mubarek held and the ones that Stalin staged in the USSR.
The similarities between Walker and totalitarian dictators doesn't there. Walker has utter contempt for basic human rights like the right to strike and the right to organize unions and negotiate for wages and working conditions.
Walker also is fond of using deliberately deceptive propaganda to push his fascist, anti American political agenda. He is fond of lying about a phony "budget crisis" in Wisconsin despite the fact that making his wealthy donors pay their fair share in taxes would convert the state's deficits into surpluses that could create jobs throughout Wisconsin. It isn't a budget crisis. It's a corruption crisis that is bought about by the very kind of election rigging that put Walker into office in the first place.
I'm glad to see that the pro democracy movement has reached the USA. It's long overdue.