People in this country are realizing that the pro democracy protests in Wisconsin and Ohio are an important part of resisting the totalitarian tactics of the wealthy oligarchs in this country. A lot of queers really get this. For instance, Pride at Work, an LGBT labor group sent out a message to its members in support of Wisconsin. From that email:
Rallies. Crowds spilling into the streets. Seas of people marching together in solidarity. Every day this week, nonstop.
This isn’t just happening in Egypt...but in Madison, Wisconsin.
Schools are closed. Workers, high school and college students, community members, faith groups and concerned citizens have dropped their daily lives to rally against Gov. Scott Walker’s draconian attacks on middle-class jobs and his proposal to strip Wisconsin teachers, nurses, social workers and other public employees of their collective bargaining rights.
Walker’s immediate attack is aimed directly at some 200,000 public workers—but the brave men and women taking to the streets come from every walk of life and recognize that all working people—public and private sector—are in jeopardy. And they know that if we don’t all speak out and stand together, we’ll all be targets.
The right to collective bargaining is vital for all workers, and particularly so for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers. For example, Wisconsin state laws do not include protections against discrimination based on gender identity and expression - so a union is likely the only form of protection for transgender workers.
Even for cis queers, having a union as backup can really help. If you are being discriminated by an employer, courts are an important venue for justice. However, it's your meager resources for lawyers vs. the employer's array of expensive corporate lawyers. Having union support really can help even things out. Of course, making workers of all sexual orientations and gender identities vulnerable is what a corrupt politician like Scott Walker is all about.
Pride at Work is asking people on Facebook to like the We Are One solidarity page.
The grassroots queer group, GetEQUAL, who played a major role in passing LGBT civil rights legislation in the last Congress, is supporting the protests on it's Facebook page. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force also is supporting the peoples' movement.
This shows that there are queer organizations that understand Harvey Milk's vision of queer civil rights as part of a larger movement for civil rights and social justice. The HRC is ignoring the pro democracy protests, showing that all it cares about is big money donations from wealthy donors. Middle class and poor LGBT people don't even appear on the so called "Human Rights Campaign's" radar screen. However, they are happy to profit off of Harvey Milk's name by renting his former shop in the Castro to sell their tacky crap.
The Green Party also is supporting the pro democracy protests. From their 2/22/11 press release.
Green Party leaders declared today that the party solidly supports Wisconsin's public-sector employees protesting a bill introduced by Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate their benefits and collective bargaining rights.
"We in the Green Party are standing out front on this issue by standing with our labor and public service brothers and sisters here in Wisconsin," said AJ Segneri, co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party (http://www.wisconsingreenparty.org).
On Feb. 17, the Wisconsin Greens issued a statement affirming that their party "salutes the state's public workers, and stands in solidarity with their fight to retain full collective bargaining rights with their employers" (http://www.wisconsingreenparty.org/?q=node/97).