On Saturday February 26th, residents of Milwaukee County gathered at Milwaukee Laborers, Local 113 in support of the plight of Public Employees across the State.
Saturday was slated to mark the State’s largest day of demonstration in Wisconsin History, with satellite rallies also taking place across the country.
The Milwaukee event’s chief organizer, Mandela Barnes along with others who have been active in demonstrations to support worker’s rights, sought to replicate the efforts locally for those who could not make the trip to Madison, but wished to show solidarity.
The event was joined physically by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, County Supervisors Johnny Thomas & Willie Johnson Jr., and County Executive Candidate Chris Abele; event attendees were also joined, remotely by State Senators Chris Larson and Lena Taylor, who both phoned in to address supporters.
The Jeff Stone Campaign was contacted but he could not attend.
County Supervisor Johnny Thomas, who was elected wile Governor Scott Walker served as Milwaukee County Executive, compared Walker’s budget plans to buying a lottery ticket; in the sense that Walker banks on luck, not substance.
When asked if Senate Democrats could possibly be tricked as Democrats in the Assembly were, Senator Chris Larson replied that he knew what kind of tricks Scott Walker may be up to, and they are prepared to remain in Illinois as long as it takes.
Senator Lena Taylor reminded protesters that although in Illinois, they are here (there), fighting for us.
At the event’s conclusion, there were two large novelty greeting cards that were signed by all in attendance.
One card was addressed to Governor Walker, with a sarcastic congratulatory message; the other was a ‘Thank You’ card for the heroic Democratic Senators.
Barnes, with great appreciation, welcomed Mayor Tom Barrett as the initial signatory for both cards. Walker’s Budget Repair Bill is an antonymous approach to the Labor Laws championed by the State of Wisconsin in the 1950’s, and rallies continue to take place all over in opposition of Walker’s attempt to strip public sector employees of their right to collectively bargain.