Jake Weinraub

Video: Forward, Not Backward!

Filed By Jake Weinraub | February 19, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Intern Jake, union members, Wisconsin

Editors' Note: Intern Jake works behind the scenes here at Bilerico Project. He's a student at the University of Wisconsin and has been at the recent demonstrations at the Statehouse all week. He sent in this video from the capital to share with Projectors.

I captured this on my cell phone at the Statehouse in Madison. Do you stand with the union workers of Wisconsin? Are you a union member?

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Kathy Padilla | February 19, 2011 2:06 PM

Yes - and yes - I am a union member.

Besides the "shock doctrine" ginned up budget crisis - it seems the Gov is neglecting to mention other federal funds he puts at risk by eliminating collective bargaining:

Madison Metro Could See Big Changes

Posted: 11:07 pm CST February 17, 2011Updated: 7:48 am CST February 18, 2011
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MADISON, Wis. -- Madison's Metro bus system could see big changes under the governor's budget repair bill.

The city's transit system would have two options if the governor's bill passes.

Either the system must be completely restructured, or lose $45 million in federal funding.

The situation came about because federal law requires collective bargaining rights on wages, pensions and working conditions for that aid. City officials say this detail is something that was overlooked by many.



If this is correct - all funds the state receives via FTA, FHWA & FAA may be lost if they get rid of collective bargaining. That's orders of magnitude higher than the $45 million one city recipient in a state would lose. All public transit, bridge & highway, airport & many stimulus projects fall under that funding stream.

That's a boatload of funding every year that WI would have to forfeit.

I hope you're able to grab more video, Jake.

The response of unions and working people in to anti-worker/anti-union attacks demonstrate three of the central trends that will define US politics for the next decade.

First, there is no recovery. The Long Depression is deepening under the impact of global warming (1) which, along with market speculators, are driving the price of food and consumer energy up and up. (2) Sharp rises in the cost of food, clothing and energy consumables, the certainty of a new wave of foreclosures of homes and business properties (3) and the financial crises facing forty-five of the fifty states (4) are creating conditions with will radicalize large layers of working people and consumers.

Second, federal and state governments and the Democrats and Republicans, as always in the employ of the rich, are imposing deep cuts in social services and Obama's rejected the idea of aiding the states whose financial crisis means they'll emulate federal austerity measures.

Obama is leading the attack. proposing cuts in home energy for heating. He's clearly signaled that he's willing to compromise Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid if the Republicans so much as give him a dirty look or two. In big states like California and New York Democrats Brown and Cuomo are on the attack against public workers unions. And in over a dozen smaller states Republicans and Democrats alike are proposing some combination of wage freezes, layoffs and ending collective bargaining.

Third, Democrat and Republican efforts to impose these draconian austerity measures on people already reeling under the impact of the current Depression are going to backfire. Big time. So will their efforts to break and bust unions.

Americans - workers, consumers, unemployed youth, people living in Obamavilles - are all busily absorbing the lessons of recent events in Egypt. They're learning why and how to Walk Like an Egyptian and how to Fight Like an Egyptian. All this last week tens of thousands of workers and students stormed the Wisconsin state capital carrying signs reading (Republican Governor) "Walker, Mubarak - Bye, Bye".

As the feds and state governments ramp up their attacks on unions and impose further austerity measures they're going to get a big surprise. They have no idea what awaits them. If largely unorganized workers, facing all the power of a militarized, extremely repressive state like Egypt can do what they did, which is far from over, imagine what the sleeping giant of American labor will do when sufficiently provoked.

Especially with a good leadership. The left has been building unions for decades. We're connected, we have roots and we're spoiling for a (political) fight. They're not ready for things like general strikes which makes Democrats and Republicans cringe. We welcome them.

(1) "We’re in the midst of a global food crisis — the second in three years. World food prices hit a record in January, driven by huge increases in the prices of wheat, corn, sugar and oils." Droughts, Floods and Food, Pau Krugman, New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/07/opinion/07krugman.html

(2) " The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in December... . Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. The gasoline index rose sharply... (and) The household energy index, which declined in November, increased as well. The index for all items less food and energy also rose in December. " US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf

(3) "The housing crisis could peak in 2011, as the number of homeowners receiving foreclosure notices climbs about 20%, putting a further drag on prices, according to the latest forecast from RealtyTrac Inc. As high unemployment persists and banks resume seizures after a moratorium to correct paperwork snafus, the market will see a steady increase in volume this year, the tracker of housing data reported. We will peak in foreclosures and probably bottom out in pricing, and that's what we need to do in order to begin the recovery," Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's senior vice president, said in an interview at Bloomberg News headquarters in New York. "But it's probably not going to feel good in the process." http://moneymorning.com/2011/01/13/housing-crisis-could-peak-2011-foreclosures-rise-to-record/

(4)"As governors across the country prepare their budget proposals for the coming year, they continue to face a daunting fiscal challenge. The worst recession since the 1930s has caused the steepest decline in state tax receipts on record. State tax collections, adjusted for inflation, are now 12 percent below pre-recession levels ... . To date some 45 states and the District of Columbia are projecting budget shortfalls for fiscal year 2012, which begins July 1, 2011 in most states." , http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711