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Workers’ Uprising: Large Protests in Ohio Where Vote on Anti-Union Bill Could Come Tomorrow; Progressives Go After GOP Senators With Potential Recall; Judge Orders Madison Capitol Building Re-Opened

Created: 01 March, 2011
Updated: 26 July, 2022
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3 min read

Follow the latest developments and analysis on the democratic uprising spreading from Wisconsin to the rest of the country.

The protests in Wisconsin continue into their third week, with thousands holding strong in the capitol in Madison, a huge showing of support for the economic rights of union members and the restoration of a strong middle class. The following is a collection of updates and items on what’s happening in Wisconsin and the rest of the country.

Update: In Wisconsin, the state house was closed yesterday to people who didn’t have official business in the building. But today, judge  Daniel Moeser granted the state’s public employees’ unions’ request for a temporary restraining order, and ordered keeping the capitol building open for visitors. The Walker administration is appealing the ruling, and, according to the Madison Capital Times, it is ” unclear how, and how soon, state officials would comply with a Dane County Judge’s ruling to reopen the state Capitol to the general public.”

Suzie Madrak dug into the state Constitution, and pulled this out:

Article I, §4 – ANNOT.

The legislature cannot prohibit an individual from entering the capitol or its grounds. 59 Atty. Gen. 8.

Article I, §4

Right to assemble and petition. Section 4. The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.

Update: According to Democracy, Now!, “Ohio lawmakers are expected to vote on a measure that would strip collective bargaining for state employees as early as Wednesday.” Reports of a very large group of protesters on the lawn of the Ohio state house are coming in via Twitter.

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Update: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America have launched a robo-call campaign to mobilize support for an effort to recall several Wisconsin Republicans in Wisconsin in the wake of the state GOP’s shameful support for Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting plan.

Featuring PCCC member and Wisconsin teacher Aimee Auer, the robo-calls are expected to reach 50,000 Wisconsin voters to gauge voter interest in recalling several Wisconsin GOP legislators who are vulnerable to recall: state Sens. Luther Olsen, Robert Cowles, and Dan Kapanke, who can be recalled now, and Senate President Michael Ellis and Dale Schultz, who will be eligible for recall in a year. “We will not be bullied by Gov. [Scott] Walker’s unfair attempt to attack workers and take away our rights,” said Wisconsin DFA member Ron Biendseil in a statement. “And if the Republicans go along with Walker, they will be looking for new jobs sooner than they think.”

Update: Last week, Gallup found that Americans opposed stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees by a 2:1 margin. A new poll released today by CBS and the New York Times found that in general, a third of Americans have a favorable view of unions and a quarter view them unfavorably. But opposition to killing public’ unions right to negotiate or balancing budgets on the backs of public workers is strong: 

Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them. Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines. A majority of respondents who have no union members living in their households opposed both cuts in pay or benefits and taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Bad news for conservative union-busters.

Updates complied from AlterNet at www.alternet.org.

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