MADISON, Wis. - June 11 was day seven of the "Walkerville" tent city. Hundreds of union members and their supporters have been camping out across the street from the Wisconsin State building here in Madison.
It was surprising to see only a couple of hundred "Walkerville" residents around the capital on a beautiful Saturday afternoon - until you realized that hundreds of people who have been protesting here are out every day working in several Wisconsin state senate districts.
Six Republican senators, who voted to support Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to take away collective bargaining rights for public workers, are in the fight of their lives to avoid recall. Union activists, joined by hundreds of supporters who are also alarmed at Walker and the Republican senator's draconian budget proposals and attacks on voting rights and democracy, are canvasing the neighborhoods every day.
But what a treat to walk around and talk to the "Walkerville" citizens! Great discussions going on all the time. History, political economy, trade unionism, coalition building and many other topics fill the air. The people of Walkerville are not backing down. They are organizing, educating and mobilizing.
Then in the evening, as they return, they are greeted with live music, dancing, history lessons, good beer and food. They can rest and relax with good feelings about where their movement is going. If you get a chance, drop in and give them a hand. You'll enjoy it.
Photo: Whitney Mann and Kyle Jacobson perform at the Walkerville tent city in Madison, Wis. Scott Marshall/PW