(anarchistnews.org) As we speak, tens of thousands of people are fighting back in Madison, Wisconsin. What began as an attempt by Republican governor Walker to implement sweeping austerity measures and take away the ability of unions to collectively bargain, has created a massive grassroots working class response. At a time when students and workers here in California face similar attacks, it is important to note how collective action is not only necessary, but also possible.
Many teachers first responded to the news that their jobs might be lost and they would lose the ability to collectively bargain by launching a wildcat strike through the calling in of sick days. Students, not to be out done by their teachers, walked out of their schools, and in some instances, launched brief occupations. Disability activists today also occupied for a short time the Republican HQ, before police arrived to spoil the party. Tea party activists have largely been shouted down, and despite their ‘grassroots’ efforts to counter the united force of public and private sector workers and their kids, have been totally unsuccessful. Seems their bumper sticker militancy only goes so far. Tens of thousands are now occupying the capital to demand that the bill be struck down and are threatening a general strike; at the same time Walker readies the National Guard. Many have also been inspired by the unrest in the Middle East. If people can get their leaders removed their, what is stopping us from doing it here?
Where this revolt goes now is up to us. Will people accept the attacks of the Republicans and also the sell outs of the Democrats and the union heads? Will they listen to the union leaders when told to return to work or to stop calling out sick? Will kids return to school? The choice is ours. Capitalism offers us nothing. While we must resist each and every attack, a return to the status quo is a defeat as well. In the end, we don’t want the ability to argue over crumbs with the scum who would sell us out for polluted skies and potato chips. We want freedom, we want control over our lives and streets, and we want a future that does not include wage slavery and a ravaged earth. We have power now in Madison, let us use is – to sweep this class divided society into the dustbin of history once and for all.