Madison protests ?
posted February 17, 2011 4:15 AM   RSS

are any mefites doing anything protest-y regarding gov walker's assault on the public employee unions? i'm considering making the drive down from central WI at some point in the next couple days to do...something? it would be cool to meet some fellow badger mefites and help to show walker and his pals that WI is not backing down without a fight...i feel kinda useless behind my PC up here... ...what can we do ?
posted by g.i.r. to Proposed (41 comments total)

I wish I could, but I can't do anything unless MPS closes school.
posted by drezdn at 4:23 AM on February 17, 2011

i'm not a public sector employee or even a union member. (i used to be, but changed jobs. i do have private-sector union members in my family, some retired, and also some union friends.) i just think this whole thing is garbage. i feel helpless here behind my keyboard. i feel like i need to show some support...go out and do something, even if it's stand in on the sidewalk and be counted...not sure what to do. i wouldn't be able to come down during the day, but i could do so after work or on the weekend.
posted by g.i.r. at 6:01 AM on February 17, 2011

I don't know about a meetup, but I think what's likely to happen to day is just a really huge crowd, that will stick around well after we lose the vote--so if you want to come down later and be a part of it, there will be something going on.
posted by Mngo at 6:16 AM on February 17, 2011

I'll be out there again, but not sure about a meetup in those crowds. The last few days there have been large rallies at midday and again around 5-6pm for the after-work folks. Anytime you come down you'll find people to march with.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 7:44 AM on February 17, 2011

I'm a temp (private-sector) employee with no PTO and I can't afford to go, but best wishes to y'all and stay safe.
posted by desjardins at 10:16 AM on February 17, 2011

I've been out there with the grad students and UW faculty and will be again today. I'm not a coordinator or anything, but there is plenty to do and see, and inside the Capitol it has been frankly amazing. If it turns into a protracted siege (that was the tenor of things yesterday evening; I was too exhausted to check whether it was an accurate sentiment), I'd be happy to hang out and do protesty things. If you can stay overnight, we've actually been camping out inside the building; it's really cool and a good time.
posted by teremala at 5:00 AM on February 18, 2011

I'll probably go up there today, but yeah, with the crowds / randomness it might not be so meetup-y.

(Not a state worker, not a union member, but a citizen and taxpayer who values them and their work! Plus there is more poison in this bill than just cuts to state workers & collective bargaining.)
posted by mimi at 6:11 AM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Heading out right now.
posted by drezdn at 7:37 AM on February 18, 2011

i think we're heading down after i'm done with work today. i wanna be counted and i want my kids to see what democracy is all about ! (^_^) i'm going to try to get some other central-wisconsinites to come too. not sure if we're going to stay overnight - i do have some family in the area and i'm going to check with them to see what their plans are.

the words and images coming from down there are pretty inspiring.

ed schultz was broadcasting live from there last night, and will be again tonight...
...not that i necessarily wanna be on tv, i just think that's pretty neat-o....
posted by g.i.r. at 7:40 AM on February 18, 2011

Sweet! And, hey, if anyone wants to get together for a bit, or is feeling adrift and would like to help TAA, text me at 332-7109 (Madison area code) and we can figure something out. :)
posted by teremala at 7:50 AM on February 18, 2011

Looks like there is a slight chance I may be able to tag along with one of the caravans of labor people heading up your way from Chicago; if so I might be up for some kind of Mefi thing.
posted by enn at 8:24 AM on February 18, 2011

If there's anything I can do from Milwaukee, let me know. Fastest way to get hold of me is by @ messaging me on Twitter (@desjardins), or memail/gmail me for my phone number.
posted by desjardins at 8:33 AM on February 18, 2011

Former UW-Madison grad student and sometimes employee (1993-1998) here. It's a 6-hour drive there for me, so I won't be joining you (not that I haven't been tempted), but I'm with you in spirit. It's been inspiring to see the images from Madison, both those in public media, and private ones I've seen from friends who are still in the area and participating.

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:57 AM on February 18, 2011

I was there for a while yesterday, and I'll probably go back tonight and over the weekend. I'm not sure I want to try to track down and meet new strangers during the madness, but maybe we could have a post-bill celebration or commiseration meetup?
posted by Vibrissa at 11:09 AM on February 18, 2011

any recommendations for family-friendly restaurants around the capital ?
posted by g.i.r. at 11:44 AM on February 18, 2011

g.i.r., I don't focus on family-friendly much, but you'll probably want to get a bit away from the square, but if not, the Great Dane brew pub is actually pretty low-key. If you want a good fish-fry, you could try the Avenue Bar on East Wash (about 10 blocks). In the other direction, if you walk down state street, there are a lot of restaurants (but tonight there will be a lot of partying students as well); I like Baraka or Himul Chuli for casual food, but there are a ton of options.
posted by Mngo at 12:19 PM on February 18, 2011

I'm in Madison and put out the following note on my FB. I heartily extend the invite to MeFites!

Dear friends,

Tea Party Governor, Scott Walker, is leading a brazen assault on state employees and workers' rights, using a budget deficit -- created by his own corporate tax cuts -- as the excuse.

We must fight this! Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have been protesting at the state capitol. I stand in solidarity with them and the working people who are under attack. I also stand in solidarity with Wisconsin's Democratic state senators, who have left the state in order to prevent the Republican majority in the legislature from ramming the governor's proposal through.

Please show your solidarity by coming to Madison THIS WEEKEND to support Wisconsin's Democratic senators and its public employees.

In addition to attacking state employees' benefits, Gov. Walker's proposal is aimed at stripping their rights to organize and bargain collectively -- a clear example of right-wing union busting. It's a blatant effort by Republicans to destroy institutions that benefit their political opponents ... but the casualties will be real people and families.

All across the country, the Right Wing is waging a campaign to demonize public employees (teachers, bus drivers, etc) and blame them for budget shortfalls. The lies they are telling are appalling. It's an easy enough strategy to understand -- Republicans are exploiting concern about budget deficits and vilifying public employees and their bargaining rights so they can check off one more item long a part of their political to-do list: destroying unions.

Come to Madison! Come for the day, come for the whole weekend, whatever - just get here! If you need a place to crash, I'll hook you up. Hope to see you soon!


posted by andythebean at 3:12 PM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

All my fellow Wisconsin mefites, if you can, you should head to the Capitol over the next few days. Make sure to go in the Capitol building itself if you can, as that's the epicenter, and it didn't really hit me what exactly is going on until I got to the rotunda.

And whatever you do, don't engage the tea party.
posted by drezdn at 10:46 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm the fat guy with the fluffy Amish beard and Buddy Holly/50s glasses. So do we have a time/place we could try to meetup? I heard 12-3 is Tea Party - do we go before, during, after? All of the above? I don't have a celly to make contact, sadly :(
posted by symbioid at 11:31 PM on February 18, 2011

Well - it looks like reddit is having a meetup tomorrow at noon at Starbucks at East Main. I know it's reddit, not mefi, but thought we seem to have a similar crowd (I know some of us are redditors on mefi).

Here's the link

Just an idea, since it seems like we don't have any particular plan?
posted by symbioid at 12:04 AM on February 19, 2011

We are having a rally at 10:30 and I will be helping make sure things stay nonviolent* during, so my vote would be for after. Barriques is two blocks down West Wash; it might be nice to get a little ways away from the Square.

(If anyone is interested, there's also a short bike ride this morning - I'll be wearing the black Ride More Than You Drive t-shirt over a red shirt.)
posted by teremala at 4:34 AM on February 19, 2011

*General question: what are the media reporting on this front? All we have are rumors about Fox trying to spin this as a potential riot, which is frustrating in light of how incredibly polite and orderly everyone has been.
posted by teremala at 4:38 AM on February 19, 2011

my family and i came down friday afternoon and spent some time watching and participating. it was truly awe-inspiring. we had our kids in tow, and our youngest (4) had just overcome being sick the day before, and was still a little tired and cranky, so we didn't stay all night.... but it was incredible to be there even for that short time, soaking up and sharing the positive energy. nthing that you should visit the rotunda...they are rockin' in there !
to all who are there now, and to those who will be going there...stay strong, stay positive !!!
posted by g.i.r. at 10:29 AM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

OK, this is not really a meetup, but I'm doing open "office hours" in between the rallies today, so if anyone wants to chat...
I'll probably be in the study area that I've heard of between 301S and 301E, if it's still operating, so folks could drop on by. Or memail me and I'll try to check in.
Also, tomorrow at 2:30 I'll be organizing a staged reading of "Waiting for Lefty", place TBA. I know some of you are theatre geeks and might be interested.
posted by Mngo at 8:24 AM on February 21, 2011

I raise my ice scraper in your honor.
posted by desjardins at 8:59 AM on February 21, 2011

Between the rallies today, we're doing a free staged reading of Clifford Odets' cheesy labor classic "Waiting for Lefty" at the Bartell Theatre, 113 E Mifflin (seconds from the square).
posted by Mngo at 5:08 AM on February 22, 2011

Anybody else going to the craft-in tonight?
posted by lriG rorriM at 2:30 PM on February 25, 2011

we'll be back to madison to rally on saturday. we rallied with over 500 union workers here in my little hometown last local news channel gave it <50 words and 10 seconds, the other channel didn't even mention it. ugh...
posted by g.i.r. at 5:49 PM on February 25, 2011

Stuff is hitting the fan. Big rally for the budget speech. Depending on events, I'm taking part in a day-long collective art action at the capitol all day Friday--come along!
posted by Mngo at 4:40 PM on February 28, 2011

OK, this art event is on, and we expect at least 100 artist to be around the capitol at some point, making art. Unclear if the doors will be opened to the people's house as ordered.

I'll mostly be working the info point, at the King Street entrance. We have great solidARiTy grafix to hand out. I have a couple of play reading events in the afternoon that I need to facilitate (ever heard of "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis?), but otherwise I'm just hanging out.

If more than 2 mefites manage to show up, I'm suggesting something like a "Ministry of Silly Walkers" action, just looping around the capitol (yes, this is something you'd need a tv to understand). Or just bring me coffee. Or bring your weirdo crafting projects (a lot of knitters here). Bottom line is that if you have any cultural expression to make, I'll give you a semi-cool name badge and/or sticker to go with it. And if we get the screen printer we hope for, maybe tshirts!

There's a facebook event called "Artists in Solidarity at the Capitol" and a Twitter tag: #artforwisconsin

You can memail me, or twitter to @indarkrooms

Would love to see a couple of you there!
posted by Mngo at 8:31 PM on March 3, 2011

Oh, I'm a short (and not slim) white guy with a temporary beard and a red W hat with a Union Yes button. I + Metafilter shirt will be concealed, Superman style.
posted by Mngo at 8:34 PM on March 3, 2011


I live in Bay View but I can meet you at a park & ride (State Fair, Goerkes Corners, whatever). I have a car, I'm just terrified of driving in a crowd in a city I don't know well. I'm a non-smoker but I don't really care if you do as long it's not constant chain smoking.

memail me here, or contact me on twitter @desjardins or mmedesjardins /at/ gmail \dot\ com

Alternatively, if anyone knows of buses from MKE that are open to the public (I'm not a student or union member), please let me know.
posted by desjardins at 6:19 AM on March 4, 2011

Dang, Desj, wish I could help. Check Badger bus (internet is terrible in the capitol right now or I'd do it).
If you do drive, it's pretty simple. Do a google map to come in E. Washington, and when you're 1 block from capitol there's a 1-way loop with a parking garage on just about every block. memail me if you have other questions or want my phone #.
It's beautiful and quiet inside right now, a few folks just wandering around or standing with signs, and me singing a show tune or reading a poem now and then.
posted by Mngo at 8:04 AM on March 4, 2011

Badger Bus is the way to go if you can't locate a union-sponsored bus. They stop at Goerke's Corners if that's more convenient than the downtown bus depot. Either Madison stop (Memorial Union on campus, or Kelley's Market on W. Washington) would put you within a few blocks of the Capitol.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 8:20 AM on March 4, 2011

Got the transport/parking situation handled, thank you all! Mngo, I'll stop by your booth tomorrow.
posted by desjardins at 11:14 AM on March 4, 2011

Mngo, do you want to update this IRL post with your art event? It would get it onto the main page and off the "proposed meetups" listing.

g.i.r., can you update if Mngo can't? It'd be cool to let mefites know where to find another mefite.

Most likely I'll be wearing a gray parka over a purple fleece. I'm a really petite white tomboyish female.
posted by desjardins at 2:08 PM on March 4, 2011

i'll be down there, somewhere, with a great big red drum hanging around my neck and my 'fighting bob' sign sticking out the back of my coat :)
posted by g.i.r. at 6:23 AM on March 5, 2011

Missed that boat, desjardins. We barely had time for planning and still had a good turnout, with everything from pottery to poetry to ballroom dancing.
posted by Mngo at 7:20 AM on March 5, 2011

I'll be interested in seeing what happens in about a week or so as I am coming up to view schools. Considering how long this has been ongoing, I hope there is some reasonable conclusion.

Off hand, are there any Metafilter people who attend either Madison or Whitewater and would want to give me a tour? I know Madison is supposed to be on break.
posted by graxe at 3:57 PM on March 7, 2011

Graxe, there are organized tours of campus, through admissions. (I don't know where I'll be, but don't fail to walk up state street, through the capitol, and get out to Willy Street to look around.)

There will definitely be action at the capitol, as students are only a small but crucial part of things.
posted by Mngo at 6:06 PM on March 7, 2011

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