Monday, February 28, 2011

Police Refuse to Remove Protestors in Madison

Unionized police and firemen have refused to remove the strikers occupying the Wisconsin Capitol building. The capitalist media is characterizing this as a "failure of the authorities to remove the protesters" and making jokes about "Motel 6 Madison" and "Big Labor Slumber Party."

Perhaps the "journalists" employed by the media should check in with the actual police officers to see what they think. From the Madison Professional Police Officer's web page:
The Association of Madison Police Supervisors joins other labor organizations in opposing Governor Walker's proposed budget repair bill. This proposal will do little to help the State's budget problems, but will have a drastic impact on thousands of hardworking public servants. The public employees who would be impacted by this proposal provide vital services to citizens every day and are an essential part of Wisconsin's economy. Their work is critical to the quality of life in our communities.

While the bill exempts most public safety employees, the impact on fire and law enforcement supervisors – who are not fully covered by Wisconsin's Municipal Employee Relations Act – is less clear.

Wisconsin has a long history of collective bargaining with public employees. The current State budget problem can be addressed under existing law and without reversing decades of tradition. Pursuing such a drastic change to Wisconsin law with no time for reasonable debate, discussion or contemplation is a disservice to our citizens.[1]
The IWW is calling for a general strike in support of the protesting workers[2]. Meanwhile, Republican and Democratic governors across the US are taking aim at public sector workers in an attempt at massive union busting in the name of fiscal responsibility.

The reality is that these same people are unwilling to take on the root problem - namely that the top 10% wealthiest citizens, and corporations, are not paying their fair share of taxes. In addition, the state governments are spending huge portions of their budgets on interest payments for massive and generally meaningless projects simply designed to funnel money to specific business interests while not improving the welfare or economic vibrance of the communities footing the bill.

The media serves the interests of the ruling classes and at every turn makes a mockery of the efforts of working people to carve out a decent existence, and most especially when they decide not to take it anymore.

Without an independent, non-corporate media, democracy cannot exist, and working people suffer. The only alternative is for working people to create their own media, their own information networks, and fight back against injustice, lies and distortions on their own terms, based on what they know to be right, not what they are spoon-fed by right-wing demagogues.