Monday, February 21, 2011

"Wisconsin Revolts: A Stirring Video Chronicle"

Peter Rothberg (The Nation), with video (05:38):
We want to commend University of Wisconsin, Madison staff member and former student Matthew Wisniewski [1] for his superb video chronicle of the protests in Madison and recommend it as essential viewing to understand why Madison just witnessed the largest protest in its protest-rich history. [2]

A masterful videographer, Wisniewski won the 2008 Wisconsin News Photographers Association’s College Photographer of the Year Award and brings his nuanced eye, as well as his good taste in music, to these videos.

The short film illuminates the passions that have been provoked, the broad-based opposition to Governor Scott Walker's efforts to destroy public sector unionism in his state, and, just possibly, the stirrings of a popular grassroots movement largely dormant since the week-long protests in Seattle [3] against the WTO more than a decade ago. (And watch at 2:30 of the first video for a stirring cameo by The Nation's John Nichols.)

Howie P.S.: From "Jesse Jackson Tells 50,000 in Wisconsin: 'This is a Martin Luther King Moment!'" (John Nichols-The Nation):
There is no question that the Wisconsinites have taken inspiration from international events. They say as much, mocking the governor as “Hosni Walker.”

But the real connection, the deeper connection, is to the civil rights era, when Wisconsin students and labor leaders were among the most ardent northern backers of the freedom struggle. Union halls in Wisconsin invariably post photos from when King visited, or when their members joined the March or Washington for Jobs and Freedom. And prominent Wisconsinites of a certain age, such as Ed Garvey, the future leader of the National Football Players Association and Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate, proudly recall “going south” as Freedom Riders.

Now, says Jackson, with Walker’s attempt to break the state’s public employee and teachers unions. Jackson sees an attempt to bring some of the crudest structural characteristics of the South to Northern states such as Wisconsin. “The right-to-work laws, the barriers to unions, these were put in place to prevent workers from coming together, to keep black and white divided, to make it impossible for everyone to rise together,” explained Jackson. “Now, after all these years, they are bringing them north.” MORE...

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