Skip to main content

That was one of the chants today inside the Wisconsin capitol in Madison. Here's another diary detailing one more day of my spontaneous staycation.

In three words: It's Getting Bigger! No, that's not a testimonial for an herbal E.D. remedy. I'm talking about the demonstrations that literally heated up the capitol. In a show of real bravery, many of the teachers union locals around Madison followed the lead of their brothers and sisters of MTI (Madison Teachers, Incorporated) and called in sick. About a dozen districts were closed today.

I watched the ticker on the local news this morning and was delighted to see that my children's school was closed. My son hitched a ride with a friend, protest signs in tow, and met up with some classmates on ground zero - the capitol rotunda.

My daughter and I quickly made some more signs and the two of us joined the pilgrimage to Madison shortly after. Perhaps you saw my sign when I held it up behind a Fox "News" anchor as he interviewed someone. It said "We're Ba-ack!" on one side and "I Thought Cairo Would Be Warmer" on the other. I swear the cameraman grinned.

When we arrived on the square about 10:00 a.m., I was disappointed that there wern't many protesters. The reason: They were all inside, yelling, singing, banging drums, clanging cowbells, chanting. The place was really heated up - literally. We made our way to the third floor and the heat from all the bodies was nearly stifling. We took off our coats and talked to a couple teachers we know, chanted some, then went back outside for the noon rally.

By this time, the square was filled with people - even more than yesterday. The crowd was ready to roar. And did we roar! More pep talks from the Wisconsin head of the AFL-CIO and the head of the firefighters association. As we listened to one of the speakers detail what she would lose if this bill passes, a buzz went through the crowd. People were texting and checking news sites. Holy Shit! The Democratic senators have left the state and 2 Republicans were missing, so they couldn't get a quorom together!

After the program, we marched around the capitol again, and saw one of the long granite set of steps filled with students. Not college students. Elementary, middle and high school. The sight was unbelievable. "Kill the Bill!" they shouted. "Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Scott Walker Has Got To Go!". As we headed toward the parking ramp to find our car, I saw my son and his friends, about 30 of them. They marched down State Street shouting "We Love Teachers!" I caught up with him to make sure he had a ride home. "We're going to eat, and I've got a ride," he told me. They stopped in front of a packed pizzeria and started shouting "We Love Pizza! And Our Teachers!"

There was something in the air today - Love. People were simply expressing their love. Love for their jobs, love for their students, love for their human rights, love for Wisconsin, love for democracy, and love for America. Today, it dawned on us that we were making history, and as one of the speakers said, someday we can look back and proudly say "I was there."

We were there when the middle class finally stood up and shouted "We're not Gonna Take It...Anymore!"

Sorry no pics today. I forgot to charge the battery :(

Protestors will be occupying the capitol 24/7 until further notice. Another rally on the capitol steps at 5 P.m. local time, and MSNBC's "The Ed Show" will be broadcasting live from the square tonight. If you can get your a$$ to Madison, do it!

Originally posted to Giles Goat Boy on Thu Feb 17, 2011 at 01:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Badger State progressives, and Progressive Hippie.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site