We had another great turnout last evening when the Overpass Light Brigade met in Milwaukee. 43 people joined us to hold signs, carry flags, play music, and display our new message - VOTE BARRETT JUNE 5. The wind smelled like summer and as the sky darkened a thin fingernail moon poked its way from behind some big union-built buildings. A few early-season boaters were coming in silent off the lake. We parked near the slips and marched across the soccer fields to a lovely footbridge, and set up for a videographer from the Barrett campaign to get some shots for their Facebook and web site. The Milwaukee Molotov Marchers were with us playing their chaordic tunes, sounding so good they risk losing their amateur status. We greeted bicyclists and walkers (oh, that's an awkward word!) and passing motorists. It was a lovely evening to be part of an intervention. This is a movement that does not end on June 6.
Honestly, It has been a difficult couple of weeks if you care about Wisconsin, or at least care about it from the vantage point of fairness, equity and justice. I, and I think a lot of Wisconsinites, have been walking around experiencing the highest highs to the lowest lows depending upon the balance of yard signs on a block, the nature of a random encounter at a store, the results of a poll, the endless stream of lies and fiction from the incessant blathering of talking lizards, the recalcitrance of a national party that has set the bar of support so low even a lame fundraising pitch seems like pure generosity. I feel that I have pre-grieved the condition of our state, where it is astonishing that anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear would support such a corrupt and inept legislature as Walker has repeatedly proven his to be.
It has been hard.
But in the last couple of days, the momentum has turned. There is a renewed energy, a buzz in the air, and it isn't merely the bumblebees that are buzz bombing the vibernums. There is a resolute understanding that we have the last stretch to go in this particular fight, but the struggle will continue, and the struggle will be long, and we are up for the struggle.
So, here we are. People are phone banking. People are canvassing all over the state, people who still talk to one another are talking, and there is a palpable sense of heroic desperation. The Overpass Light Brigade now gets anywhere from 25 to 65 people on any given night. This astonishes me. Calls only go out to an email list a few days before an action so that we don't get unwanted attention from trolls. The Holders of the Lights keep engaging this crazy project, and many lasting friendships have been forged. Our Facebook "reach" is over 80,000, and people all over the world check us out. (Please "Like" us here if you use Facebook.) We've opened chapters in Wisconsin north of Madison (OLB Dane Co) and in Appleton (OLB Fox Valley) and in Harrisburg PA (OLB-Harrisburg), and we are getting a lot of non-mainstream media attention. Mostly, though, we are having a great time pissing off the right wing and giving presence to progressives. We are visible. We are here. We are not going away.
We'll win this thing. Hang in there with us. From now until June 6 will be intense, alive, amazing. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
Oh, and go to Puddytat's wonderful diary to find essential links to donate your support to some great candidates.