Firefighters protesting M&I (SMWIA 565)
It's becoming increasingly obvious that the Republican rescission of bargaining rights in Wisconsin was a pyhrric victory for the plutocrats, as it has energized not only labor activists, but folks from all across the political spectrum who are beginning to see the true colors of the Republican Party. As E.D. Kain wrote in Forbes yesterday (yeah, Forbes):
Governors like Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and Jan Brewer are riding on the coattails of the Tea Party, but they’ve become blind to the dangers of their radical policies.
In Wisconsin, Democrats are already promising to step-up recall efforts. But the recalls are only a small part of what is likely going to be a huge anti-Republican backlash across the nation, as working Americans finally realize what that party actually stands for: an playing field heavily tilted toward the rich and powerful, toward corporate power, and against worker rights.
And the backlash won't just be electoral. In the Nation, Mike Elk reports on a grassroots movement to pull deposits from M&I Bank, one of Scott Walker's largest contributors:
The blowback from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s union-busting crusade has only just begun—and it may soon hit the governor where it really hurts: in the deep pockets of his biggest donors. Workers have begun organizing a “Move Your Money Campaign” against M&I Bank, whose employees are among his chief financial backers . . . International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311 President Joe Conway, Jr., told me two union members marched in and pulled a combined $192,000 dollars out of the bank. “Hopefully this sends a message to the bank,” says Conway. “We wanted to illustrate how serious our threat is by having just two of our members pull their money out.“
A senior union researcher estimates that unions have at least $1 billion invested in M&I Bank, mostly through pension funds. Discussions are going on at the highest levels of the labor movement about how exactly to leverage this financial clout in the political debate in Wisconsin. Since the Bank of Montreal is in process of purchasing M&I Bank, US unions have reached out to the Canadian Labour Congress to urge their involvement in a disinvestment campaign.
And now there's a site dedicated to the M&I Bank protest movement.
Walker, Kasich, Daniels and their ilk began to overreach and abuse their perceived "mandates" as soon as they could -- now, the consequences of overreaching are rebounding just as quickly, as it's clear that Americans are fed up with the attacks on the middle class.
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