Celebrate Wisconsin values and join in the recall with public safety workers: Saturday Dec. 3rd in Madison

Rescue Collective Bargaining
Image from eaghra

I was one of the thousands effusively thanking firefighters and police officers for standing in solidarity with all workers in Madison’s protests. They were there despite the fact that Walker’s attack didn’t focus on them. Now you and I have a chance to thank public safety employees again for keeping the faith as we recall Walker and Kleefisch at a special gathering at Madison’s Labor Temple on Park Street, December 3rd, 2:00PM to 6:00PM

While I might be focused on thanks, the public safety employees organizing this recall event are focused on values. Specifically the Wisconsin values that are not reflected in Walker’s agenda. From the event’s press release:

“By coming together to sign the recall petitions, Wisconsin’s public safety professionals are rejecting the destructive agenda of the Walker administration. This agenda goes beyond the union-busting legislation which stripped large numbers of Wisconsin’s working men and women of their voice in the workplace. It includes devastating cuts to municipalities that directly harm police and fire services across the state, and cuts to Wisconsin’s educational, healthcare, and environmental protection systems which attack the very fabric of this state. In return, the Governor has transferred hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to special interest groups and campaign contributors… These are not the values or results which make Wisconsin great, and Wisconsin’s public safety workers will not stand by while our state is raided by special interests. Our signatures to the recall petitions are our way of saying “enough is enough.””

I hope we’ll also get a chance to hear about the battle fought and won in Ohio against Kasich’s nightmare union-busting bill, SB5 from Mark Sanders, President of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters. The bill was defeated 61 percent to 39 percent November 8th in a referendum with the aid of 17,000 volunteers.

Along with Sanders, Madison’s public safety workers will also welcome Harold Schaitberger, International Association of Fire Fighters General President.

Harold Schaitberger has stood with us in Madison delivering fiery speeches during our mass protests. I expect to be moved by powerful words on Saturday, as well.

Here he addresses firefighters and emergency services workers from the U.S. and Canada at a convention, beginning his speech by describing the political hurdles facing public workers.
This speech is well worth your time.
” ..this is about an empowered right wing that is ruthless and unrelenting, not just in Washington DC but at the state level where we see the American Legislative Exchange Council –under the radar screen not many pay attention to it –but ALEC, a think tank funded by the Koch Brothers, Exxon Mobil, and over 300 corporations developed, prepared, and distributed anti-worker anti-union legislation handed off to over 2,000 conservative GOP members of state legislatures across the country by the end of last year. And those right wing idealogues then introduced 856 anti-labor, anti-worker bills in 26 states so far this year designed to wipe out collective bargaining where it exists, promote right to work …end project agreements and prevailing wage, eliminate union dues deduction simply to kill us….”


Backup link to video.

Here you can listen to Mark Sanders respond with composed anger to manipulation of an ad originally made to support Ohio firefighters. You’ll hear him describe how the testimonial of Marlene Quinn was twisted by a GOP group that took footage without permission and made it sound like she was in favor of Kasich’s union-busting measures.


Backup link to video.

And surely we will hear some excellent bagpipe music. Can’t wait. Please join me at this event.

Map to 1602 S. Park St., Madison WI

Full Press Release:
The Madison Professional Police Officers Association, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311, and the Dane County Deputy Sheriffs Association today announce a public safety workers recall event on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011, from 2:00PM to 6:00PM at the Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park Street called “Returning to Wisconsin Values.”

On that date, police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, dispatchers, and other public safety workers from across the area will gather together as one voice to sign the petitions to recall Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefish.
We are very pleased to announce that on that date, we will be joined by International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger. General President Schaitberger has been leading the IAFF’s “fighting back” effort to protect workers rights throughout the country.

In addition, we will be joined by Mark Sanders, President of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters. President Sanders and the OAPFF led the successful charge in repealing Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 and showed the rest of the country that the public does support their public employees.

By coming together to sign the recall petitions, Wisconsin’s public safety professionals are rejecting the destructive agenda of the Walker administration. This agenda goes beyond the union-busting legislation which stripped large numbers of Wisconsin’s working men and women of their voice in the workplace. It includes devastating cuts to municipalities that directly harm police and fire services across the state, and cuts to Wisconsin’s educational, healthcare, and environmental protection systems which attack the very fabric of this state. In return, the Governor has transferred hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to special interest groups and campaign contributors.

The results of the Governor’s policies are becoming clear: Last month, Wisconsin led the nation in job loss, shedding over 9,700 jobs primarily in the private sector, while our neighbor to the south, Illinois, led the nation in job creation, adding 30,000 new jobs. Additionally, Wisconsin leads the nation in educational cuts, diverting $635 per student. These are not the values or results which make Wisconsin great, and Wisconsin’s public safety workers will not stand by while our state is raided by special interests. Our signatures to the recall petitions are our way of saying “enough is enough.”

Feb 24: Noon Vote, Firefighters, Koch Brothers, Amy Goodman

Forgive me for this is a post dashed off quickly. But I want to make sure people know about these events of note for today:

11:30-ish A much-rumored huge gathering of fire fighters will occur at Wisconsin’s capitol. I did call a local firehouse to be told only that it was fairly spontaneous and will be large. Firemen will met at Station Number 1 – 316 W. Dayton St. – 11:30am & following, march two short blocks to the Capitol.

12 Noon- The projected time of an Assembly vote on their version of the earlier Senate version of the Budget Repair [or “Disrepair”] Bill that was the cause of an earlier departure of our 14 Democrat Senators for Illinois.  You can watch events unfold live at Wisconsin Eye – a non-profit “CSPAN” for Wisconsin. Continue reading