Photos, Tidier notes, and Twitterati from the “Organizing the Occupation” panel

Photos from the NOI 5/12 “Organizing the Occupation” panel at UW Madison, with my notes. Reminder:  I am usually only paraphrasing the speakers. Skip to the end for the twitterati contact info.

I’ve heard NOI is making a video of the panel available later this week.

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My notes from “Organizing the Occupation”:

5:10pm

Tom Foley is introducing the concept of Scott Walker’s entry into the political scene of WI right now. We are in the Union South Bldg. of University of Wisconsin at Madison in Wisconsin

On the panel is Melissa Ryan, New Media Director of NOI. Also here is Senator Larson, Emily Mills, Chris Liebenthal, and Max Love. Emily Mills is a blogger with Isthmus, a co-editor of blog dane101, and a musician. Chris Liebenthal is a Milwaukee County social worker, activist, and avid blogger at multiple locations –  though he’s best known as the man behind Cognitive Dissidence.  Max Love is a UW student who helped organize protest and occupation at the Capitol in Madison. He’s with Badger Impact and he’s blogging the unflagging protest of UW Madison’s community at tenacious transparency. Moderating is Tom Foley who blogs at  illusory tenant with a mix of biting humor and legal acumen.

Senator Chris Larson was elected in Fall of 2010 and was amongst the 14 Wisconsin Senators – the “Dem 14” or “Fab 14” – who left for Illinois on February 17, 2011 to halt action on Scott Walker’s regressive “Wisconsin Act 10”.

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Sen. Larson: We took a page from Egypt in use of technology. …. you can literally check on your politicians’ facts while they are speaking  [happened last night while a rep in the Assembly Continue reading

This is what SLOB-ocracy looks like: the Grothman Recall Rally

This is footage from the “Rally Supporting Labor Over Billionaires (SLOBs) and to Recall Grothman” held in Saukville last weekend.

Senator Chris Larson delivers a conversational, funny speech to the hundreds assembled.  He says the very first time he spoke with Glenn Grothman was on national television where Grothman referred to protesters as slobs. Larson says,

“This is America. I don’t recall free speech having a dress code.”

The crowd reacts with connection to every statement Senator Larson delivers. Reminds me of what I saw here last Wednesday at the Ed Schultz town hall. Part of it is that when Chris Larson left to block the Governor’s bill, he became a hero, and people are ravenous for a hero’s words. And part of it is they are running on “high idle”, meaning they have too much fuel even at rest.

I am thrilled. It’s a long journey from here to Walker’s recall yet somehow we’re keeping a full tank.  I feel we are going to make it. I also feel like we have to.

The Ed Schultz Town Hall, Barrymore Theater, Madison, Ground Zero in the Wisconsin Movement.

I joined 1,300 people in the Barrymore Theater last night. This crowd needed absolutely no assistance in warming up. While we waited for start, one audience member in the front in green face paint and a fright wig, stood up to lead the chant “This is what Democracy looks like”, while a cowbell waving member clanged along.

The crowd was noticeably over 30-years-old and mostly white–a demographic that fits with Madison, Wisconsin. However I feel qualified to state that the mix of cultures and styles brought to the Barrymore by the Ed Schultz crowd was uniquely non-elitist and non-cocktail swilling – as the downtown Madison crowd is characterized by the local GOP.

The format of the evening was billed as “town hall” with microphones at either side of he theater, and so I expected to hear hours of testimony. Instead, we heard a series of brief pointed speeches followed by a conversational exploration of the events that have transpired in Wisconsin since February 11 of 2011 when Scott Walker unveiled Wisconsin Act 10.

The crowd was stacked with those absolutely committed to jumping through all of the hoops required to get there – and thus  -the energy level they brought to the evening was red hot.

To guarantee entry into this event, hundreds waited in line first at noon, and then again later at 4:30PM, and following, they waited inside the theater. We listened first to John Nichols, Stu Levitan, Ruth Conniff, and a representative from PR Watch, and finally, we saw the man of the hour, Ed Schultz.

I didn’t count how many times Ed was thanked for Continue reading

Video & Photo: Fab 14 Democrat Senators of Wisconsin Moments Before Leaving for Illinois

This moving photo came from Senator Chris Larson. He is one of of the “Fab 14”: the Wisconsin Democratic Senators that left for Illinois rather than allow passage of Walker’s extreme power-grabbing bill. His tweet is below:

Chris Larson
United in Solidarity: this is the picture we took just before heading to Illinois. #wiunionhttp://yfrog.com/h6sm5lfjhttp://fb.me/T7EURQju
The last photo of the 14 Democrat Senators of Wisconsin taken before they left for Illinois.
A photo of the 14 Democrat Senators of Wisconsin taken just before they left for Illinois.

Senator Chris Larson’s article on the Budget Disrepair Bill is HERE (written 2/20).

Chris Larson was elected to his Milwaukee Senate seat November of 2010, unseating Jeff Plale. Continue reading