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

Seriously? Walker tried to dine 1 block from the Capitol?

The  restaurant where Walker was supposedly booed is 1 block from Madison’s Capitol building: “ground zero” for protest against Walker’s radical “Budget Repair Bill”.

I’m a little doubtful this really happened because – well – is he really so ignorant that he thinks he can relax in public anywhere on the Isthmus of Madison now? If the answer is “yes”, this man is more daft than I could have fathomed.

Lifted from a blog called “Mind Stain”: Scott Walker Asked to Leave Local Restaurant

You know you’re not well liked when you are asked to leave a local tavern because people boo-ing at you causes an upset, but this is exactly what happened to Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker on Friday the 18th of February. 

“Why don’t you like me? Sad Scott Walker is sad.”

[Name of restaurant removed-see comments]  in Madison, WI confirms that on Friday night, Patrick Sweeney (one of the owners) politely asked Scott Walker to leave the establishment when other customers began boo-ing him. A bartender at the restaurant said that, “his presence was causing a disturbance to the other customers and management asked him to leave.”

Schedule of Madison-Area Events this Weekend from PRWatch.org

Look at all of these events springing up. Madison has marches, a concert, and forums tomorrow. And Sunday there is a day-long “People’s Legislature” forum.  I know there are many more – like my church gathering to march! It’s going to be a huge day tomorrow. Sleep well and remember to visit PRWatch.org for their further listings and live bloging.

Saturday, February 26:

*All day: Rally to Save the American Dream at the Capitol. Sponsored by Progressives United.

*9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Leafletting at the Kohl Center (WIAA Wrestling Tournament)

*10:30 a.m. – AFSCME Correctional Officers from Wisconsin and Illinois meet at the intersection of Mifflin St. & Wisconsin Ave. for walk to State Capitol

*10:30 a.m. – Protest at Koch office, 10 East Doty Street, Madison. Sponsored by US Uncut.

*11:00 a.m. – UWHC Radiology Department sign making and march from UW-Madison Memorial Union to State Capitol Continue reading

You Are Wisconsin: Rally to Save the American Dream, Saturday Feb. 26

An amazing 66 rallies and counting are part of tomorrow’s national “Rally to Save the American Dream” at noon in each time zone, with 40 supporting organizations signed on.

Please visit HERE to see where a rally is near you. When you go, wear red in solidarity with us Badgers of Wisconsin and put on your cheesehead. Short of a cheese hat, I’d suggest just bringing a block of delicious Wisconsin cheese for a snack!

The point of this is to show that people care about working families across the country. As MoveOn.Org says,
“..if we can get huge crowds across the nation, it’ll send a clear message that progressives are fired up and ready to go….This is an opening to call out the Republican game plan for what it is: a brazen effort to use a wrecked economy as an excuse to reward the rich and powerful while destroying 50 years of democratic progress.”

Let’s do this, people.

Image from Nickolas Nikolic of flickr.com
Students March in Wisconsin
Image from BlueRobot on flickr.com

 

Where there is Andrew Breitbart, there are lies.

Not pigpen. I recall that Charles Shultz is a conservative. Instead, I present a dirty pig.

Some people leave a wake of garbage in their path. Reminds me of Pigpen from Charlie Brown .

Andrew Breitbart spoke at Madison, Wisconsin yesterday to approximately 3,500 Tea Party and Pro-Walker people. They were there to do their darndest to match the numbers of Progressives, workers, and students that have rallied since last week February 14 against Scott Walker’s union-busting “Budget Repair Bill”.

Now there are rumors left behind to dispel. Picking up garbage is something we thought we’d have to do after receiving 60,000 visitors. But this?: A doctored video Continue reading

Wisconsin Breaking: Workers rush to Capitol, UW to Stage Walk-out, Senators to Try to Sneek In & Out, Rally Noon

A UW Madison student and teacher assistant walk out is planned today for 9:15AM behind Lincoln’s statue on Bascom, with 10:30AM rally in Library Mall, and an 11AM Capitol Square rally to follow. Rumors circulate that Wisconsin’s Senate will rush to get in the Capitol early and begin their vote on a radical “Budget Repair Bill” before an onslaught of humanity covers Madison’s city square for the fourth day in a row and fills its Capitol building with raucous chanting and drumming. Note: UW Madison has approximately 50,000 students. Continue reading

The Public Stands Their Ground. A “Filibuster” of Testimony Continues Until 3AM Wednesday in Wisconsin

Update: Just got word that the informal portion of this hearing continues now-11:22AM Wednesday. Which means Democratic legislators are still listening to constituents in a marathon that is over 24 hours long.

Right now, 1:00AM Central Standard Time, a hearing room in Wisconsin’s Capitol Building remains packed and testimony rolls on. [I’m watching online: http://www.wiseye.org/] This despite the fact that the Joint Finance Committee first ejected 100 of those people from the room at 10PM.

Those testifying are almost uniformly against a “budget reform bill” unveiled by Governor Scott Walker Friday the 11th.

The committee ejected 100 people from the room to join 100’s more waiting for their turn just outside of the marble room. At that point, the group of primarily college students began chanting and yelling and succeeding in making the committee feel quite uncomfortable. Footage of this intense moment is below and is from @news3David, David Douglas of Channel 3.

I’ve been following tweets on this topic like my cat with a laser from the comfort of my couch. It’s a lot cushier than the floor and sleeping bags that some students are sleeping on in the Capitol rotunda right now while they wait their turn to speak.

One of those testifying called this the “public’s filibuster”.

Co-Chair Representative Robin Vos of Rochester tried to cut off testimony, declaring that no additional speakers would be allowed over the 300 or so that had already signed up. However Representative Jennifer Shilling said she would stay until sun-up and demanded she hear more testimony.

I am quite sure that Senator Lena Taylor, Democrat, of Milwaukee pushed hard for the committee to continue.

Around 4PM she told an evening crowd of 2,000 (dwindled down from over 10,000) that it was imperative that they speak, not just comment. She compared it to that moment in a wedding when you are asked to speak now or forever hold your peace.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “If Republicans who run the committee cut off debate, minority Democrats plan to keep the hearing going, said Mike Browne, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona). That could mean the hearing will stretch well into Wednesday. ”

One of my friends complained that “only” about 1,500 University of Wisconsin students rallied at the Capitol on Monday to advocate for the teachers assistant union and a professional union. Clearly the UW students are earning major citizen street cred this evening.

I fear some stubborn students could still be dragged out in their own sleeping bags. But this is a simple job for on-duty police and Capitol security. Certainly the Governor won’t call out the National Guard.

However those students leave our Capitol, they are now heroes of this city. May their reusable beer mugs and/or herbal tea decanters remain full to brimming for the duration of the semester.

Events on deck in Madison:

3AM Post-Hearing Hearing in the Rotunda

Co-Chair Robin Vos went home at 3AM at which time the committee agreed to end their hearing. A reporter from WKOW tweeted that Vos mentioned he would reconvene the executive committee at 12PM noon Wednesday February 16.

Ryan Rainey stayed up tweeting and writing about a 2nd informal hearing conducted with UW students & others who did not have a chance to speak in the formal hearing:  Democrats Convene Informal Committee to Hear Testimony.