On Saturday, March 12th, an estimated 185,000 concerned citizens gathered to stand up against Scott Walker’s extreme attacks on worker rights and Wisconsin’s middle class. Despite the seriousness of the situation the energy on the ground was unprecedented as young and old, union and non-union, public sector and private sector, came together to stand up for Wisconsin’s working class.
In the biggest rally in Madison since the protests started, hundreds of thousands of working families, small business owners, farmers, students, religious groups, women’s rights groups, environmentalists, private sector workers and public sector workers gathered to say that worker rights are human rights and they must be protected.
Thousands of Wisconsin Farmers brought their tractors down to Capitol Square “pulling together for working families” and held a Tractorcade around the Capitol. Tractors displayed signs such as “Don’t Farm Out Our Jobs,” “Wisconsin Farmers Support Public Employees,” and “Plowing Forward for Democracy.”
Along with having devastating affects on communities around the state Scott Walker’s proposed Budget would adversely affect rural areas.
For great video footage of the Tractorcade click here.
Chris Shiflett, of The Foo Fighters and Andrea Potts entertained the crowd with union songs, before a host of speakers addressed the rally.
‘The Fabulous 14’ Senate Democrats returned home to a hero’s welcome as the crowd thanked them for listening and standing up to the people.
Tony Shalhoub, star of Monk and Green Bay native, took to the stage with his sister, Amy, a Green Bay speech teacher and WEAC member.
“You all here today are the heart and hope of America” said Shalhoub. “This is the birth of a movement…a movement that is destined to restore the rights of workers and safeguard quality education for our children.”
For video of part of Shalhoub’s emotional speech click here.
Speakers also included Reverend Jerry Folk; Reverend Jesse Jackson; Phil Neuenfeldt, Wisconsin AFL-CIO President; Tom Buffenburgar, IAMAW President; Marty Biel, Executive Director AFSCME Council 24; Guy Costello , Teacher at South Milwaukee School District; Heather Terrill-Stotts, Principal, Arena Elementary School; Christine Neumann Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera Executive Director; Anna Zachow, SEIU Healthcare home worker; Mahlon Mitchell, Firefighter President; Jeff Myers, AFT; Sheila Cochran, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and Mary Bell, President of WEAC.