I stand with my unionized sisters and brothers, especially in Wisconsin, but everywhere where teachers and unions are under attack.
I am the lead union representative for more than 100 teachers in my school.
Today, all across the country, teachers are blogging their support for our unionized sisters and brothers in Wisconsin, and you can follow some of the results of that at EDUSolidarity
Today I want to tell you why I am proud to be a union member as well as a teacher.
I teach my students one period a day. We have 9, since some students take a zero period at 7:15 in the morning to squeeze in an extra course. Most of my students are sophomores, with at least 6 courses besides mine. I am only one of those responsible for helping them learn.
I confess, I must have dis-remembered (not my word, either). It seems that as soon as the polls closed, the cry of "jobs!" disappeared as if it had never been uttered; not even an echo remained. Within a nanosecond, deficit hysteria became The Immensely Serious Crisis which demanded immediate action in almost every statehouse, and most especially in Washington, D. C. Even the Oval Office suddenly had amnesia, and began agreeing with the Republican victors flooding into Congress. When the new Republicans in Congress clamored for immediate budget cuts, even under Continuing Resolutions (CRs normally simply extend federal spending as-is until the new budget kicks in), the White House response was not "no, let's talk job creation," but "cuts? yes, yes, how much?"
It turns out that the one-sixth of America's workers, those who either cannot find any kind of a job or who have had to accept part-time employment when they really want to work full-time, are in the same predicament as the severely wounded warrior with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome): they are ignored. Used as an election slogan, or ostentatiously lionized for their patriotism, but then discarded once they had served the political purposes of the political class, the veterans and the permanently unemployed (sometimes actually one and the same) have become invisible. As Paul Krugman says in today's New York Times: "Washington has lost interest." Boy, was that quick---- but one has to ask Why? Why now?
The hound and his masters had an unexpected welcome in Washington. In the lobby of the building where Walker was meeting his appreciative corporate masters, a boisterous crowd gathered to harass the self-satisfied plutocrats. It included not only Wisconsinites but a contingent from the Washington Metro area, in Solidarity. No report on whether or not the Governor and his masters even deigned to notice the protests. So far, anyway.
Listen to this interview of Frank Hammer (former President of the UAW) by Paul Jay of The Real News Network. Ask yourself: Since the recession was caused by Wall Street and the banks, it was not caused by the workers (unionized or not), why aren't Governor Walker and the Republicans enhancing revenue through taxing the big banks, Wall Street, and the super-rich perpetrators of the crash, instead of only targeting spending, and only spending on workers and the middle class at that?
It seems that, at least in Wisconsin, other workers are beginning to ask those questions, and there is speculation about calling a general strike---- first time in generations such a tactic has been used in the U. S.
Meanwhile, right here at home, we see the betrayed workers in Wisconsin fighting their ruthless Governor. We worry about intractable unemployment and irrational anti-immigrant laws, and the steady increase in political violence, of which the Tucson shootings are only the latest example. We hear Representative Jackie Speier (D,CA) on the floor of Congress speaking eloquently against the Republican war on women. We sign petitions against attacks on Social Security, the environment, the thievery of Wall Street, and the opening of the floodgates of corporate political spending due to the Citizens United decision. Does it not strike you that all of these battles have something in common? That they are not isolated, local incidents, each with its own, individual backstory and provenance?
UPDATE: See above for video from Al Jazeera on revolution suppression in Libya tonight. The tyrant appears to be following the classic doctrine of using overwhelming force against the opposition.