Wisconsin Assembly passes anti-labor bill; workers step up the struggle

Wisconsin Assembly passes anti-labor bill

Workers and students step up the struggle

Eighth graders support Wisconsin workers in Madison, 03-10-1
These eighth-grade students were among the many who walked out and joined the demonstration in solidarity with Wisconsin workers.

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If public and private sector workers in Wisconsin engage in a general strike, it will be supported by workers and students across the country. This struggle will not be decided in the halls of the state government, but in the streets—and spreading the word and building national support will be critical as workers prepare for the next stage in this battle.

ANSWER organizers have been helping to organize from the epicenter of this historic labor battle. Thousands of people poured into the streets to protest the illegal vote to strip workers of their rights. Our organizers have also been reporting and tweeting live throughout the day. They will continue to send in reports, video and photos of the actions as they continue to unfold in the coming days. ANSWER has also produced and distributed placards and other materials in Madison in solidarity with the workers and students.

Please help us at this critical moment of struggle by making an urgently needed donation. Your support will help cover the cost of organizers on the ground as well as the production of materials for the demonstrations.

Eyewitness report

This eyewitness report was sent today by activists at the labor demonstrations in Madison, Wis.

In a 53-42 vote, the Wisconsin State Assembly just passed the bill at the center of labor struggle that has unfolded in Madison for the past several weeks. The new legislation strips public-sector workers of collective bargaining among other fundamental union rights. Gov. Scott Walker—the most ardent backer of the bill—has already indicated he’ll sign it into law.

But if Gov. Walker thinks he can silence the workers and students and succeed with his anti-labor agenda, he is seriously mistaken.

Help with this fight now. We can win.

Thousands of demonstrators immediately began converging at the state capitol last night after a special legislative committee pulled a procedural sleight-of-hand to get around the required three-fifths quorum that had been prevented by the Senate Democrats. Last night's Senate vote on the bill allowed it to proceed to the Assembly.

Protesters continued to arrive today in a show of force against the union-busting legislation. Middle- and high-school students walked out by the thousands to join the demonstrations. The impressive outpouring delayed the Assembly vote for several hours.

Now comes the the next phase of the struggle. More student walkouts are planned for tomorrow and a mass labor action has been announced for Saturday. Prior to the vote on the bill, the Madison-based South Central Federation of Labor’s 45,000 members endorsed a resolution calling for preparations for a general strike should the bill pass.

Please make an urgently needed donation today.

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