Sunday, February 27, 2011

Workers World Party Salutes Heroic Occupation

By Sharon Black
Madison, Wis.

Feb. 22 — Workers World Party salutes the workers of Wisconsin who through their sacrifice and fortitude are showing the way for workers everywhere!

The occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol is in its eighth day. The Wisconsin South Central Labor Council has voted to endorse a general strike of its members if Gov. Scott Walker passes the budget bill that contains provisions that would destroy collective bargaining for public sector unions.

It was the energy of the students and teachers that served as the spark that lit these amazing developments in Wisconsin. These have ramifications for not only public and private sector workers and their unions but ultimately all of the working class, young and old, jobless and working of all nationalities.

Make no mistake, the pivotal issue is union-busting, but in essence what has been unleashed is the pent-up desire of the masses of people to push back against the right-wing onslaught and what has been characterized so well on signs here: “The war on the workers.”

An unprecedented 100,000 people marched in Madison on Feb. 19 in contrast to a small group of Tea Party supporters who drew less than 2,000 people. Over the weekend, local papers trumpeted that snow and bad weather would decimate protests but instead workers took their marches to the inside of the Capitol.

Inside the Capitol, solidarity is growing. Firefighters have slept alongside high school and college students. Our own reporters are sharing the floor with other seasoned trade unionists who have been in the trenches fighting labor battles.

Holding and occupying the Capitol has been a key component in this critical labor battle. And so far the fortitude of the students and workers to continue has remained strong.

The occupation of the Capitol and the massive protests, including the support of unions and workers nationally, have created a euphoric atmosphere that has given hope to everyone who has supported the workers, including immigrant rights groups.

Local residents have opened their homes to those occupying the Capitol offering hot showers. Pizza has been ordered and paid for by supporters in Cairo, Egypt. Everywhere you go in Madison, there is support from non-unionized, low-paid clerks to the homeless in the street.

The first duty of every revolutionary, every progressive minded person, everyone who wants to put an end to this rotten system of capitalism, with its destruction of people’s rights, with its repression, with its virulent racism, sexism, anti-lesbian, gay, bi and trans bigotry is to give complete and unabashed support to this critical labor battle.

Long live the workers of Wisconsin and their fight for justice!

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