Another Madison dispatch

Here’s some excerpts from Michael Rosen, president of Local 212, representing the faculty and staff at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

I left on Thursday, following Local 212’s contract ratification vote and only returned late last night. …It is an inspiring event that allows you to see the potential of real democracy. Tens of thousands of people are energized, their creativity unleashed (just looks at the signs), determined not to back down. The University of WI TAs are playing a leading role, but other unions from the firefighters to the IBEW to the Iron Workers are there is large numbers. The building trades are handing out free brats, oblivious to the fact that many of the students are vegetarians. And no one cares because it is an act of solidarity. Of course, there are thousand of teachers and their students.

I never thought I’d see tens of thousands of students chanting “union busting is disgusting” … Win or lose something different is happening here and people are being changed in the process

It is very different than the Madison protests we had in the 60s because of its focus, defending the middle class and unions, and its composition, workers and students together …

It is hard to see a positive end game. That tempers my enthusiasm, but not my admiration for ordinary people who are engaged in such an extraordinary effort.

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