Anti-government protests in Wisconsin

Anti-government protests are held in Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Yemen – and Wisconsin.

LA Times / Associated Press: Thousands rally at Wisconsin Capitol to protest anti-union bill.  

The new Republican governor, Scott Walker, is seeking passage of the nation's most aggressive anti-union proposal – a plan that would all but eliminate the bargaining process for most public employees.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Union chief asks MPS to close schools Thursday

The head of the Milwaukee teachers' union has asked Milwaukee Public Schools to close school Thursday to "ensure the safety of children and staff" at a time when many teachers may be headed to Madison tomorrow to protest Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill.

River Falls Journal: Letter: Egypt, Wisconsin traveling in opposite directions

To make matters worse, Walker, surrounded by extra security at the state Capitol, revealed a long-planned contingency to call in the National Guard against state workers in the event of strikes or protests.

The last time that the Wisconsin National Guard was called in for a labor dispute was the 1934 Kohler Strike. The Sheboygan Press covered the strike in 1934:

The relatively peaceful strike took a violent turn on July 27th (1934) when special deputies broke through the picket lines to escort a coal car that strikers had turned back. A battle ensued outside the plant that left two strikers dead and over 40 wounded. The next day, Governor Schmedeman called out the National Guard to restore order.

Liberation, the "Newspaper for the Party for Socialism and Libertation at PSLWEB.ORG", runs two parallel headlines: "Wisconsin Labor Fights Back" and "Revolution in the Arab World". Eyewitness from Wisconsin’s labor battle

That’s why, when I was in the throngs of rank-and-file workers, I was hearing “tax the rich.” People were comparing Scott Walker to the U.S.-backed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was forced to resign last week after 18 days of protest. They are calling him “Hosni Walker” because only dictators side with the tiny minority.

Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson refers to Walker as the cheesehead pharaoh of the Middle West. 

It's a throwback to 19th-century America, when strikes were suppressed by force of arms. Or, come to think of it, to Mubarak's Egypt or communist Poland and East Germany.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Present, former Packers say they back AFL-CIO. You know things are serious when the Green Bay Packers weigh in on state politics.

The NFLPA also released a statement in support of the AFL-CIO. "The NFL Players Association will always support efforts protecting a worker's right to join a union and collectively bargain. Today, the NFLPA stands in solidarity with its organized labor brothers and sisters in Wisconsin," the statement said.

More protest coverage than I can possibly read, right now, from Defend Wisconsin, Uppity Wisconsin, Not My Wisconsin, AFL-CIO Now blog, and Madison.com.

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