Millions of Americans were out in the streets this past Saturday, participating in the largest flare-up of labor protests the nation has seen in decades -- yet images like these were conspicuously missing from the major television news networks.
At the rallies' epicenter was Madison, Wisconsin, where over 100,000 gathered in below-freezing temperatures to show solidarity with American workers' right to organize.
The state's newly elected Republican governor, Scott Walker, has proposed legislation that would effectively destroy the public sector unions.
The photos below come from places like Green Bay, Wisconsin; New York, New York; Washington, DC; Springfield, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; Tallahassee, Florida; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City, Utah and many more.
Or, as a tweep put it: 83,000 fat asses on lawn chairs in August v. 100,000 peaceful protesters in February in a snow storm.
Oh, yeah, the media is all over anything to do with TeaDoucheBaggery, but totally ignores hundreds of thousands of people who have a righteous reason to be very angry and scared.
And, as Politicus USA points out, it is NOT just Fux News. It's all the networks and cable channels covering their ears and going lalalalalalala. (If you need to have it explained why, Politicus does a good job on that.)
And it's not much better up here in Canada. Our 'State TV' ran a shortish AP story on Saturday's protests. CTV ran a longer piece, but still from AP.
Global? Don't make me laugh. Two stories -- at least not AP -- from Feb. 18 and Feb. 22. Zip on the nationwide protests on Feb. 26.
Print media is doing a bit better, but with the exception of Mother Jones and Paul Krugman, they're getting the story wrong or at least wildly distorted.
Here's Krugman yesterday.
That Iraq Feeling
I don’t watch cable news, or actually any kind of TV news. But I gather that there’s a virtual blackout on the huge demonstrations in Wisconsin, except on Fox, which portrays them as thuggish and violent.
What that makes me think of is January-February 2003, when anyone watching cable news would have believed that only a few kooks were opposed to the imminent invasion of Iraq. It was quite spooky, realizing that hundreds of thousands of people could march through New York, and by tacit agreement be ignored by news networks whose headquarters were just a few blocks away.
And it’s even more spooky to see it happening all over again.
Spooky? You betcha.
It is NOT just about union-busting. Though that is definitely included as a key ploy to defund Democrats and strip the rest of us from the only organized force standing between us and corporate feudalism.
Also included are corporate goodies like executive powers to sell state assets on a no-bid basis with no legislative input.
It is a naked corporate power grab by TeaBagging pols, bought and paid for by corrupt billionaires like the Koch brothers, who are also major forces in Americans for Properity, the astroturf org behind the TeaBaggers.
Lies from the Right are flying fast and furious and from the comments sections at most 'centrist' news sites, they're sticking.
Daily Kos debunks the top ten lying lies.
Michael Moore, who is not in Wisconsin, but in Thompson, Manitoba, calls it a 'global war on the middle class'.
That's why people everywhere need to support Thompson. As Niki Ashton - the MP who represents Thompson and the second-youngest woman ever elected to the Canadian Parliament - says: "It Was Flint Yesterday, It's Us and Wisconsin Today, and Tomorrow It's Going to Be Everyone."
I just went to CBC's contact page and left this message:
Why Isn't CBC Covering Wisconsin?
What's going on there is a war on democracy and the middle class. The US media is virtually ignoring the largest protests since the Viet Nam war. I expected Canadian media to have more balls. Especially our 'state' media.
AND there is a Canadian connection. See Michael Moore (link included). CUPE sent a delegation too.
Go to Twitter and see for yourself.
Tons of video! Great signs! Singing! People power! Energy! Firefighters! Bagpipes! Pizza donated from bloody Egypt!! Great television, in short. And Madison is not far away.
Get some reporters down there. Don't rely on US news wires.
Do I sound pissed off? I am.
By the way, the Wisconsin state legislature building is still occupied, albeit by far fewer protesters and the cops aren't letting any more in. They've bolted the bathroom windows shut and removed the tops of the bolts, so food can't get in as it did on Saturday. There are people outside trying to get in but they need appointments and have to show ID. Earlier today, 150 off-duty firefighters tried to get in and were not allowed, but seven lobbyists waltzed through.
See where this is going?
There's a call for a rally outside today at 6 p.m.
Here's a (pretty shitty) live traffic cam feed* of the people outside the building.
Sure, Merkin rightwingnutz are nuttier than ours and there are more of them. But isn't what Stevie Peevie's been doing for five fucking years merely a slow-motion version of exactly the same thing?
Previous DJ! posts on the matter here and here.
ADDED: I forgot this bit. In a fit of spectacular pettiness, the GOP House Leader is denying access to photocopiers by the absent Dems' staff.
*Sorry about link. It seems not to be on Capitol anymore.