On Wednesday, February 13th, Governor Walker is having his annual "performance review" in front of his real bosses. No, not the people of Wisconsin. The corporate lobby group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Who buys elections? Who bribes politicians? Who writes the anti-worker and anti-environment laws? First and foremost, the answer is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its state affiliate, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC).
Join Dennis Kucinich, the fighting progressive from Ohio, former mayor of Cleveland, seven term congressman, and twice presidential candidate. as he joins us in launching a national campaign to "Shut the Chamber!"
This election is being threatened by unverifiable voting machines, voter ID laws that disenfranchise millions of eligible voters, restrictive election laws for third party candidates and voters who wish to vote early, as well as many other forms of voter suppression that we are likely to witness on and before November 6. Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 have taught us that our elections can be stolen if we do not act.
Will the Wisconsin recall elections be stolen? If recent history is any guide it's a definite possibility, especially because these races are expected to be extremely close. Think Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, and Waukesha County 2011.
[Note: The Voter Assembly in Madison will take place on June 6th at 5pm on the State Street side of the Capitol. Spread the word of facebook here. For more info on the Wave's No More Stolen Election campaign click here]
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." ~ Abraham Lincoln
- Ben Manski, Esq., Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution; Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
- Dr. Margaret Flowers, National Occupation of Washington D.C. (NOW DC)
- Daniel Wayne Lee, Los Angeles Move to Amend; Occupy Los Angeles
- Steve Cobble, adviser to Free Speech For People; Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
Learn how to engage the public and gather signatures for a campaign to demand a Constitutional Amendment to end Corporate Personhood, get the money out of our political system, and reverse Citizens United.
Right here, in Iowa… as the movement spreads across America.
Where do the movement to abolish corporate personhood, the Wisconsin protest wave, global resistance to austerity, and the voting rights, election integrity, anti-war, and campus democracy movements come together? Beneath the branches of Liberty Tree, committed to "building a democracy movement for the U.S.A." since 2004.
You’re invited to a free community forum, Corporations Are Not Persons and Money Is Not Speech. The event includes a presentation by and discussion with David Cobb, the national spokesperson for Move to Amend.
Cobb will discuss the national Move to Amend campaign and what we can do to abolish never-intended corporate constitutional rights and reverse the legal doctrine that money is speech! Download flyer here.
Oregon Area Progressives is sponsoring All About ALEC, a forum on the American Legislative Exchange Council with an outstanding lineup of speakers, including Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D - IL) Sen. Mark Miller Rep. Mark Pocan Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts Lisa Graves - Center for Media and Democracy Mike McCabe - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Jack Norman -Institute for Wisconsin's Future Jim Cavanaugh - South Central Federation of Labor Dan Holub - WEAC Julie Underwood - UW Madison School of Education Joanne Ricca - Wisconsin AFL-CIO Robert Kraig - Citizen's Action of Wisconsin and Jay Heck - Common Cause Moderated by John Nichols Advance Registration $10 - includes lunch register now at www.allaboutalec.org
The Dover Delaware United Nations Association will be celebrating World Water Day!
We will be passing out statistics and requests for water advocacy as well as offering car pooling to events sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia UNA and the League of Women Voters luncheon to discuss Economic Disparity.
In the second half of the meeting we will read an article together and then and request support for "Move to Amend." Come join us!
March to End the Wars!
Ten Years in Afghanistan - Ten Billion Dollars a Month
March & Rally in Madison, Wisconsin
Saturday, Oct. 15
Join the Madison Area Peace Coalition (MAPC) for a March and Rally to mark 10 years of U.S.-led war in Afghanistan on Saturday, Oct. 15th. We will call for an end to this war and all wars. We want jobs, schools, and healthcare -- not war.
Please gather at UW Library Mall at 11:30 am. Bring your peace and labor signs. Come early for parking because it's a football Saturday and Farmer's Market Day. We'll begin marching after noon, and be up at the Capitol by quarter to 1:00 pm.
Sponsored by the Madison Area Peace Coalition. Endorsed by AFSCME 171 and the South Central Federation of Labor (SCFL).
We're going public this month for the first time by holding our October meet-up at the Infinitea Teahouse! This month's notable attendees will be Eau Claire City Council member, Dana Wachs, as well as Eau Claire County Board member, John DeRosier, who are considering sponsoring a resolutions in support of reversing the Supreme Court's "Citizens United v. FEC" decision.
Come share how unlimited/undisclosed corporate influence of our elections has made an impact on the issues that you care about! We'll need your input as we propose, discuss, and vote on local resolutions to pass.
Bringing the inspiration of the Wisconsin protest wave -- from the occupation of the state's capitol to the recent national Democracy Convention in Madison -- to the planned October 2011 occupation of Freedom Plaza in D.C.:
From August 24th to August 28, 2011 over 1200 people from around the country covened in Madison for a Democracy Convention designed to further the growing nationwide Democracy Movmeent. This event, sponsored by the Liberty Tree Foundation (which also sponsors the Wisconsin Wave) gave participants and organizers alike the skills to return to their communities and fight for Democracy where it matters most -- in our schools, our workplaces and local economies, our military, our governm
This August the Wave, in partnership with the Election Defense Alliance, is running an independent, non-partisan campaign to identify and expose serious election violations.
To do this we are recruiting volunteers to conduct "citizen exit polls" on August 9th and August 16th outside of polling locations throughout the recall districts. These polls are then compared to the officially announced ward totals, with major discrepancies providing the evidence needed to demand a hand recount (which is the only way to know whether or not an election involving computerized vote tallying was not stolen!) . This technique has proven extremely effective in other states, but needs maximum participation to work effectively!
Come one, come all, hear the call to . . .
DUMP TEA! DUMP PALIN!
Speakers and Music TBA…as confirmed.
MC's John "Sly" Sylvester and Sarah Manski.
NOON, SATURDAY, APRIL 16th
WI STATE CAPITOL
Change: STATE STREET CORNER
Please share widely. The puppets are coming, the puppets are coming! Corporate puppets Sarah Palin and "Americans" for "Prosperity" are rallying at our Wisconsin State Capitol on 4/16. For more information:http://www.danegop.org/latestnews.aspx
12:00pm-2:00pm RALLY AT STATE CAPITOL: Ride the Wave Back to the Capitol!
2:00pm-3:00pm MARCH TO WMC: Take Wisconsin Back from the Corporate Interests!
4:00pm Registration Opens at Georgia O'Keefe Middle School, 510 South Thornton Ave., Madison
5:00pm & 7:00pm MAJOR PANELS at Georgia O'Keefe Middle School:
5pm UNDERSTANDING AUSTERITY: Wisconsin in a global perspective
7pm BUILDING A POPULAR MOVEMENT: Overcoming inequality & uniting us all in common cause
~ Sunday, April 10th ~
8:30am Registration Reopens at Downtown Campus of Madison Area Technical College
9:30am-11:00am MAJOR PANEL: DIRECT ACTION CAMPAIGNING: Achieving the Will of the People when government closes its doors
1:00-2:30pm Lunch Break
4:30pm-6:30pm MAJOR PANEL: DEMAND DEMOCRACY: Democratizing our elections, economy, budget process, and constitutions
On January 21st, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. An avalanche of criticism from grassroots organizations, members of Congress, and the President of the United States followed. Hundreds of thousands of Americans signed motions calling for action to overrule the Court -- including amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Greetings from Portage County, which is sort of like a disenfranchised Balkan state since congressional district maps were redrawn earlier this year.
In effect, we have no representation to speak of at the moment. Technically, Sean Duffy is our congressman after winning the "old" 7th District seat in last November's election. But Duffy has been as rare as a Buffalo nickel around here in the aftermath of the redistricting announced last summer, even though it technically doesn't take effect until the next election. Well, he did hold a town hall meeting in a rural community, which was announced a day before the event.
In the first 48 hours of the movement to recall Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch, more than 50,000 Wisconsinites signed petitions to force the governor and lieutenant governor to face a new election and the prospect of removal from office.
And that number will multiply. More than 20,000 people have downloaded petitions from United Wisconsin as the group works to gather the required 540,000 signatures, and tens of thousands more signatures have been collected from the more than 30 United Wisconsin offices across the state.
The recall movement is real, and remarkable in its strength and reach.
Could the iPad someday supplant the voting machine?
Oregon last week became the first state in the country to use iPads to allow people with disabilities to vote, and it intends to use them again for another election in January. Several other states are expected to follow suit with iPads or other tablets, possibly as early as for next year’s presidential election.
Daily, it seems, we watch as our democracy slips into an increasingly divisive panic attack. Republicans, we’re told, hate Democrats. Democrats, we’re told, hate Republicans. Accountability in our political system seems as tenuous as the economic recovery: Tea Partier, Wall Street Occupier, or none of the above, we all know something's amiss.
Yet as it is, we have a tradition of successful self-governance more than 230 years in the making. Full of beauty, opportunity, and deep scars, our democracy continues as a grand experiment. Rights have been expanded, greater access to the disenfranchised has been afforded, and our democratic institutions endure.
Press TV: Edward Spannaus, why don't you tell us your impression of these movements? I mean, they are obviously gaining momentum. Tell us why? And of course we see Occupy Wall Street as being one of them that has inspired other movements.
Spannaus: Well, I would actually go back to the spring when you had the mass protests in Madison, Wisconsin, in Indiana, in Ohio and at that time also you had demonstrations in hundreds of cities in support of the trade unionists and when you had governors of those states trying to break the unions.
The protests that began in Wisconsin this year, and which now also fill the streets of Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, and this week, Washington D.C., have gotten the attention of the American political class. And how could they not? 2011 is becoming a remake of the 1999 Battle of Seattle, except this time the protests are ongoing, national and global, and the target is not just the World Trade Organization, but the entire edifice of corporate capitalism.
WisconsinEye is the C-Span of Wisconsin's civil society. The folks at WisconsinEye video recorded 18 different sessions at the 2011 Democracy Convention. They may be watched or listened to for free on their website, or purchased for download, here:
Civil disobedience is a transformation of consciousness, a sudden revelation that something new must be done. It is the knowledge that there are two options: disrupt and change the system or remain silent in the face of injustice. Right now, civil disobedience is emerging from the anti-war and environmental movements in significant ways, most notably around opposition to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
It's easy to subscribe to the belief that America doesn't have enough resources for everyone to enjoy a high standard of living. But Cheri Honkala, one of the leading figures in the movement against poverty, said at the Liberty Tree Foundation's Democracy Convention in Madison, Wisconsin that this is a false message.
In the United States, the richest 400 people own more collective wealth than the bottom 150 million. As historian and writer Gar Alperovitz puts it, this is quite literally medieval. America's distribution of wealth is controlled by corporations and the extremely wealthy—if there is to be real social change, this gaping inequality needs to be addressed and radically altered. The people need to take the pain of the laborers affected by politicians such as Governor Scott Walker and unite around this as something to replace with progressive reforms.
Attendees of the Democracy Convention in Madison in late August were treated to panels on a host of different issues, from democratic media to racial inequality. The Center for Media and Democracy was one of the sponsors of the convention, and our own Lisa Graves and Brendan Fischeraddressed democracy activists.
For some, there wasn’t a better venue for America’s first Democracy Convention than the in-your-face capitol of local democracy, Madison, Wisconsin — a state with a long history of progressive sensibilities. Earlier this years thousands of protesters converged upon the capitol in response to Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislative majority’s decision to end collective bargaining for public employees — a fight that is not over and one leading to a test of Walker’s reelection capability.
Clad in a tiara, long dress and sash reading "Do You Miss Democracy?" Mary Zepernick approached a table at the Memorial Union Terrace Saturday night with a question clearly on her mind. "Do you miss democracy?" she asked the group. "I do."
It was a bit of street theater, Zepernick, 71, explained the next day in a phone interview. "It's a way to catch the attention of people, to just shake up their minds a little."
Say what you want about Take Back the Land-Madison, whose members have occupied a handful of foreclosed properties to protest public policies that put families out on the street. Their tactics are audacious, if nothing else. It's a brand of activism with the power to rally the allies and antagonize opponents.
Labor supporters go from the streets and into breakout sessions at the Democracy Convention in Madison. Mayor Paul Soglin kicked off the event reflecting on this year’s massive protests and continued fight against changes by Governor Walker and the Republican majority. He says until then the public was not paying enough attention.
“We cannot rest and assume that others are going to take care of our society,” says Soglin.
There may be no other convention where you can learn about the history of civil disobedience, go to a class called Organizing 101, and discuss how to make a general strike succeed.
The first ever Democracy Convention will be held in Madison Wednesday through Sunday.
"It's the first national gathering in my lifetime that has focused on the underlying question of who rules," said Ben Manski, former co-chair of the Green Party of the U.S. and an event organizer. "[It] is not just interested in criticizing the lack of democracy in the United States but is devoted toward strengthening the movement to achieve the American promise of democracy."
The first Democracy Convention got under way Wednesday, and the five-day gathering is expected to draw up to 1,000 political and social activists from across the country.
The convention brought together at least two generations of left-wing activists ready to hash out such issues as voting rights, access to education and U.S. constitutional reform.
Tom Hayden, a key figure in anti-war demonstrations during the Vietnam era, was among the scheduled keynote speakers. The convention was organized by Ben Manski, a 37-year-old Madison attorney and former co-chairman of the national Green Party.
The timing could not be better, but organizers say plans for this week's Democracy Convention in Madison were set before Gov. Scott Walker's introduction of his collective bargaining bill and the ensuing protests that led some to compare the uprising in Wisconsin to democratic rebellions in Egypt and Tunisia.