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Labor leaders ask Wisconsin citizens to come to the State Capitol Thursday and Friday

Posted: 2/16/2011 8:26:30 PM

At a news conference on the State Capitol steps Wednesday night, WEAC President Mary Bell andRick Badger, executive director of AFSCME Council 40, asked all Wisconsin citizens to come to Madison Thursday and Friday to show their support for the educators and other public employees in their community.

Over the last two days as many as 35,000 people have rallied at the Capitol to protest Governor Walker's bill that would essentially strip educators and public employees throughout the state of their right to bargain a contract.

Bell asked for the support of all citizens in this fight for fairness. "Stand along your neighbors, family members and friends and help our voices to be heard!" she said. "We need your help." 

Everyone must look deep into their hearts and make their choice in this matter, Bell said.  Citizens who can’t possibly make it should ask that their places of worship open and pray for all citizens of Wisconsin and the people who have gone to the peaceful demonstration. Those who can’t make it are asked to support those who go to Madison.

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Comments 96

  1. Anne 3/3/2011

    We are all in this together. That's what the word union means. Whether it's our brothers and sisters in our own local, or our union family in Wisconsin. We should all show our support and dissatisfaction with the legislative efforts to tear apart what our predecessors have worked so hard to accomplish.
  2. Greg 2/23/2011

    Walker has since talked to who he thought was his billionaire campaign contributing buddy, David Koch. It's all over the net. The caller was really someone pretending to be Koch and although Walker was on guard, he did expose some of his true feelings about getting rid of the unions. Find it at jsonline Milwaukee Journal.
  3. Marti 2/23/2011

    I proudly contacted Ian's Pizza and sent food to the wonderful people performing our Constitutional rights to peaceful assembly.  I am originally from Illinois, so it makes me proud that the Wisconsin representatives have gone to Illinois to protest against the Governor of Wisconsin.

    My son is a teacher in Texas and it is a right to work state.  He teaches because he loves what he does not because the pay is substantial!  He has a degree in Math and Physics so he could be making more in the private sector.

    My father was a big union man for the C&IM railroad in Illinois and my mother worked and was a member of the Illinois Education Association; we know unions and we know how important collective bargaining is to workers.

    We also know that we have 40 hour work weeks, paid vacations, safety and fair pay because union members fought, bled and, at times, died for workers' rights!  Thank you also for child labor laws.!

    Don't give up!  We are with you down in Texas! 
  4. Marianne 2/22/2011

    I am an ordinary citizen who is self employed and NOT a union member.  I support you in your attempt to maintain your rights to collective bargaining.  If your right to strike had not been taken away, settling contracts would be a priority for both sides.  It is because you cannot strike that contracts take so long to negotiate.  Banning strikes by public employees took away the urgency to settle contracts.  Taking away your rights to collective bargain for working conditions and saftey issues is wrong, and will have consequences for the general public.  I fear classroom sizes will increase, and you will be asked to take on even more of the responsibility for teaching those things that are a parent's responsibility, i.e. sex education, manners, sportsmanship, appropriate conduct, respect, etc.  I will be joining your protests 2 to 3 days a week.   
  5. john noble 2/20/2011

    Watching with interest from Prince Edward Island Canada. Had similar trouble here in the early 90s. Government wanted public sector employees to resolve provincial deficit. They broke contracts, reduced wages by 7.5 percent and threatened to do away with collective bargaining. They got away with the first 2 but collective bargaining would have meant war so they backed off. And that particular government paid the price for its bad behavior. It was voted out in the next election and stayed out of power for 12 years. Hang tough and make em pay come next election. And pay they will because virtually everyone has family that works in the public sector. They know how hard teachers,nurses,firefighters and police work and they also know that your wages are not extravagant.   A sincere good luck to you all.  
                                                   A  Canadian teacher
  6. Anita 2/20/2011

         Please make the point to the misinformed regarding the reason employees that serve the public need collective bargaining. We have to bargain just to get the pensions and health insurance that private sector workers receive as a matter of course or as an incentive to work for a corporation. I pay a larger percentage of my check for  my pension and health insurance as teacher than when  I worked in the private sector. We also choose to follow the course of public service and contribute to the good of our communities despite the historic lower rates of compensation offered in public service. Teachers can leave the field of  education and use their degrees in other fields to make better money. Realistically many choose to leave so they can support their families. Conversely I have met former lawyers, veterinarians and advertising execs who able to make enough money to retire from their respective fields and pursue their first career choice of teaching.
         I was disgusted to read about the view point of the counter protesters many of whom are tea party members. Comments about how taxing corporations would send jobs to China exemplified the ignorance of fear mongering. Jobs have been outsourced long before this current crisis and corporations already had significant tax breaks, but cheap labor is far too large a carrot to keep some companies in the USA.
        Corporations may well run America someday and I suspect many tea party worshipers will be scratching their collective heads wondering how we lost our country to the special interests of greed.
         My hope is Americans will see past the fear and work toward a sustainable future based on an honorable society that cares for all of its citizens. Union busting serves only one power and that is the power of corporate interest.

  7. Stephanie 2/19/2011

    Colorado teachers stand with you!
  8. Karen 2/19/2011

    I'm a Washington teacher, member of the WEA here for 22 years, but my education experience began  in the great state of Wisconsin where my father was a college professor. I am watching your fight unfold with great interest and am behind you all the way. THANK YOU for all you are enduring in this battle. Stand strong! You are teaching a valuable lesson to so many.
  9. Dominic 2/19/2011

    WEAC, we are pulling for you out here in Colorado.  The all out onslaught against workers rights has to be stopped.  Only we can stop it.
  10. Cindy W 2/18/2011

    Best of luck you guys. Teachers in Colorado are behind you.
  11. Cindy 2/18/2011


    Today is my teacher-husband's payday here in Minnesota, and I was busy paying bills, purchasing groceries, buying gas, making appointments for haircuts, supporting local church/food shelf programs necessary because others' employment has ended or is minimal due to the lack of a union voice, and doing all the general shopping that keeps our paycheck right here in our hometown.  Oh, yes-- our tax forms are due soon as well, and there is a sizable amount gone to pay our government, money that would not be there if my husband was not making a living wage.

    Can public employees organize so that for one week, even one day, they do not spend?  Surely others in the community realize the impact of the salaries of workers to support the entire community, but if not, would a spending boycott help government and non-supporters to realize that many livelihoods depend on the living wage which unions have brought to our communities?

    Has Governor Walker or any of the legislators supporting the bill offered to take a cut in pay, cut in benefits, or cut in pension?  How about per diems, which bring their salaries to ridiculous levels?  Kudos to the Wisconsin Fourteen!

    I, too, would be interested in a boycott list of people supporting him NOW-- I know that he duped some people and even some unions into supporting him with promises of more work until he sprung this evil plan on your citizens, so I do not think it is fair to boycott those who truly trusted his lies... but those who are supporting him now?  Cut them off!

    My retired-WEAC teacher mom is in her seventies and was marching with you the other day, my dad was right with her.  My WEAC-retired mom-in-law passed away last year, but would have been with them too.  Talk to a retired educator and ask yourself if you want to go back to the days of my two great-grandmothers, both Wisconsin teachers who less than a century ago could be fired at the whim of an individual parent, had to haul their own water and build their own fires, had their salaries negotiated quarterly, and were fired upon their marriages.  Mom joined the union after seeing males with less education and classroom achievement consistently be favored in salary by far more, not being provided with the same benefits as a "family man," and being forced to negotiate individually to have her salary raised to a livable wage.  This was not so long ago, folks! 

    My mom, mother-in-law, husband, and myself (I am a teacher on family leave) have spent thousands of dollars of our own salaries to provide for the classrooms and students what government and families do not-- everything from snacks and meals for hungry kids to school supplies, clothing, winter boots, and more.  Aren't teacher salaries going for a lot MORE that the government would have to pay for?  Aren't teacher salaries supporting many MORE people within the community than just themselves? 

    My dad is a strong union man, but said someday there will be no need for unions--- that day will come when your employer sits down with you personally and asks how your family is doing, how you are making it financially, and how he might help by giving you more finanical help?   Did your employer willingly give you raises or provide benefits without standing together as a union?  I think not.  Ask any classroom assistant and most teachers who are the primary wage earners for their families-- that day is not today!  Unions did not start because employers and governments were already providing a living wage and benefits.  We still need unions to stand strong! 

    We are with you, WEAC!   Stand strong!

  12. Char O'Brien 2/18/2011

    There are many of us in Colorado that support your courageous stand. It is obvious that the Republicans want to destroy unions and do not support the rights of the working people. It seems that corporations have more rights than individuals. Stay strong!
  13. Dennis C 2/18/2011

    All New Jersey teachers are proud of the way you have stood up to the Republicans as they attempt to destroy unions and our natural rights. Keep up the fight. You are true Americans!
  14. Bill F 2/18/2011

    Teachers and other union workers, thank you.  Keep up the fight.  Justice will prevail.
  15. Massachusetts teachers 2/18/2011

    We wish we could be there to rally at the state capital with you. We do have many friends/relatives there so we will pass along the information for them to attend. Unions have been a part of our families lives for generations and we need to keep them strong for the next generation. It's time to stop targeting the people who help us with our basic needs Teachers, Police, Firefighters. Where would we be without all of these professions??
  16. Rick 2/18/2011

    WAY TO GO IN WISCONSIN!!!!!!!!!!

    In Kentucky we don't have collective bargaining or the right to strike. We have to hold our hat in our hands and say thank you when the legislators raid our retirement and health care funds and then throw it back on the backs of the retired and working teachers and call it "shared responsibility". The only people that AREN'T responsibile are our legislators!!!!!!

    DON'T GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. Rachael 2/18/2011

    Wisconsin teachers, thank you for taking a stand. Washington State teachers are with you in spirit.
  18. IBEW 2150 Wife 2/18/2011

    I'm so proud to see the Capitol and streets filled with the workers -- iron workers, steel workers, city employees, teachers, and all school disctrict employees -- you all amaze me.  And that we've maintained the peaceful protesting for four days now is truly impressive.

  19. Barbara Suhrbur 2/18/2011

    Your fight is for all education employees.  Labor needs to come together to accomplish great things for the workers.  You are the start of a new labor movement. Good job!
  20. Rebecca Saunders 2/18/2011

    The whole country is watching you, full of admiration and gratitude!
    Thank you so much for your courage., and for showing the world that not all Americans cave in to the rich, that we don't only exist to keep the rich happy.
    Rebecca Saunders
  21. George 2/18/2011

    As a Texas teacher I support your actions.  We are a right to work state, and pay dearly for it.  Our "contracts" are a joke, as well as our "due process"!  It is all under attack this year.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  22. Kim 2/18/2011

    Wisconsin educators and public employees,  We are with you!!  What is happening is wrong for you and Wisconsin's children.  Keep up the good fight.  Colorado supports you.
  23. Sandra Mott 2/18/2011

    On Wisconsin!       Teachers are united and are standing strong in their convictions.   You are all brave and your solidarity is an inspiration to all of us who cherish our union rights and our contracts.    Another person put it are indeed fighting for us all.   Thank you.     Sandra Mott, High School Librarian at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.    (Graduate of UMadison '84)
  24. brenda clark 2/18/2011

    I know that many faculty members of Massachusetts SUPPORT the Wisconsin teachers 100 percent.  Please let us know if we can help.  Unfortunately, I do not know anyone who lives in Wisconsin to attend your rally.  DON'T GIVE UP!
  25. Maggie 2/18/2011

    I am a recent graduate entering the field of education in Washington State. I have also worked at a union grocery store for the last four years, and we recently completed a difficult bargain. I deeply believe in union values and in standing together. I can't be with you in Madison, but my thoughts are with you, and I will do everything I can to fight for collective bargaining rights here at home. Don't give up! "An injury to one is an injury to all."
  26. Maria 2/18/2011

    If I could be in Wisconsin I would be there but please know that I am behind you all the way.  We are facing similar legislation in our state.  Our entire association is standing in support of your efforts.  We are watching closely.  Teachers in Wisconsin please stand tall and know that you are supported in prayer. 
  27. Mike 2/18/2011

    We support the teachers efforts 100%!!! 
  28. Mary Schauf 2/18/2011

    I would be glad to boycott the businesses that supported Walker to show support for our teachers.  Do you have a list to post?
  29. miner 2/18/2011

    As a retired teacher in Georgia, I have been appalled for many years by the roll over and play dead attitude of many of my fellow teachers.  We have taken whatever those in power chose to inflict upon us.  We have been told that our "profession is one of service and altruism".  It is difficult to pay the electric bill or mortage with an altruism check.  When our government officials look  to budget cuts, the first place they go is educatiion and educators.
    Those of you in Wisconsin make me proud.  This should have happened 20 years ago.
  30. Deb Nielsen 2/18/2011

    We are standing with you!  You are an inspiration to us as you use your strong voices to stand up for the rights we all believe in. Keep up the good work and don't back down.
  31. Ashley Adams 2/18/2011

    Sure, Wisconsin is a different state than mine.  But the truth is that we are all Wisconsin public employees -- all of us.  What you are all going through -- we are all going through -- though maybe we haven't yet seen it as clearly yet where we are.

    Keep it up.  We in Massachusetts are with you.

    Ashley Adams
  32. Kathryn Castle 2/18/2011

    "What one state could not get alone, what one miner against a powerful corporation could not achieve, can be achieved by the union."
    Mary Harris Jones

    Your colleagues in the Elgin Teachers Association in Illinois believe your fight is our fight. Thank-you for your leadership and strength.
    Kathryn Castle
    ETA President
  33. Marshall 2/18/2011

    Your efforts are supported here in NY. While it was always hard to predict where "Ground Zero" in the fight for worker rights and human dignity would emerge, I am thrilled that the amazing people of Wisconsin are leading the cause.

    The Republicans and Tea Party fanatics, via their hateful, self-interested, disdainful politics, are on the cusp of eliminating the middle class; reducing this nation's greatest asset, and their potentially strongest political opposition. They demonstrate again and again their objectives and their contempt. Walker is simply their latest tool. But having wealth and power does not equate with morality, intelligence, or caring. I was taught in 7th grade that nothing is more important than the essential dignity of the common man. That still holds.

    As a teacher, administrator, and citizen, I will do what I can to stand with you. Please post ways in which those from afar can help. We've got your back.
  34. MI teacher 2/18/2011

    Keep up the fight! We are supporting you!
  35. Mario Accaoui 2/18/2011

    I worked as a Substitute in Hillsborough County Schools for six years here in Tampa, FL. I taught at risk teens and have visited Milwaukee, WI with great fondness.
    I support Wisconsin Teachers and your fight to protect your dignity to collective bargaining as hard working public employees!!
    Even though I am not there in body my spirit is there to support the great state of hardworking Wisconsin Teachers and Public Employees who are hardworking and deserve national support from the President and all patriotic Americans!
    If the situation of no negotiation with the dicatator Governor Walker think seriously about pushing for Recall of the Governor and all of his fellow Republican legislative supporters on repeal of your right and dignity to collective bargaining!
    On to Madison and throughout all of the USA!!!
    Keep the faith!
  36. Peggy 2/18/2011

    Keep it up. The entire country is watching. Your friends in Massachusetts support you. Mass. Teacher
  37. Tim Woodcock 2/18/2011

    Collective bargaining is vital in ensuring fair and open contracts and pay. It was won by the by our forbears after many centuries of ill treatment by bosses and the wealthy. You only have to go back in history less than a hundred years to see what will happen if a unions right to bargain on behalf of many is taken away or even reduced.

    Your fight is a global fight and will have repercussions throughout the world. The Tory Government in the UK are contemplating exactly the same move.

    This is a fight we must win! All power to you all.

    United we are strong.

    Tim Woodcock, Teacher and Trade Union leader Greenwich, UK
  38. Beth Popalisky 2/17/2011

    I am so proud of the fight that you are waging.  I was born and raised in Wisconsin.  Even though I teach in Minnesota, I come home to Milwaukee every chance I get.   Keep up the good fight, the whole nation is drawing inspiration from your courage!
  39. Dick 2/17/2011

    Seldom are people called to take action which could affect the future.  This is one of those times.  We in Wisconsin ARE at ground zero in the fight to bust unions.  But, with our united effort, we will prevail.
  40. Brit Satchwell 2/17/2011

    Wisconsin leads as the tide finally begins to turn.  The privatization of profits and the socialization of risk must stop.  Thank you for standing up for teachers, all public sector workers, and the hard-working members of the middle class who are the backbone of this great country.  I've had enough of the manipulative misinformation that has been subsidized by the New American Oligarchs... the truth will be told!

    Bargaining rights are a natural outcome of free market forces.  Bargaining rights are what allow Americans to hold onto the promise of opportunity for all.  Bargaining is the epitome of appropriate adult behavior that our mothers and fathers taught us... sit down, talk it over, compromise if necessary, work it out, and move forward.

    Thank you Wisconsin workers! 
  41. Cheryl from Michigan 2/17/2011

    Stay strong brothers and sisters in Wisconsin.  The nation is watching you.  Our politicians want to do away with collective bargaining and make all of us fear for our jobs.  They started with industry and now they are moving to the schools and state employees.  This hatred of  unions has to be addressed.  Unions are not the reason our country and our states are in the mess they are in today. I support your efforts.
  42. Mary 2/17/2011

    We need to start recalls IMMEDIATELY on all Republican senators and assemblymen.  Does anyone know how it is done?
  43. Brent 2/17/2011

    The teachers of Minnesota support your efforts.  I am originally from WI and it saddens me to see what is going on.  Keep up the fight as others have said so well you are fighting for all teachers and the working middle class.  
  44. Sarita Collins 2/17/2011

    You, in Wisconsin, are not alone. We, in Michigan, know we will be next. What can we do to help/support you? We are with you!!!
  45. Dennis Lenzendorf 2/17/2011

    We have followed the actions of state employees and teachers in Wisconsin.  We support your courageous efforts and perseverance to overcome the tyranny of the Governor of Wisconsin.  We live in Wyoming but I was a teacher in Wisconsin for 36 years and my wife worked for the State Historical Society. Our daughter teaches in Green Bay and our grandkids go to school in Wisconsin, some of the best schools in the nation.  It is worth fighting to keep the tradition of quality education in Wisconsin.  What happens in Madison will set the tone for the nation, you are leaders.
    Thank you
    Dennis and Penny Lenzendorf
    Coda, Wyoming
  46. Sue 2/17/2011

    Opposing groups may think they know how to organize; they haven't see anything yet!  We're not quitters nor ignorant~~ certainly contributers & payers in our economy. To each of you rallying for the cause, thank you and be strong! My family & I are joining you tomorrow.
  47. Bill Collins 2/17/2011

    Keep fighting!  Teachers are sending you their suppport from here in Colorado and if we could we would come out tomorrow to march right by your side.

    good luck and god bless


  48. Ron 2/17/2011

    Stand tall Wisconsin public employees an attack on public sector unions is an attack all unions. If they cut you down they will also go after what's left of us in the private sector. Then they will go after what they have the nerve to call entitlements, Social Security, Medicare. Conservatives and republicans have resented all that unions stand for they want to get rid of it all. They will have us back on 6 and 7 day work weeks and no overtime pay.  They want to turn back the clock 100 years they are after ALL of US!!!

    Ron a proud IBEW member in Massachusetts.
  49. Another MI teacher 2/17/2011

    Way to go WI teachers!  Keep doing what you're doing.  You have support here in MI!
  50. Maria Salidis 2/17/2011

    Power to the people! Follow your heart and trust it will lead you to freedom!
  51. Wendy 2/17/2011

    Brothers and Sisters in Wisconsin, 
    PA teachers are behind you 100%.  Stay strong and thanks for fighting the fight. 
  52. Elizabeth C 2/17/2011

    The teachers of the Durango Education Association in Durango, CO support you in all of your struggles. You make us proud to be educators and proud to be union members. Collective bargaining is human right, and we have your back, even from the other side of the Rocky Mountains!  
  53. Margaret 2/17/2011

    In response to Alex. Firefighters have shown support.  I am a teacher in a small, very conservative community. I went to the first small rallies and vigils over the weekend with my husband and sister. In my school I have worn redA in solidarity every day, waiting to see others wearing red in support. Slowly each day more and more joined in. One could sense the fear of reprisal, but more and more of us talked openly. Each night this week more of us drove an hour to and from Madison to take part in the vigils and rallies. My husband and other teachers' family members went to the daytime rallies. When my husband was there on Tuesday and Wednesday, firefighters marched as a group into the rallies, to loud cheers. Many of the police quietly said thank you to us as they held the doors for us to enter the capitol. I am so proud of our state Democratic senators who left the state to try to slow down the unconscienable speed with which the Republicans are trying to put this to a vote. This attempt to destroy unions is but one more step in removing the middle class.  Since it is happening in so many states at once one can guess that it has been planned for a long time by Republicans and some corporations who suffer from great greed.  There really is a culture of the rich who don't want a well educated middle class.  Why else is there so much outsourcing in a country that used to be known for manufacturing the most well made products in the world, not the "cheapest"?
  54. Ruth 2/17/2011

    Stay strong, WI! We are with you here in Oregon.
  55. Lari 2/17/2011

    GO WISCONSIN! Your fellow teachers in New York support and admire everything you are doing.
  56. Van Buren EA, MI 2/17/2011

    Wisconsin Teachers, your brothers and sisters in education support you from Michigan. You are at the front of an issue that will spread to every state if it passes. Keep fighting for your right (and our right) to collective bargaining!
  57. Brad 2/17/2011

    Keep it up. I am so proud of your efforts.
  58. Joe LeBlanc 2/17/2011

    More than 5,000 Massachusetts Community College Council members (faculty and professional staff) support you. We are proud of your efforts. You are fighting for all of us and every American worker.

    Don't give up. Justice will triumph.
    In solidarity,
    Joe LeBlanc
    MCCC President
  59. Julie 2/17/2011

    Our district was closed today and I applaud the efforts of our teachers and other citizens who protested.  I have two kids in school and think they got more of an education watching the protests than any math class could have ever given them on their day off.  I support the schools closing until this bill is dead, even if it takes weeks.
  60. Lois J 2/17/2011

    Your rally is the right thing to do.  Keep up the pressure on the your legislature.  Walker has gone to far and must be pushed back.  Your brothers and sisters in the NEA are behind you.  Win this, and we can shut them up.
  61. AA 2/17/2011

    Michigan supports you Wisconsin!  Thanks for standing up for unions!  United We Stand!
  62. BrianB 2/17/2011

    Illinois public educators are with you! Fight the good fight, and know that educators across the country support your efforts. We will not have our rights taken away by extremist Republicans.
  63. Michigan 2/17/2011

    Go Wisconsin!   Michigan has your back! 
    We are on the same team!
    United we Stand!  Stay Strong!
  64. Joy 2/17/2011

    I'm a school Speech-Language Pathologist in Michigan. I support you all the way. Stay strong, fellow educators! 
  65. Anthony J Perzia 2/17/2011

    To all the Union hard working people of Wisconsin, it  make me so proud to be a union member in the Northeast Pennsylvania area. I am a custodian at Wyoming Valley School district in Kingston, Pennsylvania.  Be strong with your memebers, your fight is our fight. We have been watching the news, and we would be proud to be standing right next to you. You are not only fighting for Wisconsin but our nation in general.  We would like to see every state in the Union send buses, any type of transportation, to your protest.

  66. KS 2/17/2011

    As a teacher in the Racine Unified School District, I was proud to be in Madison today and see the hundreds of students marching around the capital chanting and carrying signs in support of their teachers and their education.  Before today, I would have had nothing but good things to say about Racine Unified's administration.  However, I was very disappointed in my school district for requiring teachers to report and stay in their school buildings today, even though school was cancelled.  I felt that this requirement caused many teachers who would have come to Madison stay back even though no students were present.  What was the point of making teachers sit idly by when they could have been supporting their union's call to action?  I was further disappointed by our superintendent Dr. Shaw who issued a district-wide email today threatening any teacher who takes a sick day tomorrow with disciplinary action if they do not provide documentation from a doctor which states that their absence was due to a valid illness or injury.  What kind of message is this sending us? One that says that we should not stand up and fight for our rights to protect the benefits that we were promised when we signed our contracts and committed ourselves to teaching in this district.  I want to be in Madison again tomorrow, but now I'm afraid that disciplinary action will be taken against me. 
  67. Alex 2/17/2011

    Thank you Wisconsin teachers! You are fighting for us . Stay united in solidarity. My family here in New Jersey support  you 100%. Any chance that fire and police will join?

  68. Julie 2/17/2011

    A hard working teacher of 14 years and will continue to serve our children.  I am proud of all of you who are standing up to make our voices heard.  I beg you Scott Walker listen and let us be heard.
  69. bev 2/17/2011

    I am a retired teacher from Illinois, and I support you 100%. Your fight is our fight!
  70. Jessica Hebl 2/17/2011

    I'm so proud and inspired by the public workers of Wisconsin! You are making a difference.
  71. Ruth 2/17/2011

    Another Michigan teacher here - hang in there Wisconsin - we're right there with you!!
  72. robert luke 2/17/2011

    I am so proud of you all it feels my heart. Workers have been taken such a beating it is horrible. You brave people are taking a very important step because if they (the govt union busters) succeed it will snow ball all over the country. Arnie tried to pull a similar stunt in CA. a few years ago and we stood up and he failed, but it was nothing compared to the strength and courage you are showing. Don't give up ; we are proud of you and standing behind you. Put those t-shirts up for sale and I think you can sell them all over this country. Bless you all you are beautiful.
                                                                            Sincerely, Bob Luke
                                                                             retired teacher 
  73. Virginia 2/17/2011

    Hey Wisconsin teachers, as a teacher who recently retired after 40 years in the classroom and a union member from New Mexico - now in the retired teachers' federation - I applaud your courage, support you and am so proud of all of you. Wish I could be there with you physically but my thoughts and good wishes go out to all of you.  Hang tough and stay in the fight. In solidarity.
  74. Liz 2/17/2011

    A New york city teacher is soooooo proud of all of you!!
  75. jhand 2/17/2011

    Just one Texas NEA member offering prayers and support for you all in Wisconsin.  Perhaps your example will awaken public employees in other states.  Best of good luck in your fight.
  76. Dan 2/17/2011

    Here is some support from rural Michigan! Hang in there...United We Stand!
  77. Robin Kuykendall 2/17/2011

    "Public employee compensation" includes elected officials' salaries, retirement, health insurance, life insurance, Social Security contributions, assigned vehicles, residences, offices, clerical assistance, on and on.  Be sure those categories are included in the budget cuts about to occur.  Elected officials' compensation should also be tied to the percentage of bills passed/repealed of those proposed, and the number of days spent in the public classroom instructing, since licensure isn't all that big a deal to anti-union sympathizers, anyway.

    Meanwhile, keep up the good fight.  I would like to alert you to a friend of ours' new effort, found here: 

    Yesterday, Tennessee legislative ed. committee voted to repeal collective bargaining rights for educators.   Other state legislators & executives act in concert.  These events are no accident.  They are a testament to the power of collective action and evidence of why anti-employee groups want to exclude employees from this powerful arena.

    We're with you out here.
  78. Mary 2/17/2011

    My husband is a highway worker, we applaud and support you 100%.  Fight the fight and be victorious!!!!!!!!!!
  79. Bill Knotek 2/17/2011

    I agree with Kathy's sentiment and pride. Also, I am excited and saddened.  I am excited and proud of Wisconsinites everywhere who are standing up for the right to bargain and against bullying by Governor Walker and others.  I am saddened I did not stand up sooner to celebrate all that we teachers and other workers everywhere do!
    I would like us to keep our union representation and help eliminate the state deficit.
  80. Tracy 2/17/2011

    I'm a Michigan union member, and want to express my support and thanks for your efforts to be heard. Even though we are in different states, as union members we are all in this together!
  81. Pam 2/17/2011

    I am a union employee in another state...but please know that we "brothers and sisters" nation wide support your efforts.  Your battles are precedent setting...and we applaud you!
  82. Dianne 2/17/2011

    I am not a public employee just a Wisconsin citizen. I am so very proud of all the people there! And so very proud of all our students. How refreshing! They are trying to bully the wrong state..go get them. I can't be there, but I am there in spirit. I wrote all my legislatures yesterday.
  83. Marjorie Andrea 2/17/2011

    I use the WI State Legislative sight for Email addresses for the Senate and Assembly.  Top left for list of all Senate and Representatives Email addresses.  I wrote them all yesterday, as I felt compelled to ask more than just my district representatives for help.
  84. Mary Savage 2/17/2011

    WE need to identify our home towns.  The Gov thinks we are all a bunch of Madison liberal wackos.  If you drove in from Superior, let him know where you come from.  Organize by town or district.  Get the word out.
  85. susan nicol 2/17/2011

    I can put 3-4 people up at our house if you come to Madison.  Send me an email.  We're on a bus line that's easy to come and go to/from the capitol.  (The #3 bus) Come on to Madison!
  86. Jim 2/17/2011

    Where is the national news on this issue?  MSNBC is covering it well on The Ed Show, but other than that - nothing.  I know all about Charlie Sheen, but ABC and others can't devote a few minutes to 40,000 people gathering to protest the killing of collective bargaining?  Of course, FOX Spewes is on the issue.  Glen Beck says the Madison rally is being led by Islamic operatives - the same ones that have had rallys in Cairo, Iran, Libya etc.
    The other bothersome issue is Washington.  Why haven't Obama and other high-level Democrats come to Madison or at least let their voices be heard?  Wisconsin is the battleground for labor rights at this very moment.  They better lend a hand or the next third party movement will be a Labor Party!
    On to Madison!
  87. Wendy 2/17/2011

    I was just told by someone in the know that while we can not recall Walker just yet, we can recall Senators that vote for this bill. I don't know how that can be organized, but I sure think it would send a message.
  88. sandy 2/17/2011

    Good job teachers - you did the right thing today!!
  89. Ken Mahoney 2/17/2011

    Keep up the fight as it will be our turn soon and if you lose so will we.  Our Governor in Michigan has already indicated that the problem is public employee compensation.  As a retiree if I can be of assistance to you please let me know.  This is the worst assault on unions in general since the early thirties.

    Ken Mahoney
  90. Erin 2/17/2011

    It is so easy...go to the WEA building on Nob Hill Road and get on the shuttle bus... don't make other people fight for your job!
  91. Jen 2/17/2011

    We have a day off on Friday and we were planning on a mini vacation in Green Bay, but now the Green Bay Area of Commerc(?) said they support the bill...I'm looking for hotels in Madison instead, what a great thing for my children to see...that people care enough about their future to come together in such great numbers!
  92. Mary 2/17/2011

    We are going, too.  Again, any tips on parking, shuttles, etc.
  93. AL 2/16/2011

    You need to post a list of email addresses for every State Senator and Assembly Person and a district map so people can email there representatives.
  94. Linda 2/16/2011

    "We're going" here is a site with the information you are requesting.
  95. We're going 2/16/2011

    Any tips on parking, shuttles, etc..?  Don't need to add to the congestion downtown if we can avoid it.
  96. Kathy 2/16/2011

    Several large school districts have already called off school to celebrate this history lesson!

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