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Best Videos of Democracy in Action

Best Videos of Democracy in Action

“These past years I have found it so easy to be cynical about politics in this country. What the protestors are doing in Madison has given me hope for the first time in a couple of years. Their actions are simply heroic and are truly inspiring. I’ll be turning out this week to stand in solidarity with WI workers and I urge you all to do the same. While it has seemed like this country has been slowly crumbling for a decade or more, the 70k in Madison give me hope for the future.” –comment on second video below.

During this portion of the Assembly Special Floor Session, a quorum call was ordered at 5:00. Roll call was taken. And Voting began BEFORE 5:00 WHEN DEMOCRATS WERE TOLD TO BE THERE.

At 4:57 Assembly Democrats (in orange) begin to show up.

This is the most dramatic footage you will ever see.

Eventually, they are able to stop the voting on Special Session Assembly Bill 11 arguing that they had amendments that needed to be taken up. The Assembly speaker agreed and the floor session adjourned until Tuesday, February 22nd.

We Are Wisconsin from Finn Ryan on Vimeo.

SPOKEN BY THE PEOPLE from Tilt Media on Vimeo.

Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey could not enter the Wisconsin Capitol despite the claim by the Department of Administration that the building is open.

The Capitol has been a scene of on-going protests in response to legislation proposed by Governor Walker.

Following the lockdown of the building, the Circuit Court issued an injunction to reopen the building to the public.

Rep. Obey served Wisconsin in Congress from 1969 – 2011 and in the State Assembly from 1963 – 1969.

He was met at the doors by Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and Assistant Minorirty Leader Donna Seidel (D-Wausau).

WISCONSIN from @pawlmadethis on Vimeo.

Thank you! We are so proud of the Fab 14 and their efforts on behalf of the people of Wisconsin. Whatever you feel you need to do going forward, we will stand beside you!

At timeline:

Democratic Assemblyman tackled by police as a result of Walker’s restricting access to the capitol:

WI Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) stands up to Republicans as they try to ram through their budget bill at a meeting called in violation of the state’s open meetings law.

Portrait Of A Protest: Madison, Wisconsin from Kevin J. Miyazaki on Vimeo.

More to come . . . because, surely, there will be more to come.

Dear SCF School Board, and Community:

A letter from the teachers:

“Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?  Expediency asks the question, is it politic?  Vanity asks the question, is it popular?  But conscience asks the question, is it right?  And there comes a time when one must take a position, that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right!”  Dr. Martin Luther King

On Friday, February 18th, many teachers in the SCF school district broke the rules they agreed to uphold and traveled to Madison to protest the budget repair bill.  As a result, there were not enough subs to cover and Glenn Martin, in order to ensure the safety of the students, was forced to cancel school.

Though we were aware that our actions had the potential to close school, that was never our intent.  For most, this was a gut wrenching and difficult decision to make.  Not one of us made it lightly.  We were breaking a promise we made to a community that trusts us with their children.  This is a fact that weighed heavily on each of our hearts that day.  All day.

Still, we are not sorry that we went.

Many of us live in this community.  We have family and friends and neighbors that are counting on us to do our job–and we are saddened that many of you feel that we let you down.  Many are angry.  We have, no doubt, damaged some relationships and lost some trust. And so we come before you–guilty as charged.  We apologize for the disruption this caused.   Each of us takes full responsibility and are prepared to face the consequences.

Still, we are not sorry that we went.

Why?

About the middle of last week, when it began to be clear to us what was happening in Madison, and how the Budget Repair Bill would damage not only the core of a proud tradition of excellent education in Wisconsin, but also ripple through our communities with waves of painful unintended consequences–each of us took a hard look deep into our souls.  What we found there was a choice–to play it safe here in St. Croix Falls, or to stand up for all of our children, all of our futures, all of Wisconsin and what we believe to be right.

Collective bargaining has been happening in Wisconsin for over 50 years.  Statistically, states with collective bargaining score higher on ACT/SAT test.  Five states without collective bargaining and their respective ACT/SAT rank are Virginia (44th), Texas (47th), Georgia (48th) North Carolina (49th) and South Carolina (50th).  Wisconsin and Minnesota tied for 2nd.

This is not about money.  This is not about pensions, or health care, or benefits or salary.  This is about the right to sit down at the table to discuss, to collaborate, to negotiate, to work together to solve the complex problems that we face today.  This is collective bargaining.  This is negotiation.  This is what we teach our students to do every day.  To collaborate.  To negotiate.  To work together. To appreciate differences and perspectives. But most of all–to stand up and do what’s right.

Even when you are standing alone.

Why I went to Madison to protest the Budget Repair Bill

I have something important to share with you.

Please follow this link to watch video of “02.18.11 | Assembly Floor Session (Part 4)”

Once at the site, please scroll down to the bottom (at least it was at the bottom at the time of this writing) to “02.18.11 | Assembly Floor Session (Part 4)” and watch the video.

Notice that only 1/2 the room is full as attendance is taken. Be patient. Keep watching for THE most dramatic thing you’ve ever seen. I promise.

Pay close attention to the running time at the bottom of the page. Nothing. NOTHING illustrates better the reason I went to Madison last Friday. Nothing. In total, this video is 31-ish minutes long. But it’s better drama than anything you’ll EVER see on nighttime T.V. This actually happened.

And I was there.

Just a little more back story to help you to understand what you are watching:

During this portion of the Assembly Special Floor Session, a quorum call was ordered at 5:00. Roll call was taken. And Voting began BEFORE 5:00 WHEN DEMOCRATS WERE TOLD TO BE THERE.

At 4:57 Assembly Democrats (in orange) begin to show up.

Eventually, they are able to stop the voting on Special Session Assembly Bill 11 arguing that they had amendments that needed to be taken up. The Assembly speaker agreed and the floor session adjourned until Tuesday, February 22nd.

Please share this. Nothing I can say, or write, or argue, or link to can explain it better.

Again, the only other thing I’d like to say is, please seek to understand.

If you just want to be mad. Be mad.  If you want this bill to pass–that’s fine.  But this is bigger than that.  Way bigger.

If you want to know why, if you want to understand, please watch. I’m a teacher. At my core I work for truth. I work for understanding.  This video of our government at work explains it better than I ever could.  There is no editorializing here.  There are no opinions.

This happened.  And this is what is happening in Wisconsin.  And this is why there were 100,000 people there on Saturday.

Things are happening way too quickly with no opportunity for collaboration or discussion or creative problem solving.

THAT is what is why I can’t sleep at night. THAT is why I’m not eating. THAT is why I HAD to go to Madison on Friday.