"Unrest in the Midwest" is probably an understatement. Wisconsin passed its union-busting bill through the Senate without having a quorum, and the citizens are -- understandably -- a bit upset. While they were busy protesting last night in Madison, Michael Moore appeared on Rachel Maddow's show to talk about what all of this means. And he didn't mince words: "This is war."
Take approximately nine minutes (the clip is 8:58) and watch for yourself.
"This is war. This is a class war that's been leveled against the working people of this country. And at some point people are going to have to stand up and say -- non-violently -- 'this is enough. We're not taking it anymore.'"
The footage of the protesters being locked out of the state house is eerily familiar to those in Ohio who were similarly locked out in Columbus last week, my husband among them. Unfortunately, Wisconsin and Ohio are not alone in their battles, with similar "wars" popping up in Michigan and elsewhere. Those who often work paycheck-to-paycheck are being asked to fix a budget problem that did not begin with them and most certainly does not end with them. Rolling back the rights of workers seems to be a Band-Aid fix. Band-Aids don't stay on forever, and we know that it hurts more to rip them off than to put them on.
I encourage you to educate yourselves about Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and beyond. I maintain that this doesn't have to be a partisan issue. You can discuss these topics in a calm manner. Take a peek into workers rights' history with posts like Suzanne wrote just yesterday. Ask your grandparents, your parents. Ask a teacher. Talk about the issues with your children. Because right now, you can't claim ignorance or apathy about politics: It's everywhere and it's about you.
History is being made in our country right now. Whether we're paying attention or not. Whether we're for or against the changes being made. Whether we understand what's going on or not. History is being made. You can either passively let it happen to you or you can become an active participant. But know this: Whether you're on the front line or sitting on your couch, these changes affect you.
Contributing Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land. She is a freelance writer and photographer. She is proudly married to an IAFF firefighter in Local 910 and they are not leaving Ohio.
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