"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me."
Pastor Neimoller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came%E2%80%A6
WHEN THE corrupt, thieving SYSTEM starts acting like a Thatcherite-Reaganite-Koch-Teabagger CHERRY PICKING VICTIMS for salary cuts -- FIRST to die are the trade unionists (i.e. the commies, -- Pastor N. got THAT right.) Off TO THE OVENS with them damn lefties! Then layer after layer of folks whom nobody likes very well --- homosexuals, ethnics, but the first branch to get whacked is always those fatcat state/ city workers and the commie unions they rode in on.
Governor Scott (the Machete) Walker probably counted on lower-down-the-tree Bozos with entry level jobs having some serious PENSION ENVY and hatred of elite workers. He counted on the onlookers being Pea green over 'time and a half' overtime, huge perks like healthcare, dental, ocular, free daycare, matching funds to those lifetime pensions on top of a massive 31$ an hour salary and let's not forget paid vacations! -- the goodies just kept coming! AARRRGGHHH! So the Governor thought, I kick the stool out from under state workers, nobody will picket me. WRONGGGGG!
The state and city workers somehow brought in crowds of people. They organized like the teabaggers did over fat government spending issues, Opposite camps but same amount of teeth.Poster-asssisted rewrite of a Patrick Martin orig found at wsws.org
Two incidents connected to the ongoing mass protests in Wisconsin underscore the utter ruthlessness of the ruling class in its determination to drive down the living conditions of workers, not only in that state but throughout the United States, starting with the fat fruit hanging at the top of the tree but destined to work their razor sharp way down the 'worker tree' pruning with chainsaws.
Doing some Charlie Sheen sized rhetoric overkill, (Only for RIGHT WING THEOLOGY) .Jeff Cox, the Republican deputy attorney general of Indiana recently told the liberal magazine Mother Jones that he favored live ammunition as the response to the protests in Wisconsin. You know, Kent State action, Libya Khadafi Krowd Killing. He described workers protesting benefit cuts and attacks on their legal rights as political enemies and thugs and declared, 'You're damned right I advocate deadly force. Cox, a state attorney for eight years, was fired Wednesday after the magazine published the exchange. You can't talk that way even in jest, to the NEW PC, soy formula, Gerbers generation cuz they go all soft and wilty with wolf breath. Just like sheen got canned the day after his own wolf breath on management.
But wait it gets better. Imagine an HILARIOUS FAKE KOCH-TEABAGGER SKIT ON RADIO. A blogger from a pro-union web site in Buffalo, New York contacted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Tuesday, posing as billionaire David Koch, one of the leading backers of corporate union-busting and the ultra-right Tea Party movement. Somehow the leftist blogger, Ian Murphy, recorded the call and published the transcript Wednesday.
In the course of a 20-minute conversation, blogger Murphy elicited a series of provocative remarks from the Republican governor. Again, recording them! Gov Walker suggested that felony charges could be trumped up against Democratic state senators who had blocked passage of his anti-union legislation by fleeing the state, offered to negotiate with his opponents using a baseball bat, and discussed the pros and cons of planting some troublemakers in the crowds demonstrating outside the state capitol. agent provocateurs. Jeez, Gov musta been doing bone-up reading of old Nixon Hoover era FBI manuals.
The most noteworthy---and much less reported---passage in Walker's discussion with the faux Koch came at the end, where he recounts a conversation with his cabinet on February 6. Walker noted the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, and cited one of the most defining (i.e. hallowed) moments of RR's political career, not just his presidency, when he fired the air traffic controllers. The coming confrontation in Wisconsinis IS our time to change the course of history, Walker told his cabinet!
These two expose's give a glimpse of the political reality that is normally covered up by the American media---the ruthlessness and brutality, not merely of two individuals, but of an entire social class. Cox and Walker were not just speaking for themselves, but for the privileged financial elite that is prepared to use violence to achieve its ends. This kind of language is similar to what would have been used by Mubarak in Egypt or Gaddafi in Libya as they prepared a brutal crackdown.
Gov Walker & Co. see the attacks on state workers, not as a series of disconnected episodes, but as part of a broader struggle to crush the working class and turn back the clock by decades, in terms of their social rights. This attack is being waged in states throughout the country, as well as by the federal government, under both Democratic and Republican Party leadership.
Workers must understand of the nature of the conflict they find themselves in. They face a ruling elite that has declared war. While the ruling class is politically mobilized, with two parties working consciously to achieve its ends, workers have yet to build mass organizations capable of countering this attack and advancing the interests of the vast majority of the population.
The American trade unions are incapable of defending themselves, let alone the working class. In Wisconsin, officials of the state employee and teachers' unions openly embrace all the cuts demanded by Walker in the income, benefits and workplace rights of the workers. They are balking only at those demands---ending the dues check-off and automatic union recognition---that threaten their own incomes.
Decades of labor-management collaboration, anti-Communism, and denial of the class struggle---in which the very term working class was banned and replaced bymiddle class---have separated the interests of the trade unions from those of the working class.
As the ruling elite is waging a ruthless struggle to defend its ill-gotten wealth, the unions are irreconcilably hostile to a socialist struggle based on the expropriation of the financial aristocracy and the coming to power of the working class.
Instead, they tie the working class politically to the Democratic Party, a big business party whose representatives, no less than the Republicans, defend the profits of the giant corporations and the wealth of the ultra-rich. In state after state, Democratic governors are making the same demands on public employees as Walker, only preferring to use the unions to help extract concessions from the workers.
Indeed, the Obama administration is one of the main agents of the financial aristocracy's war on the workers. As his administration pours trillions into bank bailouts and bonuses for Wall Street executives, he adamantly refuses to help bankrupt state and local governments. He is also imposing wage freezes on federal workers, while preparing a budget with hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts aimed overwhelmingly at working people.
Three years into the biggest crisis of the capitalist system since the Great Depression, the American political system has revealed its class character in the most brazen possible fashion. The Democrats and Republicans rescue billionaires and corporations, while demonizing schoolteachers and street sweepers asoverpaid andprivileged.
For millions of working people, the events in Wisconsin are a wake-up call. The working class must recognize---as its enemies surely do---that it faces a serious and protracted struggle. The conflicts in Wisconsin, and in other states and cities throughout the country, are not separate and isolated events, but part of an ongoing class war.
To prevail in this struggle, the working class requires a new political perspective and new fighting organizations. Workers must consciously take up the struggle against the capitalist system. They must answer the claims that there isno money for vital, basic social needs like education, housing and healthcare, with demands for the confiscation of the wealth of the billionaires, and the transfer of the giant corporations to public ownership.
This means a political break with the Democratic and Republican parties, and the building of the Socialist Equality Party as a mass party, struggling for socialism and internationalism in the working class.
THIS JUST IN: Wisconsin governor threatens to cut 12,000 jobs
By Patrick Martin
25 February 2011
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker threatened to eliminate up to 12,000 jobs of state and local government workers if the state legislature does not quickly approve a budget repair bill that all but abolishes collective bargaining for public employees. At a press conference Thursday evening, he shed crocodile tears over the prospect of mass job cuts. “I’d do almost anything to avoid laying people off,” he claimed. “We need to avoid those layoffs for the good of those workers.”
The threat seemed aimed at pressing his political advantage after Democrats in the state assembly caved in after a two-day filibuster and agreed to permit a vote on the budget repair bill. Walker flatly rebuffed suggestions of any change in the legislation, which was expected to pass the lower house later that day, but has been blocked in the State Senate for lack of a quorum, in the absence of the 14 members of the Democratic minority.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald instructed state troopers Thursday morning to begin searching for the Democratic senators, after they again failed to attend the session. All 14 are reported to be in Illinois, outside the jurisdiction of the state
At his press conference, Governor Walker appeared to be seeking to mobilize local government support for his attack on public employees, emphasizing that local governments would be able to cut $1.44 billion over two years from employee compensation under the terms of the bill, entirely offsetting the bill’s reduction in state aid.
He was responding to the news conference the previous day at the state capitol at which 200 mayors, school board presidents and other officials voiced their opposition to the elimination of local collective bargaining. The group represented 20 cities, 41 towns and 22 counties, encompassing the majority of the state’s population.
Walker hailed the decision of Democrats in the lower house to halt their effort to filibuster the bill by introducing hundreds of amendments and demanding extensive debate on each one. An agreement early Thursday morning between Democrats and Republicans in the state assembly limited the number of amendments to 38, with each one given 10 minutes debate, effectively ensuring a final vote on the legislation sometime Thursday night.
A group of assembly Democrats met with Walker’s director of administration Thursday to discuss a proposed alternative that would incorporate the $300 million in cuts for state employees, but not the provisions eliminating most collective bargaining rights. This was another pretense of consultation which does nothing to change the bill, but it confirms the support of the Democrats for cuts.
Officials of the state legislature also moved to curb the occupation of the state capitol, which went into its eleventh day on Thursday. The Joint Committee on Legislative Organization voted Wednesday to bar access to hearing rooms and legislative offices after normal business hours, starting Saturday.
Protesters would still be permitted in the rotunda and public hallways, but they would no longer be allowed to sleep over in committee rooms and the offices of Democratic state legislators. The obvious next step will be to close the public spaces during off-hours as well, which would entail physically removing demonstrators. Opinion polls continue to show intense popular opposition to the anti-worker legislation, despite the nonstop media propaganda campaign portraying the cuts as an inevitable response to the state’s budget crisis, and the support of both Democrats and Republicans for cutting state worker pay and benefits.
The campuses of the University of Wisconsin remain a focal point of the opposition.
Faculty at UW-La Crosse voted 249-37 Thursday to unionize, the third campus to do so. The vote amounted to direct defiance of the governor, whose budget repair bill effectively prohibits any new unionization efforts among state employees.
There remains an unbridgeable gulf between the militant opposition of rank-and-file workers, both public and private, and the increasingly obvious capitulation by the unions.
Union officials claimed to be expanding the protest campaign against the Walker bill, announcing that demonstrations Thursday would be “the largest in Wisconsin’s history.” Wisconsin AFL-CIO president Phil Neuenfeldt declared, “We’re expecting tens of thousands of workers in their home districts to be talking to their state senators and representatives about supporting workers rights. There are events in all parts of the state.” Despite the grandiose talk, the day’s events seemed to be directed at dispersing the crowds of workers surrounding the state capitol and turning them to traditional lobbying of their local state representatives. The turnout at the events reported on Thursday afternoon was sparse, including only 200 people at a lunchtime march in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city.
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