Tuesday: March on the Capitol

To the University of Wisconsin community:

The crisis in our state capitol and on our campus has steadily deepened in recent days. The consequences of the proposed budget repair bill have come into clearer focus, including the loss of bargaining rights by hospital employees. Current discussions include not only stripping everyone on campus of bargaining rights, but upcoming permanent budget cuts of at least 50-75 million dollars. Many other changes are anticipated, the details as yet unknown.

On Tuesday several campus organizations, including UW Faculty Organizing for Change and the Teaching Assistants’ Association, will be holding a rally and march, and they are calling for another teach out. Faculty will gather at 10:30 by Abraham Lincoln on Bascom Hill and walk down to meet a group of students on the Library Mall and we’ll walk together to the Capitol.

In order to support our students, graduate student workers and staff, some of us have decided that it is imperative to participate in Tuesday’s actions, even if it means rearranging other obligations, including potentially classes. Another possibility would be to postpone any assignments that might be due on Wednesday to Thursday or Friday, if it does not disrupt the flow of the course. Keep in mind that we are announcing our intentions, not telling you what to do, but like-minded faculty are of course welcome to join us.Numen_Lumen_Engineer10_8084

On Wisconsin!

The Steering Committee, Public Representation Organization of the Faculty Senate

Associated Students of Madison

19 comments for “Tuesday: March on the Capitol

  1. Rand Valentine
    February 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

    The current crisis has awakened me to the pervasive culture war that is taking place in the country. What is particularly alarming, and telling, is the wilful misrepresentation of the facts of the current protest, e.g., the failure, in some critical opinion pieces, to even MENTION that we are are not protesting the cuts to our health and pension benefits, but rather our being forced to sacrifice all bargaining rights. There is an obvious dysfunctional political motivation to eviscerate the Democratic party by people who seem to have little interest in democratic process. With the change of landscape ushered in by Citizens United SCOTUS decision, we are going to see massive attacks on the principles the university represents. Without a doubt the TAA has done the best job of representing our collective interests in the current crisis, with heavy involvement at the Capitol, not only in making the voice heard that many of us are either too cowardly or too lazy to make ourselves, but doing such things as helping to keep the protests orderly and even cleaning up the Capitol building. They honor the values that we espouse in a way that is surely embarrassing our own complacency. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

  2. Neil Whitehead
    February 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    This needs to also be sent directly to membership who may not otherwise be aware of PROFS support for action tomorrow..

  3. peter lipton
    February 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I am v ery happy that PROF is taking a major role in moving this consciousness movement along the right track. It is responsible and essential.

  4. Frank Salomon
    February 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I commend the TA’s for making sure that students continue to get full value out of their courses even while we face crisis. Instructors should try to do the same. Keep ’em learning!

  5. February 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks From all I can see, it seems like a lot of people are working very hard to make exactly those accommodations and meet exactly that goal.

  6. Cecilia Ford
    February 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I am proud of the strong stand that PROFS is taking in response to the anti-union bill that Walker and the national team are pushing. Totally un-American and unacceptable. Collective negotiation is essential to our democracy and our human rights.

    Thank you PROFS!

  7. Monica Macaulay
    February 21, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you, PROFS. It’s essential that we keep up the fight. I talked to my brother in Montana last night and he kept asking how things got to this point. I don’t really know the answer, except that people were lied to and had their fears played upon, and wound up voting for candidates who are taking actions against those people’s own interests. It’s really criminal, and we have to do what we can.

  8. Timothy Yu
    February 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    A Facebook event for the march has been set up here:


  9. February 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you, PROFS. I am immensely proud of the work you are doing: defending the university, its employees, and its students in the face of the governor’s radical and extremist efforts to de-fund and ruin Wisconsin’s world-class university and deprive the people who make it work of our collective bargaining rights.

    Chad Alan Goldberg
    Associate Professor of Sociology

  10. Elizabeth Wrigley-Field
    February 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Thank you for this.

    Also, I would recommend that we all circulate the information that this is happening widely in our departments since all faculty and students should be aware that a large number of faculty, graduate students, undergrads and staff plan to walk out — faculty should all know this so they can plan accordingly in case there are disruptions to their academic plans for tomorrow.

  11. Robert Hamers
    February 21, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you PROFS for taking leadership on this issue of such enormous importance! Collective bargaining is a fundamental right. We should all be very grateful for the students, especially the TAA, for their dedication and very responsible approach to the situation.

    The governor was elected on the basis of his pledge to create jobs. But the University of Wisconsin is the economic engine that prepares the educated workforce and drives the creation of new jobs that make the economy go. We and the other educators are the economic future of the state– Somehow we need to make sure that message gets through.

    Let’s continue to show the state, the nation, and the world what the face of democracy looks like!

  12. February 22, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Thank you all for speaking out. This one counts.

  13. Mark Louden
    February 22, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Like others, I am very grateful for the way in which PROFS is taking a vigorous stand for what is right in this situation. It is downright disheartening to hear and read uninformed rhetoric that utterly misrepresents the hard facts, including the myth that WI state workers are over-compensated: that’s flat out wrong, as the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute (www.epi.org) has demonstrated. The matter of compensation aside, the evisceration of workers’ rights is profoundly disturbing, and I am glad that PROFS continues to advocate for common sense in a civil and articulate way.

  14. Kent Wenger
    February 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I think it’s also important to publicize other parts of the so-called “budget repair bill”, such as the provision for no-bid sale of state assets. These make it clear how much this bill is really a giveaway to special interests.

  15. February 23, 2011 at 2:16 am

    Thank you to Joseph Salmons and everyone at PROFS for organizing today’s march. I would like to propose that faculty members continue to make their voices heard through the media. These are some key areas where the faculty could be particularly effective:

    1. a concerted effort to write/publish op ed pieces and letters to the editor for major news outlets (NY Times, Wall St. Journal, etc) and local outlets;

    For example, any faculty who specialize in labor history could provide a background to the labor union movement in WI beyond what the rest of us can soak up through wikipedia. (ie: the “thank unions for the 40 hr work week and the 8 hour day, etc covered in brief by Rachel Maddow).

    2. Monitor/post or tweet/respond to media coverage in a timely fashion that helps keep this movement “on message” and responds to Gov. Walker’s media coverage quickly. We need the equivalent of the White House Press office – we need to get our message out during the current news cycle.

    3. Trying to hone “the message” and tweak it as needed. Being available as an expert for radio/tv interviews or for the union leadership.

    But none of us can do it all. I know that many of us are online at night reading tweets, checking the coverage, etc. If we could find some way to share the work/take turns watching coverage from individual outlets, we could share the burden and maximize our impact. Since most of us rely on some form of news anyway, this would be about taking a some time to analyze, transmit and respond to the news coverage you already use.

    The unions are really focused on the logistics of getting members out, communicating about rallies, etc. They don’t necessarily have the resources or technology to parse the world wide web into usable bits.

    These are two other helpful blogs: DefendWisconsion (TAA) and bluecheddar1. I hear the winnowingandsifting (sp?) blog is great. If anyone knows of a website that is tracking the media coverage or is otherwise particularly helpful, I would appreciate if you could share it.

    I will take the liberty of closing with a mention of my professor, Sen. Paul Wellstone, from Carleton College. He had a saying that was something like, “I’m fighting for the little fellas, not the Rockefellers.” The march today was a visual embodiment of how the UW faculty have embraced that view. Paul Wellstone had a powerful impact on my life, as you are having on the lives of your students. Please consider using your academic super powers for good and broadcasting this fight for democracy to the rest of the state, the nation and the world.

    Thank You
    Louise Latterell MD
    twitter wetfelt

  16. February 23, 2011 at 10:23 am

    This article talks about the perceptions we are up against across the state. Does anyone have a good response to this?

    Wisconsin’s Ties to Labor Fray as Its Economy Shifts (New York Times)
    Monday, February 21, 2011


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