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The Progressive: Wisconsin protests of historic importance

February 28, 2011- It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of the mass protests that have broken out in Madison, Wis., over Gov. Scott Walker’s massive assault on public sector unions.

This is the largest sustained rally for the rights of public sector workers that this country has seen in decades — perhaps ever.

The crowds at the state Capitol have swelled from 10,000-65,000 during the first week all the way up to 100,000 on Feb. 26. Hundreds of people occupied the Capitol building with a sit-in and sleep-in for days on end, and total strangers from around the world ordered pizzas for them.

The Madison public schools were closed for three days because the teachers refused to go to work. And many other school districts across the state closed at least for a day as teachers stood up for their rights, even at the risk of disciplinary action.

This is huge. And let’s be clear: The outpouring of protests is not primarily about budget cuts. It’s about union-busting.



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