Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

June 2, 2011

Civil Disobedience at Joint Finance Committee Meeting

Filed under: Scott Walker — millerlf @ 11:36 pm

Call to Action by Voces de la Frontera

COMMUNITY ALLIES HOLD CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE TO DEFEND PUBLIC EDUCATION AND IN-STATE TUITION RIGHTS
MADISON- Today fifty concerned Wisconsinites engaged in an organized, non-violent civil disobedience to halt passage of the state budget, demanding restoration of the cuts to eduction and in-state tuition for immigrant youth.

Joined by hundreds of supporters, a coalition of parents, students, educators, teaching assistants and members of the interfaith community were dragged from a public Joint Finance Committee hearing while reading statements calling for economic and educational justice.

Kicking off the action were four prominent community leaders: Jesus Salas, former UW Regent; Larry Miller, Director on the Milwaukee Public School Board; Al Levie, Racine high school teacher and REA union member; and Christine Neumann-Ortíz, Voces de la Frontera executive director.

The disruption stopped the committee for an extended period of time as police carried off speaker after speaker, who refused to let injustice and austerity become law without resistance.

For three months the JFC has railroaded their vision of a deeply unequal Wisconsin through the budget process.

They have disregarded widespread opposition to their proposed cuts to education, environment, workers, healthcare and other vital public services. Today the Republicans on the committee delayed the hearing for 5 hours, afraid to face the public backlash.

Inspired by the direct action taken by the coalition, an interfaith community rally on the Capitol steps spontaneously marched inside to further disrupt the JFC hearing.

Led by Minister Greg Lewis of St Gabriel’s Church of God and Christ, Rev Willie Brisco of MICAH, and Rabbi Renee Bauer of  the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice, this crowd of 200 packed the hallway, sang, and held a prayer service outside the locked committee room. The spontaneous decision to take up direct action signals Wisconsinites desire to escalate the struggle.

The call has been raised for Wisconsinities to take direct action and civil disobedience to stop the vote on Walker’s budget.

It is imperative for us to return to the Capitol to continue to take action against the passage of this destructive budget.  The action today is a call to you to join us at the Joint Finance Committee meeting tomorrow and every day that it reconvenes.

Please contact Voces de la Frontera immediately to join us in this fight, at (414) 643-1620.

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