As hundreds of union members and their allies remained camped out inside the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison to protest Gov. Scott Walker efforts to end collective bargaining rights for state workers, New York Senator Chuck Schumer has sent out a letter to his supporters expressing solidarity with the demonstrators.
“[Walker] may wish to take America back to the 1920s, when workers had no rights, but the rest of us certainly don’t,” Schumer writes. “Tens of thousands of people at a time have been demonstrating at the state capitol for almost a week now, refusing to bow to this attack in the national battle over our rights. Let’s turn their attack into our strength.”
Schumer then asks his email list to donate to Wisconsin’s Democratic legislators who have fled the state in an effort to resist the governor’s budget cuts.
“Show Wisconsin’s Governor Walker and his national hard-right allies that his attacks will only make us stronger — join me in making a contribution to go toward electing more Democrats to the Wisconsin State Senate,” the Senator writes, adding “If you support collective bargaining rights, join me in making a contribution to help elect more Democrats to the Wisconsin State Senate and show Governor Walker he can’t take us back to the 1920s.”
The protests are turning into a boon for Badger State Democrats. So far, the Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Committee has already raised over $250,000 through ActBlue, a Democratic online fundraising apparatus. And Schumer and his supporters alone have contributed over $4,000
Meanwhile, Jonathan Tasini, who for a time last year mounted a challenge against Schumer’s Senatorial ally Kirsten Gillibrand, has sent out word that he helping organize a march tomorrow in solidarity in front of the Fox News headquarters.
And estimated 55,000 demonstrators rallied outside the Capitol on Saturday, and more were expected at another rally planned for today.
Schumer’s full letter below:
I’m sure you’ve watched as the hard-right governor of Wisconsin is doing everything he can to eliminate collective bargaining rights for the men and women working in state government.
He may wish to take America back to the 1920s, when workers had no rights, but the rest of us certainly don’t.
Tens of thousands of people at a time have been demonstrating at the state capitol for almost a week now, refusing to bow to this attack in the national battle over our rights.
Let’s turn their attack into our strength.
Show Wisconsin’s Governor Walker and his national hard-right allies that his attacks will only make us stronger — join me in making a contribution to go toward electing more Democrats to the Wisconsin State Senate.
Of course, this uproar happened because Governor Walker tried to ram this rollback of workers’ rights through the legislature without adequate analysis, debate and discussion.
Not surprisingly, because the Governor rushed this bill, two separate issues are getting confused, and it is not fair to Wisconsin workers that it is happening.
On the issue of pensions, even union leaders agree there is a need for reform, given the fiscal challenges faced by many states. But Governor Walker is clinging to ideology and holding out for the elimination of collective bargaining rights.
Governor Walker needs to negotiate on a fair and equal basis with the men and women who work for the Wisconsin government.
That is what has inflamed the Wisconsin workers and so many of us around the country, and that is why we need to help. It’s not too early to start working to elect more Democrats to the Wisconsin Senate.
This is an important fight that could be a turning point for workers across America. We need to stand together on this.