Call for a Wisconsin Wave of Resistance

February 14, 2011

the WISCONSIN WAVE against Corporatization and Austerity and for Democracy and Shared Prosperity

We recognize the rising Wisconsin wave of resistance to corporatization and austerity and call on our fellow Wisconsinites to join it.

For more than a century Wisconsin was America’s laboratory of democracy. Big Wisconsin Ideas, like barring corporate electioneering, workers’ rights protections, and the conservation ethic, have inspired Americans everywhere to push their state governments in a more progressive direction. But Wisconsin is not immune to the forces that often threaten social progress. For every elected official who channels grassroots energy and calls us to the higher ground, there’s a politician who wants to steer us off the cliff. For every “Fighting Bob” La Follette, there’s a “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy.

Today, Wisconsin’s democratic tradition faces the greatest threat it has ever known. Governor Scott Walker, operating at the direction of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), is using the financial crisis caused by Wall Street speculators as an excuse to impose devastating cuts to public services. The WMC agenda is shameless. They intend to shift the tax burden even further away from major corporations and onto the rest of us. Their agenda is undemocratic. They would protect themselves from voters by lowering Wisconsin’s voting rights guarantees to those of Alabama and Mississippi. Their agenda is heartless. It has no place in it for the needs of Wisconsin’s youth, our poor, our disabled, or our unemployed at this time when their needs are greatest. The WMC-Walker agenda would destroy everything that once made Wisconsin great: a robust educational system; safe, high paying jobs; and a clean environment available for enjoyment by all people.

But as in other grim times throughout our state’s history, concerned Wisconsinites are rising up to defend our way of life. This diverse group of individuals, which includes everyone from college students to factory workers to small farmers and businesspeople, is uniting behind the common-sense principle that the wealthy few who caused the financial crisis are the ones who should pay for it. This rising Wisconsin Wave of protest insists that:

  • Our state government must guarantee a fully funded public sector including education, health care, human services, transportation, public safety, and vital regulatory agencies.
  • Taxes on large corporations and wealthy individuals should be returned to reasonable levels in order to solve the state’s fiscal crisis.
  • The state must respect the rights of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively.
  • Initial budget priorities must be established through public participation instead of closed door meetings between public officials and special interest lobbyists.
  • Voting rights must be expanded, not limited, to insure that every Wisconsinite can take part in our democracy.
  • Wisconsin deserves government of, by, and for the people, not the corporate elite; corporations have no constitutional rights and may not buy our elections or government.


This Wisconsin Wave is a force independent of political parties and partisan elected officials. It is an awakening of Wisconsinites independent of --but not exclusive of-- whatever other political, union, faith, or organizational affiliations we each might have.

To the giant corporate interests that currently dominate our state, we say that we will not stand by and watch you destroy Wisconsin’s democracy, Wisconsin’s economy, Wisconsin’s schools, and Wisconsin’s communities. We will not pay for your crisis. We will organize. We will march. We will non-violently resist your policies and overcome your agenda.

To our fellow Wisconsinites we say simply, “join us.” Join the Wisconsin Wave of resistance against corporatization and austerity, and for democracy and shared prosperity for all:

* organizations listed for ID purposes only

Juan F. Jimenez, Associate Executive Director, Racine Education UniServ Council
Alexander Hanna, Co-President of the Teaching Assistants' Association (TAA)
Kevin Gibbons, Co-President of the Teaching Assistants' Association (TAA)
Mary Bottari, Director of the Real Economy Project
Matthew Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive
Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy
John E. Peck, Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders
Kabzuag Vaj, Executive Director, Freedom Inc.
Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree Foundation
John Matthews, Executive Director, Madison Teachers, Inc. (MTI)
Peggy A. Lautenschlager, Attorney, Bauer & Bach, L.L.C.
Diane Farsetta, Executive Director, WI Network for Peace and Justice
Joe Conway, President, Firefighters Local 311
Bryan Kennedy, President of AFT-Wisconsin
Andy Heidt, President AFSCME Professionals 1871
John Nichols, author, The "S" Word: A Short History of an American Tradition...Socialism
Beth Ludeman, UniServ Director, Cedar Lake United Educators
Peter Rickman, Vice President, AFT-Wisconsin
Chad Alan Goldberg, Vice President, United Faculty and Academic Staff (UFAS), AFT 223
Margot Kennard, Academic Advisor
Sheila Lederer, Admin Assistant, Sauk Trail Elementary School
Dace A. Zeps, Administrator, Center for Research on Gender and Women at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Eric Robson, AFSCME 171 steward
Nicolas Lampert, artist,
Todd Price, Associate Professor of Education, National Louis University
Dennis Boyer, Attorney
Fred Wade, Attorney
Jim Lyne, Attorney
Sally A. Stix, Attorney
Victor Forberger, Attorney
Bruce M. Green, Attorney
Steve Herrick, Business owner
Sarah Manski, CEO,; AFT 6100
Nelson Zane Eisman, Chief Steward, Local 4646, Ret.
Marsha Rummel, City of Madison Common Council
Jim Draeger, Co-Chair Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
Mike Moon, Co-operator, Just Coffee Cooperative
Lee M. Abbott, Co-president, Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association, AFT 2169
Barbara Vedder, Dane County Board of Supervisors
Maureen Plunkett, Dane County Corporation Counsel, Child Support Office
Gerald Emery, Delivery Driver
Brian Pruka, Ecologist
Joan Betz, Engineering Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Virginia Bormann, Financial Specialist
Cynthia Lin, Freedom Inc., Board of Directors
Monica Adams, Freedom, Inc.
Sangita Nayak, Freedom, Inc.
Maureen (Molly) Plunkett, Government attorney
Amy S. Mondloch, Grassroots Leadership College, director
Larry Dooley, Green activist
Lukas Z! Haukeness, Groundwork and Operation Welcome Home
Patrick Barrett, Havens Center Executive Director
Colin T. Higgins, High School Student
Marc Becker, Historian
Mike Konopacki, Labor Cartoonist
Ron Hardy, Librarian
Rick Tvedt, MAMA, Inc.
Jeff Ryan, Marquette County - Alive and Well
Ed Sadlowski, Wisconsin Council 40, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Bert G. Zipperer, Middle School Counselor
Sunshine Jones, MS MFT, (Family Therapist)
Eve Degen, MTI Executive Assistant for Labor Relations
Ellen Lindgren, President, MCPASD School Board
Donna Vukelich-Selva, Professor
Joel Rogers, Professor
Leon Lindberg, Professor Emeritus UW-Madison
Beatrice Lindberg, Professor Emeritus UW-Madison
Al Gedicks, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Lane Hall, Professor, English, UW Milwaukee
Paul Krc, Professor, UW Mathematics
Steve Burns, Program Director, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
Nate Ela, Project Assistant, Center on Wisconsin Strategy
James Ploeser, Public Citizen
Andrea Lindberg, public school teacher
Jeff Peterson, public school teacher
Jonathan Gramling, Publisher & Editor, The Capital City Hues
Trish O'Neil, Registered Nurse
Linda Konopacki, Retired UW Health Services Nurse
Patty Allen Fritter, Retiree, UFCW Local 538, AFSCME Retiree
Kaja Rebane, SCWMTA Co-Chair
Carol Carlin, Senior Citizen
Esty Dinur, State Employee
Maria Cavicchio, Teacher
Kaia Lindberg, Teacher and Artist
Brenda K. Konkel, Tenant Resource Center, Executive Director
Marilyn Townsend, Trustee, Village of Shorewood-Hills
Mary Thompson-Shriver, Undergraduate Academic Adviser, UW-Madison
Gerald Gunderson, United Steelworkers, IWW
George Martin, US Social Forum-National Planning Council
Krista M. Ralston, UW Clinical Professor of Law Emerita
Rachel Krueger, UW Law School J.D. Candidate
Omar Poler, UW Madison Graduate Student
Joanne Huston, WEAC Attorney/IPD Consultant
Joy First, Pledge of Resistance
Doug Zwank, former mayor, City of Middleton
Andy Gussert, fair trade activist
Sandi & Tom Vandervest, Middleton Action Team
Adam Porton, Progressive Dane
Alex Gillis, Immigrant Workers Union (UTI)
Susan K. Pastor, United Faculty and Academic Staff (UFAS)
Barbara Olson
Ellen La Luzerne
Susan Ickstadt
Jan & David Conley
Laurie Frank
Twyla Clark
Brian Rothgery
Shahla M. Werner, PhD
Joann Kelley
Monte Letourneau
Sol Kelley-Jones