From J. Michael Orange
Let our fellow VFP members know that Cynthia and I are here in Madison (got here last night). We’ve been marching, singing, and shouting for 5 hours already today. The energy here is electric! This IS what Democracy looks like! I’m especially impressed by the dedication, enthusiasm, and creativity of the youth protest. I haven’t seen this level of youth participation since I was protesting as a youth 40 years ago. It’s so wonderfully encouraging. To see them shoulder-to-shoulder with the union representatives, the teachers, cops, firefighters, and the regular peacenik crowd I’m used to is amazing. The Capitol Rotunda is a power plant of energy. Organization is amorphous–meaning, there is none. There’s a battery powered microphone in the center of the Rotunda that is open to one and all. I told the crowd that I was a representative of the Twin Cities VFP and got a loud “Thank you!” and applause on behalf of our group. This is the place to be. I’m linking up with local VFP 25 members.

Tomorrow offers a continuous sequence of events and the numbers are expected to swell to perhaps a hundred thousand. This is Wisconsin, so the farmers are driving in 50 tractors and surrounding the Capital tomorrow. Over a thousand high school students walked out of classes yesterday and today (also in 14 other states). Democracy Now has given events great coverage as did MSNBC last night with Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow.

Regardless of the undemocratic actions of a handful of Republicans here to reverse decades of law and practice, this is a great victory for the people that is unfolding for the long run.  Peace,  Michael

From: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 <>

Iraq Veterans Against the War: Stand in Solidarity March 19th: Madison, Wisconsin | Mar 10th 2011 10:16 AM
WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–March 10 – Iraq Veterans Against the War calls on all veterans and peace organizations to mobilize to Madison, Wisconsin on March 19th, the 8th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, to stand in solidarity with workers organizing for their rights. We will be joined in the streets by the AFL-CIO, union members, and their supporters:

10AM rally at Library Mall, 750 State Street in Madison, WI 11AM march up State Street to the capitol, stopping at the Civil War MemorialNoon rally and speak-out at the capitol, joined by the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and other unions – King Street entrance

With Scott Walker’s latest maneuver to erase collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin workers are calling for continued resistance, with the possibility of a general strike on the table. Scott Walker has threatened to call in the National Guard to repress these mobilizations. As military veterans, we call on our brothers and sisters in the Wisconsin National Guard to refuse and resist any mobilization orders. We believe military service members are public employees. It is dishonorable to suggest that military personnel should be deployed against teachers, health care providers, firefighters, police officers, and other government employees, many of whom are serving in the National Guard. The Wisconsin National Guard was sent in to repress workers fighting for the eight hour workday over a century ago. It is vital that our brothers and sisters know they have a choice and can fall on the right side of history this time by standing with the working people of Wisconsin.

As veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of workers who have mobilized across the country to defend their rights as workers and union members. The waves of resistance sweeping the Middle East show us that democracy is not something delivered by U.S. military intervention, but won and fought for by people in their own towns, cities, and countries.

Almost a decade of war in Afghanistan and eight years of war in Iraq have brought nothing but death and trauma to the people of those countries, as well as our brothers and sisters in the military. Meanwhile, we have seen the erosion of public goods such as education, veterans benefits, and healthcare and an all-out political attack on the very workers who make our society function. Scott Walker and the Republican caucus of the Wisconsin state legislature have gone behind the backs of the people of Wisconsin to erase collective bargaining rights for public workers. Under the guise of budget crisis, these and other politicians throughout the country are attempting to undo the hard-won union rights of the American people. Yet, these same politicians continue to reach deep into the pockets of working people to finance the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while sending our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, off to fight them. It is time for us to start connecting the dots between endless war abroad and the erosion of our rights and public goods here at home.

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By Published On: March 12th, 2011Comments Off on Iraq Veterans Against the War calls on all veterans and peace organizations to mobilize to Madison, Wisconsin on March 19th

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