Sunday, February 19, 2012
One year ago today at the Capitol: Do these look like whiners, thugs and losers to you? Me neither.
One year ago today was the first really huge mass rally against Walker. More than 70,000 people who the governor's supporters tried -- ineffectually -- to dismiss as whiners, thugs and losers showed up at the Capitol to rally against Walker's union-busting budget bill (in contrast to less than 2,00 Tea Party people who staged a lame counterprotest). Do they look like whiners, thugs and losers to you? Me neither. I still get tears in my eyes when I look back at the video I shot that day,
It had been an eventful week, starting with the TAA's Valentine's Day demonstration, with crowds growing throughout the week, and the Heroic 14 had not only left the building -- they had left the state. The Saturday rally dramatically illustrated what a powerful, spontaneous response Walker's actions triggered among the people of Wisconsin. And the momentum only continued to grow -- the following week was the even bigger "snow rally" where the iconic Blue Fist made its first weekend appearance -- culminating in the 1 million signatures on petitions for Walker's recall.
I took this photo at this year's Feb 11 rally marking the anniversary of Walker dropping his budget bomb. At the huge rally a year ago, the Blue fist -- which has gone viral and appeared at rallies around the world -- didn't even exist yet.
That happened the following week, when the blue Fist in its current form was designed by artist and activist Carrie Worthen at the request of her friend Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. It first showed up at the TAA rally with Rep. Tammy Baldwin on Feb. 25 -- and at the huge "snow rally" at the Capitol the next day. It has gone on to inspire millions around the world.
It's just one more thing we have to thank Scott Walker for -- and one more reason he'll be voted out of office as soon as legally possible, probably in late May. And it will be remembered long after Scott Walker is gone.