Dear MoveOn member,Have you seen what's happening in Wisconsin?Teachers, nurses, students and firefighters have occupied the state capitol building for the past week. On Saturday, 70,000 Wisconsinites took to the streets of Madison to protest their tea party governor's radical attack on public workers.Wisconsin has become the national rallying point in the fight that will decide whether our economy works for all Americans, or just the super-rich. Republicans are using budget deficits as an excuse to attack workers, cut funding for crucial public services, and threaten successful programs like Social Security.With the groundswell in Madison, we have our best opportunity yet to stand up to the radical Republicans who think we can cut our way to prosperity. Dozens of progressive organizations are organizing solidarity rallies this week in cities across the country, including one today in New York.Can you come out today to make clear that we'll fight back as a national movement, not just state by state? The rally is at the Fox News Building, at 1211 6th Ave, in New York. It starts at 5:00 PM today.11 other states are considering similar bills. And in nearly every state, politicians are using budget shortfalls—caused by a Wall Street-driven recession—as a justification for cutting necessary public services.So let's get out there today and show our solidarity. Can you join us at 5:00 PM in New York?Thanks for all you do.–Daniel, Tim, Joan, Eli, and the rest of the team
See Diane Ravitch today on:
MORE: I Stand With the Teachers of WisconsinDear Deborah,
As I write, thousands of teachers are staging a protest in the state capitol in Wisconsin. Others stand with them, including the Green Bay Packers, other public-sector workers, and even public-sector workers who are not affected by the proposed legislation, namely, firefighters and police. The teachers and other public-sector employees are speaking out against Gov. Scott Walker's effort to destroy their collective-bargaining rights. Gov. Walker demanded that the teachers pay more for their health benefits and their pension benefits, and they have agreed to do so. But that's not all he wants. He wants to destroy the union.
I wrote an article about this contretemps for CNN.com, not realizing that the teachers had already conceded the governor's demands on money issues. The confrontation now is solely about whether public employees have the right to bargain collectively and to have a collective voice. Monday's New York Times made clear, both in a column by Paul Krugman and in its news coverage, that the union is fighting for its survival, not benefits.
It's time to ask: Why should teachers have unions?