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Thursday 10 March 2011

They’re Not Going To Take It

There is unrest among public sector workers – not just here in the UK, but in the USA too. More specifically, in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, where GOP dominated State Senates are moving to significantly reduce employees’ rights, such as access to collective bargaining.

Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker has been more or less unyielding, and has claimed that the state is “broke”, has been at the forefront. State Democrats left for neighbouring Illinois to prevent the move, which required a quorum as it was a finance bill, being enacted, but Republicans have removed the fiscal provisions and so passed it anyway.

Michigan is also moving a similar bill, and Indiana is expected to follow suit. So the protests at the Rotunda of Madison, Wisconsin, which had previously died down, have now re-started with some ferocity: ordinary folks such as teachers, firefighters, librarians and cleaners have descended on the building.

In order to try and marshal opinion in their favour, the right leaning part of the media in the USA has been reduced to demonising these people. No prizes for figuring out that in the vanguard of this demonising have been our old friends at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).

The Fox line is that the protests are A Very Bad Thing, which is an interesting change in tack from protests over Health Care Reform, which Fox encouraged, as MMFA has noted.

But there is another very different side to the argument, and on yesterday’s MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show, the channel’s top rating host interviewed – not that much prompting was needed – activist and film-maker Michael Moore, who was in full cry and not inclined to take prisoners on the issue.

Actually, Moore was quite willing to take prisoners, so long as they were those he considered responsible for the impasse in Wisconsin. This video shows anger and real passion: those of a comfortable and right leaning persuasion have been duly warned.

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