Monday, February 28, 2011

'People ready to shut Wisconsin down'

A protester inside the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, February 21, 2011

Source: Press TV

Americans who oppose Republican Governor Scott Walker's plan to bust Wisconsin workers' unions are ready to shut the state down before he can take away their collective bargaining right, says an American expert.

“Every person I have spoken to, admittedly people who are supporting these demonstrations, has expressed to me and to many others that they are willing to shut the state down completely before letting Walker and his cronies and his big money supporters to take away the last of our rights as collective bargainers and as individuals in a democratic society,” Jennifer Loewenstein, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, told Press TV on Sunday.

Protests against Governor Walker's plan to keep a tight rein on Wisconsin workers' unions have spilled into nearly all 50 states of America, including Washington, New York, California, and Nevada.

Tens of thousands of people staged rallies in cities across the United States on Saturday to express their solidarity with people in Wisconsin.

On February 25, Wisconsin's State Assembly passed a controversial bill, proposed by Walker, to curtail the state's labor unions as the ongoing political wrangling between organized workers and cash-strapped state governments spreads across the US.

About 100,000 people converged on Saturday in the Wisconsin State Capitol to air their grievances over the decision by the Republican governor.

In California, the Los Angeles City Hall turned into the focal point of anti-bill demonstrations, as more than 3,000 people attended the rallies, chanting slogans against what has been widely viewed as an "assault" on public sector unions.

Denver saw another demonstration in support of the Wisconsin workers with police estimating that crowd at more than 1,200 people. In Washington, protesters cheered on Saturday during a rally in support of Wisconsin workers, calling for the defeat of the plan.

Hundreds of Kansas labor union members and supporters rallied outside the Statehouse against what they see as political attacks on workers.

“I don't believe the momentum for these protests is anywhere near over. I don't think it has peaked yet,” Loewenstein said.

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