Protest focuses criticism, mud stencils on Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
Post by Emily Mills on 6/14/2011 9:00am
Story by Emily Mills, photos by Phil Ejercito
A protest contingent of about 100 marched from the Walkerville encampment at the Capitol down East Washington to the headquarters of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce on Monday, focusing their attention on one of the organizations they say is behind some of the worst provisions in the proposed state budget.
Organized by the "solidarity roundtable" convened by a coalition of area pro-labor organizations like Wisconsin Wave, the march came to a stop at the front doors of the main WMC offices, where others had already printed political mud stencils on a sculpture, several columns, and even the front doors of the building. Howard Payne, spokemen for the Madison Police, said that no damage had resulted from the actions.
Adam Porton of the Wisconsin Wave spearheaded a press conference held in front of WMC,
"The speakers that you're gonna hear from today are going to explain why this budget is so bad for every single person in Wisconsin with the exception of groups like WMC and their allies, and the wealthy few who benefit from these policies," said Porton.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, who also runs a site called WMC Watch, emphasized the $2.3 billion in tax breaks included in the budget for corporations over the next 10 years, on top of the $1.6 billion in cuts to public schools, $250 million from the UW System, and $71 million from the Wisconsin technical college system.
"This is about all people!" noted Monica Adams from the Madison chapter of Take Back the Land. "This not only about middle class workers, this is about undocumented workers. This is about able-bodied people, this is about differently abled people. This is about people of color, this is about white people, this is about everybody...the budget is just the beginning."
Jill Hopke of the TAA and an editor of the Defend Wisconsin blog pointed out incongruities between what's claimed about the state on WMC's website and actual statistics.
AFSCME Local 1871 steward Brian Standing gave a fiery speech, claiming, "In the past they've said this is all about jobs, but now we know it's about nothing less than global corporate domination in every aspect of our lives!"
"WMC did a survey of their members - CEOs of all the manufacturing companies in Wisconsin - and asked 'Do you think Wisconsin is moving in a better direction?' They said yes, now that Walker's elected, now that we've got the Republicans, absolutely," Standing went on. "Further on in that survey, though, was another question and they asked, 'How many of you are going to be hiring in the next year?' What percent do you think said they were going to be hiring? Eight percent. Eight percent said they were going to be hiring, and 80 percent said they thought Wisconsin was moving in a better direction."
(Rallying outside WMC)
(One Wisconsin Now's Scot Ross)
(Marching to WMC)
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at