“UPRISING” Author John Nichols Speaks in Bay Area

John Nichols is the Washington correspondent for the Nation magazine. He is a Wisconsin native and covered the amazing movement that surfaced at the Wisconsin state capitol after Scott Walker tried to end collective bargaining at the bidding of “free-market” (sic) corporatos like the Koch Brothers who poured millions into Walker’s gubernatorial campaign.

IFPTE Local 21 collared the guy for a San Francisco Labor Council co-sponsored lunch on Friday, and as the keynote speaker at their delegate Congress in Oakland on Saturday where I was also honored to address Local 21’s members. (Local 21 represents thousands of professional engineers, city planners, architects, etc. from Contra Costa in the East Bay all the way down to San Jose in the South Bay.)

Nichols has just published “UPRISING,” a book covering the incredible mobilizing and organizing in Wisconsin that ultimately resulted in tens of thousands of workers, farmers, and parents converging on and occupying the capitol building to support public servants – teachers, snow plough drivers, janitors, firefighters, police, nurses and others that make Wisconsin work.

He summarized and reminded us of what trade unionists and workers should take away from this incredibly inspiring and blood boiling 18-day movement – the hundreds of thousands of recall signatures, the ousting of Republican state senators that has stopped Scott Walker from moving any more anti-worker legislation, and the model it built to continue to inspire the rest of our often sorry ass movement that still feels that “consensus” or defensive fights are going to get this country back on track. And forget that Scott Walker didn’t ultimately get “recalled” – FEEL what Wisconsin did and let it spread like it did into Ohio where over 60% of Ohio voters stood for workers’ rights.

Like Greece, Ohio, Spain, Wisconsin, and Egypt, it is time we have to be “all in.”

“The corporatos are for Austerity. We are for Humanity.” Well put, Mr. John Nichols.

Prop 32 is the same type of worker attack and gives us a good short term and scary platform in California to try to regenerate a movement. I am witnessing so many workers and their unions getting seriously involved in this campaign.

“Obama will probably win simply from the incompetence of Mitt Romney and the Republicans,” Nichols stated. And he praised San Francisco Labor Council actions and campaigns that we’ve led in a ‘union town.’ I rose and stopped him, “Hold on! Sometimes we get it right and move forward and we have many wonderful organizers and activists. And we have achieved some significant local successes. But, Nichols, even in San Francisco we are still far away from engaging our total rank-and-file. As organizers we have to continue to constantly engage our movement to stop this corporate madness.”

Thanks for what you do, brother.

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