Today we were polar "bird watching" as we held our Recall Senator Harsdorf Here sign. As gentle snow fell all around, encapsulating us in a snow globe atmosphere, we quietly collected 119 signatures for her recall because of her support of Gov. Walker's "Budget Repair Bill." You see, for every middle finger we recieved...we garnered 15 affirmations in return.
"Thank-you so much for being here!" was the most common response. One woman cried because she was so happy to sign, her hands shaking in the cold. It was like a community gathering at our one-table-operation. Folks greeted each other while they waited in line...like they were congrugating at the local coffee shop. The age span ran from barely legal to an elderly man who needed help holding the clip board. We recieved honks and cheers, handshakes and encouragement. Twice we received coffee and one woman brought my sons cookies when she noticed that they were watching a movie in a warm, nearby car.
My husband was holding the sign most of the day. He was bold and unashamed. I found the sign way too heavy to hold for more than 20 minutes. The sign needed to be big because the city wouldn’t allow us to plant one – only carry it. So the bigger the better. I also would rather sit at the table because it feels "safer" and I like talking to people. I gave out slips of paper listing the website to recall Walker along with local rallies and the upcoming state supreme court election in April.
When we returned home this evening, we heard the news that Governor Walkers’s republican senate stripped most public worker's collective bargaining rights in a sneaky, and perhaps illegal, late night vote. Immediately, protestors broke through the police baracade, illegally occupying the capital past closing time. They screamed "Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!" as the senators streamed out of the building.But I need to see the bright side in all of this right now - I have to remain empowered in order to keep going. Not only are we back on top of the local and national news where we belong, but we'll rake in the signatures tomorrow. On a windy, 35 degree day - we had a line of folks. Just imagine what we'll achieve on Friday when the temperatures will reach 50 degrees here, and workers in WI wake up to the new reality - their rights were just taken from them.