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Scott Walker says ‘Cutback, LaCrosse’

By J Burger |
February 17, 2011
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Feb. 16 rally in LaCrosse’s Riverside Park.
Feb. 16 rally in LaCrosse’s Riverside Park. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Workers rally outside Mannsted & Sons metal fabrication plant in LaCrosse
Workers rally outside Mannsted & Sons metal fabrication plant in LaCrosse

LaCrosse, WI - On Feb. 15 over 400 workers, community members and their supporters mobilized in less than six hours to say no to Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin as he showed up to speak at local plant. The governor had just proposed a ‘budget fix’ bill that would radically alter the political landscape in Wisconsin.

“He wants to take away our bargaining, or better yet, he wants to make our unions illegal,” said Joe Rox, an AFSCME member outside the Mannsted and Sons metal fabrication plant in downtown Lacrosse.

Walker proposed a fast track budget fix on Feb. 11 that would be voted on less than a week later. In it, he proposes to strip basic rights union members have to build their organization - dues check off, collective bargaining, security and recognition.

Teachers, janitors students and community members angrily chanted as Gov. Walker addressed a captive audience inside the plant.

Firefighters, exempted in the bill, have pledged their support of resistance. “Labor built the house, we are not going to let it burn,” said the Local Firefighters president, remarking that local presidents throughout the state have pledged to fight the divide and conquer tactic of the governor.

On Feb. 16, in downtown LaCrosse’s Riverside Park, over 2000 people gathered to hear speakers and fresh reports from Madison. Unfazed by the weather, families turned out in record numbers.

Republican state Senator Dan Kanpanke showed up. He attempted to speak, but as his wavering message enraged the crowd and he left. After the rally, organizers laid plans to go to Madison while students planned a walk out for the following days to come.