On Sunday, Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Educational Association Council, instructed the teachers in her union to return to the classroom after many of them skipped school for three days last week. The unexpected move energized Republicans in Wisconsin, who took it as a sign that negative public reaction to the “sick-out” is making a difference.
Or perhaps they don’t need the numbers because the unions are bringing in additional reinforcements. Madison, one of the most liberal cities in the United States, is a town always in search of a cause. So having a union protest there is like having a Rally for the Troops at Fort Benning.
But labor groups and Democratic Party organizations from outside the state have been sending people to Madison for the demonstrations. Below is an email from the Chicago Teachers Union, which is sending a bus first thing Monday for the day’s events. The CTU twitter feed posted a message Saturday evening, saying: “CTU Supports Wisconsin Workers. Get on the bus Monday.” This email went out shortly before that post:
From: Chicago Teachers Union <Leadership@ctuLocal1.com>Date: Feb 19, 2011 1:36 PMSubject: Get on the bus to Wisconsin Monday!
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXX Get on the bus to Madison Monday!Solidarity with Wisconsin Teachers and Public Employees!
Sisters and brothers have probably been reading about what is happening in Wisconsin, where the Governor is trying to pass legislation that would destroy the unions there. Schools are shut down because so many teachers and students have joined the huge protests in Madison, the capitol. At CTU, we are making plans about various ways to show our support. For starters, please sign our online petition.
The Chicago Federation of Labor is sending a bus to Madison Monday. They will leave from Plumbers Hall, 1340 West Washington Boulevard, at 6 a.m. Monday (2/21) and return by 8 p.m. You can park in the northeast part of the lot. There is no charge, but you must email XXXXXXXXXX@ctulocal1.com if you want to be on the list to attend this historic event.
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