This past year a massive working class revolt swept the state. In a display of solidarity that hadn't been seen in Wisconsin in generations, hundreds of thousands of people came together to occupy the capitol building in Madison, and to fill the streets in cities and towns across the state. This outpouring of people power inspired countless millions across the country, and even the world.
Our anger was sparked by Governor Scott Walker's union busting policies. By hook and by crook, he passed legislation that gutted the collective bargaining rights of public workers, and slashed their pay and benefits. Ostensibly this was to balance the budget - but in reality it was to free up money to fund his tax cuts to the wealthy, and to handicap the power of unions in this state.
This Spring, over a million signatures were collected to recall Governor Walker. And this June we'll get a chance to vote on who will be our next Governor. Unfortunately though, as often is the case in elections, the recall election is being used to simply replace a Republican governor with a Democrat. If that happens though, we'll be no better off than we are now.
For decades we've been ruled over by nothing but Democratic and Republican governors, and what we've seen from both parties is basically the same - a gradual witling down our rights, our standard of living and spending on public services, like education. And this same dynamic is bound to repeat itself in the upcoming elections. Despite the fact that the motivation of the recall is to overturn Walker's attacks on workers' rights, the Democratic candidates are refusing to commit to repealing all of his anti-union policies.
Both the Democratic and the Republican Party have been bought and paid for by the rich. That's why they both trip over themselves to pass pro-business policies while in office, at the expense of working people. We keep electing pro-millionaire politicians, so as a result we get a pro-millionaire government. But what we obviously need is a government of the 99% - a workers' government.
But how do we get there? Through a workers' party. We need a party that is of, by and for working people. One that won't take money from the millionaires, but will instead be tied squarely to working class communities and organizations. In other words, we need to start voting our class!
Unfortunately, we don't yet have such a party in Wisconsin, and to date no candidate who advocates this has stepped forward to run for Governor. But that doesn't mean we can't start laying the groundwork for such a party.
Of course some will argue that we have to vote the lesser evil, at least this one last time. But that strategy hasn't moved us one bit closer to a workers' party and a workers' government - it's simply led us further and further down the millionaires' path. We can't afford to slide any further down that path! We need to make a stand, and commit to never supporting millionaire candidates or parties ever again! As working people we need to declare our political independence!
While we support the recall of Governor Walker, we call for the recall of all the pro-millionaire politicians. If there isn't a working class candidate on the ballot, write one in, and cast a protest vote for a better world. And more important than what you do in the ballot box, commit yourself to getting involved in your unions, to any and every protest movement that advocates for working people, and to building an independent workers' party that can and will finally make a difference in our lives!