“Corporate money out of my democracy now! It’s a class war. Attack on middle class” Update Wisconsin. 3:30pm pst
Culture war fomented by right wing “filthy rich.”
UPDATE 4, Saturday, Feb. 19, 1:15 p.m. CST: The masses of protesters, and later pro-Walker counter-protesters, swelled to the tens of thousands today. Labor groups held a boisterous morning rally at 10:30 a.m., filled with chants of “Kill the bill” and “Hey hey, ho ho / Scott Walker has to go!” At noon, counter-protesters—a mix of tea party types, Walker supporters, and much more—filled one corner of the Wisconsin capital grounds. The midday rally was hosted by a right-wing group named American Majority, a right-wing created to train budding politicos that’s based out of Virginia with cozy ties to the Republican Party. Speakers at the counter-protest included Andrew Breitbart, the conservative media provocateur, Joe the Plumber, and Tim Phillips, the president of the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity. AFP, it turns out, paid for some of the buses that transported people to American Majority event.
The influence of wealthy right-wing funders in the counter-protest and Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s governship isn’t lost on the protesters here. In the mid-morning, I met Kim Grveles, a conservation biologist from Milton, Wisc., for the state protesting Walker’s anti-union bill. It was Grveles’ sign neon-pink sign that caught my eye: ”Corporate Money OUT of My Democracy NOW.” I asked Grveles why she chose that message for her sign. “Scott Walker isn’t smart enough to do this on his own,” she told me. “This is a coordinated effort going on all over the country.”
Grveles said she was frightened by the gaping chasm in wealth in the US, a small sliver of Americans raking it most of the nation’s wealth. Chiming in, her friend, Cherie Barnes, a semi-truck driver also from Milton, Wisc., said she saw the Wisconsin fight part of a broader “attack on the middle class.” Nodding, Grveles chimed in, “It’s a class war—that’s what it is.”