When the Wisconsin Wave demonstrates outside Monona Terrace Convention Center Wednesday against Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill at a conference of the business lobbying group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, standing shoulder to shoulder in the wave will be people from local grass-roots groups that work to empower the working poor.
Members of Freedom, Inc., Operation Welcome Home, and Groundwork - immigrants and refugees, people living in homelessness -- many of them people of color --- and their supporters, are lending their voices to the protest against corporate power. They've joined protests by union and other public employees about the threatened loss of collective bargaining all week.
They want to be heard, too, on how the budget repair bill would hit others even harder.
Monica Adams of Freedom, Inc. put it this way in a statement earlier this week: "Let's be clear. Gov. Walker has been after all of us from day one - and not just on the union issue. The Republican legislature's drafts of Arizona-style anti-immigrant bills threatens immigrants and would make it more likely than ever that people of color would face discrimination while driving. Unemployed workers took it on the chin when Gov. Walker vetoed high rail jobs. And Gov. Walker's threat to cut BadgerCare, FoodShare, and other life-saving services for millions of Wisconsinites imperils the health and welfare of our residents."
Kabzuag Vaj of Freedom , Inc., says moving decisions about eligibility for family supporting programs from the floor of the legislature to administrative offices "puts more decisions about who will qualify behind closed doors."
"This bill attacks families and the working poor and sets the tone for the kind of legislation he wants to push through in Wisconsin."
The protest against WMC policies -- picketing from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday and rallying at 4:30 p.m. - is organized by Wisconsin Wave, a resistance movement against public policy tailored to fulfill the corporate agenda and put the burden on the national financial crisis on the backs of workers.
Paul Ryan, the Republic congressman from Janesville is scheduled to speak to the WMC assembly at 1:45 p.m.; Walker at 3.
"We won't pay for WMC's crisis: No to the budget cuts! Yes to Democracy!" declares the Wave website.