While the nation’s governors gathered at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee this weekend to discuss health care, security and infrastructure, a small group of protestors staked out the corner of 4th and Wisconsin to rail against just about everything.
Of course, the number one topic of discussion among the protestors representing Occupy Milwaukee, Move to Amend, Jobs over Vaginas and numerous unions was the unseating of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. But they also had a message for the 25 other governors who were attending the annual convention.
"We’re here all three days (of the convention) to give all people the opportunity to speak to the governors," said Cindy, an organizer for Occupy Milwaukee. "We want them to hear our message instead of the message from ALEC or the Koch brothers."
She went on.
"We want them to know that their politics are out of step with women’s health care; we want them to stop cutting programs needed by those without jobs – programs like BadgerCare, unemployment insurance and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Scott Walker has not delivered on his promise of jobs and he is harming Wisconsin. The other governors are listening more to ALEC and corporations."
Another protestor, Dave, said he just wants Democrats and Republicans to find places that they can agree.
"I want what’s good for all of us," he said. "Good public education, student loans at reasonable rates, a strong middle class."
He also suggested that the wealthy among us need to be pulled from their homes and forced to live like the 99 percent – in low to middle class homes and jobs.
In addition to the economic and corporate bashing happening among the 40 or so protestors, other topics included increasing the minimum wages, stopping the iron mine in Northern Wisconsin, the need for affordable housing, food stamps, overturning Act 10 and its racist and sexist consequences, ending wars, and vaginas.
For a while it seemed that all these people wanted to talk about was vaginas. Speaker after speaker called for the government to stay out of their wombs, to repeal recent legislation that calls for vaginal ultrasounds prior to abortions and to elect women who will be supportive of reproductive rights.
They even collected eggs from the crowd in a basket. The speaker said they were collecting "their eggs" to present to Gov. Walker so he knows that a woman’s eggs belong to her and she decides what is done with them. Then she marched across the street with her sisters-in-arms and asked the police officer standing at the barricade to let her pass to deliver her basket to the governor.
After radioing for a Walker aide, one came out and looked at the basket. Passing on the gift, the aide left leaving the women on the corner holding their eggs. But they put the best face on it, claiming victory for getting a lowly aide to witness their drama play.
One speaker, Carter Gary, is of note. He is seeking the Assembly seat in the 13th District – Gov. Walker’s home. Gary has been active in the Madison protests, proudly stating he was arrested last week during the crackdown on the unpermitted Solidarity Singers. He led the crowd in a tepid version of "Solidarity Forever" and asked for their support in his campaign for the seat currently held by Republican Rob Hutton.
Gary also projected his upcoming campaign – not a run against Hutton, but as a run against the Governor, who hasn’t been in the Assembly in over a decade.
"He doesn’t understand shame," Gary said of Walker. "And in all my years of working with sociopaths, I truly believe that Walker is one. There is nothing coming back from his eyes."
So that pretty much sums it up – a very small band of professional protestors who are angry with Scott Walker, holding signs about vaginas and singing about the virtues of unionism.
Just another Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin.