A Resonant Purpose

Above: Two Citizen Movements Working for Social and Economic Justice. At Left, in early 2011, hundreds of thousands gathered for rallies on the grounds of the WI Capitol; At Right, in that same year, Occupy Wall Street participants maintained an ongoing presence at New York's Zucotti Park.

hen massive protests sprung up at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison earlier in 2011 in response to draconian anti-worker, anti-education legislative proposals by the new governor and legislature, people across the nation and the globe reached out in solidarity. Many of them had learned about developments in Wisconsin through the Social Media. In the months since then, a massive movement for workers' rights, open government, quality education, and responsive healthcare is taking hold in the US and well beyond, most recently exemplified by the Occupy Wall Street movement. While the venue and name may change over time, this movement is here to stay, and resonant non-violent protest movements everywhere are gaining strength from the organizing power of the web.

In that same spirit of solidarity, through this blog, Wisconsin activists hope to share what we have learned through our use of on-line organizing with participants in the Dec. 17-18th Netroots New York conference at Pace University, where several Wisconsinites will be presenting. As a prelude to the conference, we share these samples of innovative organizing from the Wisconsin Uprising linked to social media. Thanks to all who have produced the contributions linked to here, and to all who shared their favorite social media examples, with special thanks to Joanie Juster. Working together, we can and will make a difference!

The blog format was the fastest and most efficient way to bring together these clips for conference goers. Nonetheless, it is a topically-arranged list of content trying to fit into a chronologically-based blog format. A couple of navigation tips: 1) If scrolling through the contents in the order postings are presented, be sure to select "Older Posts" to reach additional listings beyond the bottom of each page, and 2) an ad hoc "Table of Contents" can be found in the Blog Archive list at lower right.


Happy Third Anniversary, Wisconsin Capitol Protests
Please venture further into this site to an archive of representative social media from this important social movement, which is still making its presence known three years later.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Music Videos

Original and adapted music inspired by the WI protests often found itself onto the web, juxtaposed with photo montages.  Community videographers also captured the many amazing musical acts that performed from the Capitol Steps.  And weekly sing-alongs are a phenomenon that continues to this day (see separate Sing-along post).

14 Senators - a song by Ken Lonnquist (written 2-18-2011)

Tom Morello - Wisconsin Protests - Speech and Union Song - Madison, WI 2-21-11

Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman and from Rage Against the Machine - Wisconsin Labor Protests Feb 21st 2011

Check out other VIDS on Twitter at #wiunion!!!

Andina and Rich-Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like

Song written by Stephen Lee Rich, Sandy Andina, and Ingrid Frances Stark. Vocals: Sandy Andina, Ingrid Frances Stark, Jake Johnson, Stephen Lee Rich, and Tom Kastle. Percussion: Tom Kastle and Stephen Lee Rich. Photos of protesters by Ingrid Frances Stark. Animations and video by Stephen Lee Rich.

First Week of Protests, Accompanied by Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down"

Video and editing by Matthew Wisniewski
Begins with speech highlight by Bradley Whitford (West Wing actor, and Madison West High School graduate)

Tom Kastle: Whose House? Our House!

"In February, I was deeply moved by the fact that in spite of there being 13,000 Protesters at the Capitol, everyone was allowed to enter. I asked my girlfriend how this could be. She replied that the Capitol was 'our House.' When I returned from a road trip a couple weeks later I, and the rest of the public were all barred from entering Our House though lobbyists could enter without much problem. Walker had stolen the most profound Democratic feeling I've ever had. He had stolen Our House. The 'Whose House? Our House!' chants outside Our House grew as did the crowds (to over 100,000). I felt moved to write this song and ran to the studio, the next day, with some friends (Rich Baumann, Stephen Lee Rich, Ron Dennis, Mariah Clark, and Sarah Jack the creator of this video. Today, the Capitol is open as it should be, but vigilance is needed to make sure that this never happens again."
- Tom Kastle

Musical Satire: "Exposing the Wisconsin State Employee Riots"

Filmmaker Cometstarmoon offers this tongue-in-cheek commentary: "Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan blew the lid off the big cover up in Madison on Feb. 17. He said on Morning Joe that there were 'riots' in the city and that it's like 'Cairo.' He was right and I've spent the last week gathering footage of all the riots."  A better way could not be found to illustrate the joyful and peaceful nature of how Wisconsin nice plays out in wholly non-violent protests.

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