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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Walkerville: Braving the Cold in Tents and Sleeping Bags

First Night of Walkerville

And you thought camping out in a tent in Zucotti Park in October and November was roughing it?  Evicted from the Capitol by Walker, hundreds of protestors sought to erect tents outside in the late February/early March Wisconsin sub-freezing cold.  As Stew Fyfe writes, "The public was kept out of the building on February 28, in contradiction to official statements made the day previous. The only way in was if you had a specific appointment.  The call went out on Twitter and Facebook for food, blankets, hats, gloves, etc., and people immediately responded. (I met a trio of nurses who showed up from New Jersey with sleeping bags.)...."

When regulations later appeared prohibiting tents, they remained undaunted, camping out in sleeping bags directly beneath the starry skies.  Walkerville's tents eventually re-appeared across the street on city-approved patches of grass.  

from the Vimeo Page of Stew Fyfe

Keep on Rockin' (and Sleeping) in the Free World

From the Flicker Page of "Madison Guy" Peter Patau

Madison Guy's Photostream

(Over 4700 photos at last count)

Peter's commentary on this video:

Some people are night people, some people are morning people -- even in Walkerville, the camp-in at the State Capitol last night. At 11:30pm, some people were already bedded down and trying to sleep, others were still talking and quietly moving around. That's when the dude into the green alligator hat brought the boombox, cranked up and playing "Rockin in the Free World." Great song, but a little loud for the "bedroom." It played for a minute or two and then someone reminded Green Alligator Dude that some people were trying to sleep.

"I got it."

"Thanks, Dude."

In Walkerville, we police our own. Democracy works.

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