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June 6 Wisconsin: ‘Keep it in the streets’

Published Jun 2, 2012 6:03 PM

Poor and working people across Wisconsin are mobilizing statewide for a historic June 5 gubernatorial recall election. Gov. Scott Walker is being challenged by Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, while Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is being challenged by Mahlon Mitchell, the African-American president of the Wisconsin Firefighters Association.

At the same time, people’s fighters from Occupy Wall Street, unions and independent organizations are organizing “Keep It in the Streets” actions to take place in cities statewide on June 6. (occupywi.org) For example, Occupy Milwaukee is sponsoring a rally at Pier Marquette Park in Milwaukee at 5 p.m., followed by a march to the banking district.

The June 6 call reads: “After voting on June 5 we have to make our voices heard in order to hold our governor accountable. Occupy Milwaukee, community allies and labor unions will march on June 6 to make the following demands of our governor: Repeal union-busting Act 10 — hands off unions and collective bargaining; no cuts to education or Badger Care [Wisconsin’s low-income health care program]; restore the Equal Pay Act — end workplace discrimination; tax the 1% — hold the banksters and the 1% accountable for their economic crisis; and stop the cuts to working and oppressed people.”

Sponsoring organizations such as the Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement will raise other issues as well, including demands for a federal jobs program and a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.

Direct class struggle: the way forward

“The recall struggle is a popular people’s struggle that we support, but it’s still within the confines of the capitalist electoral arena,” said Tommy Cavanaugh, of Workers World Milwaukee. “The June 6 ‘Keep It in the Streets’ actions are critical because they turn attention to what we — the workers and oppressed — did in Madison where we occupied the Capitol for days. This is what has produced the progress we have made and has inspired the world. A return to the road of direct, anti-racist class struggle, including actions such as a general strike, is what’s needed.”

Continued Cavanaugh: “One of the central questions regarding the way forward in Wisconsin is: Will the masses continue to allow themselves to be bound to the capitalist Democratic Party, which is controlled by the ruling class, the 1%, or will they sever the ties and chart their own independent course — like they did when they occupied the state Capitol? The racist, anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, anti-worker austerity laws will truly and effectively only be overturned by mass mobilization.

“The working class and the oppressed must take their destiny into their own hands and not hand their power over to the Democratic Party or other organizations controlled by Wall Street. The task of the liberation of the working class and oppressed can only be carried out by the working class and oppressed peoples themselves.”

For more information on June 6, visit tinyurl.com/7hrshf7. For news, information and updates on people’s struggles in Wisconsin, visit www.wibailoutpeople.org.