Sunday, March 13, 2011

Madison rally yesterday larger than any Tea Party protest. Ever.

Yesterday, 85,000-100,000 people swarmed the Capitol building in Madison to show their support for the Wisconsin 14 as well as to show solidarity against the stripping of workers' rights. A law signed by Walker on Friday removes collective bargaining for public service employees, effectively giving workers no say in silly matters like workplace conditions or emergency medical leave, for example.

The numbers were impressive -- indeed, the largest protest that Madison has ever seen, including during the Vietnam War years. But I was still curious to find out how, if at all, the Tea Party protests in Madison compared in size.

I did a simple search on Google, and read a headline or two. One stated, "Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally." OK, I thought. I already knew that, right? If the Madison rally yesterday was the biggest one that the city had ever seen, it made sense that no Tea Party rally in the city would outsize it.

I clicked the link anyway, and my jaw dropped.

It wasn't a story about how the rally was bigger than any Tea Party rally in Madison. It was about how the rally yesterday was bigger than any Tea Party protest EVER.

The largest Tea Party protest, which took place in Washington, D.C., had approximately 60,000-70,000 involved. That's not a number to sneer at -- but it's also significantly smaller than the protest we saw in Madison yesterday.

What's more impressive, the protest yesterday took place in our backyard, not in a large city like D.C. or New York. The Tea Partiers came from all across America to show their disdain within their largest protest. But, while some of the Madison protesters were from out of state, the vast majority of them were regular folk from Wisconsin, coming to the state's capital in order to show solidarity and unity in purpose.

It's saddening that the mainstream media failed to report on this event. What happened in Madison yesterday is proof positive that the people of our state -- and perhaps the nation overall -- don't want the cuts the government is imposing.

We care about jobs, the economy, and yes even trimming the deficits our governments have. But we don't want our state to do so at the expense of hard-working people who made the mistake of caring about their state too much and decided to pursue a career in making it better.

It gives me faith to know that the people of this state, of this country overall, aren't supporting the drivel that comes out of the mouths of Tea Party Republicans. Instead, they want working men and women rewarded for the jobs they perform, able to make ends meet for their families without going broke for providing the services they do. That's the America I love, that's the America this movement loves, and I truly believe that's the America that we can create together.


  1. Though I agree that the mainstream news media do a poor job covering labor issues, in this case the events in Japan probably overshadowed the Madison rally. The "news hole" is on so big, and we have to measure our expectations for coverage based on what else is going on.

    The slight and lousy coverage of the past week leading up to the rally, on the other hand, supports your point.

  2. I agree with you, too, that Japan deserved more media attention than this. I actually meant to put that in this piece as well. However, immediately after the event I struggled to find a news source outside of Wisconsin that had reported on this. There was one article in the AP, and they buried it under a host of other articles (non-Japan related).