Sunday, August 28, 2011

Republicans barred from Wausau Labor Day Parade

Participation in parade should be contingent on support of workers' rights

Parades can be a joyous occasion, significant to the day that they are meant to represent. For example, Memorial Day parades remind us of the significant sacrifices that previous veterans gave to us defending our country; Independence Day parades remind us of our national historical lineage.

So it stands to reason that any Labor Day parade should symbolize workers from the past who fought for reforms that made working conditions more hospitable for people today, reforms that many take for granted -- things like the eight-hour workday, the two-day weekend, and child labor laws.

With that in mind, the Marathon County Central Labor Council, which sponsors the Labor Day parade in Wausau, has determined that no elected official that is Republican should be involved in their festivities:
Council President Randy Radtke said they choose not to invite elected officials who have "openly attacked workers' rights" or did nothing when state public workers lost most of their powers to collectively bargain.

Republican Rep. Sean Duffy's office received notice from parade organizers this week that no Republicans would be invited to walk in the parade. Duffy's chief of staff, Brandon Moody, told WAOW-TV the congressman was hoping differences could be set aside for the family-friendly event.
Many people may be wondering, "why the hostility towards Republicans?" A parade is meant to be fun, and since the event is open to the public (who elected the officials in question), some may argue that the people should be able to see those officials.

But if those officials' beliefs run counter to the parade in question, do they really deserve a place in the lineup? If a LGBT parade takes place, should event organizers permit an elected official to take part if their politics run against gay and lesbian couples' goals? Should a parade on Independence Day allow other countries who are hostile to American interests to be recognized?

Ultimately, it's up to those running the parade to determine who should take part. If the Republican Party wants to have its officials recognized in pro-labor events, they shouldn't govern in a way that's anti-labor. Furthermore, they shouldn't expect their appearances in parades to be automatic, to be a given -- their positions on issues that are important to labor make a difference, help organizers decide whether their appearances are appropriate or not.

People may see the Council's moves as vindictive or mean-spirited. But it makes no sense to have people taking part in a celebration of Labor rights when those same people are working to dismantle them. Republicans shouldn't cry foul when they're the ones committing the larger infractions, against workers.


  1. not only should republicans be barred from attending but a float showing working men bent over getting it up the ass by walker be included in the parade

  2. Republicans in this state showed that they all were willing to stand together against worker's rights (with the sole exception of Dan Schultz, who had the gumption to vote his conscience). They made teachers, nurses, janitors, etc. the scapegoat of our state's budget problems instead of taking ANY of the blame onto themselves (ironic as they were actually the one's elected to balance our budget!). They've kept their salaries, they've kept their benefits...and they've shown that they are NOT friends of labor. To invite them to our parades would be a slap in the face for those who actually WORK for a living and for every Wisconsinite that supports worker's rights.

  3. Wausau would be honored if workers from around the great state of WI would join us in this Labor Day parade. Let's take a stand !