Powerful Labor Antiwar Speeches at Madison Rally Initiated by IVAW, 3/19
Iraq Veterans Against the War/Union Rally
Photo Credit: Sue Vilbrandt
Speeches on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War State Capitol - Madison, Wisconsin - March 19, 2011
Brothers and Sisters: Every one of us is here today to protest War -
War in Iraq: 8 yrs.--
War in Afghanistan: 10 yrs --
War against Wisconsin Workers --
War against American Workers --
Indeed, war against workers all over the world !
I'm proud that the Wisconsin AFL-CIO was one of first state labor federations to call for an end to the war in Iraq, in 2005.
I'm proud to be a founding member of US Labor Against the War. I'm proud that the Wisconsin AFL-CIO was one of first state federations to join US Labor Against the War - And that US Labor Against the War led the fight to get the National AFL-CIO to call for withdrawal from Iraq, in 2007 - An historic moment in American labor history, for never before had the principal US labor organization called for the end of a war while it was being fought.
But I'm angry that Wisconsin is also the first state where the National Republican campaign to destroy public sector unions began -
Yet I'm proud that Wisconsin Workers, union and non-union alike,
-- along with farmers and students and clergy and small business owners --
All rallied as never seen before to fight that attack on workers -
And that we've inspired an energized fight-back across the country.
So we're here to protest many wars - All of which are orchestrated by the same forces: the rich, the powerful, the huge multi-national corporations - that owe allegiance to no country!
Photo Credit: Sue Vilbrandt
The American people, American workers, had no interest in invading Iraq 8 years ago.
President Bush had to lie to the American people over and over again to justify his invasion-
And yet, he invaded - despite the largest peace-time protests to prevent war ever seen.
Over 5000 American soldiers have died in Bush's war of choice - And countless hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis as well . . .
The cost? Over $1 trillion-more than enough to meet our domestic needs and eliminate these phony budget crises. And notice carefully: Saddam had outlawed unions in Iraq. But that part of Iraqi law hasn't changed under the American occupation. Unions in Iraq are still illegal and harassed today -
Unions: the force that cuts across religious sectarian lines, and that could bring peace to this brutalized country.
But-some did benefit and profit handsomely from the Iraq war: the rich, the powerful, the multi-national corporations. And their political puppets.
And those who profit from wars abroad are the same ones waging war on American workers and their unions at home.
They intensified their war on American workers in the private sector back in the 1970s.
And they've been depressingly successful in weakening private sector unions, thru -
And now they've come for public sector workers and their unions - Not just in Wisconsin, but in every state where they have the political power.
Wisconsin is the victim of a nationwide strategy-
The strategy is well-coordinated. It is well-financed. And it is backed up with a huge propaganda machine.
Why? Because the American union movement is the last effective institution in America that still has the power to resist!
We are all that stands between them -- and unrestrained Power.
Sisters and brothers, there's a war on the workers in America. But we're resisting -
Resisting the wars abroad And Resisting the war at home.
There's a war on the workers -- and it's time we started calling the shots!
Hi friends -
This week I joined a group of my fellow musicians to create a music video in support of the protesters in Madison, Wisconsin.
The song, "Madison", was written by my friend Mark Vickness of Glass House, and spoken word artist PC Munoz. It was produced start to finish at EMB Studios, the studio Winter and I share with Paul Nordin. I was proud and honored to be a part of this project and thought I'd share it with you all here.
Enjoy and may it bring you
hope and good cheer!