On Wednesday evening I’ll be at the book release for We Are Wisconsin at the Chicago offices of In These Times, in conjunction with the exhibition of Wisconsin Uprising posters and signs now up at Art In These Times. The evening opens at 6:30 PM and the speakers begin at 7:30 PM.
Erica Sagrans, the editor and coordinator of the book, will open with an introduction. Then three contributors, Peter Rickman, Micah Uetricht, and myself, will each take a few minutes to make some remarks.
Erica sent around a prepartory email to the three of us with a useful bundle of questions, intended as starting points for the discussions that will undoubtedly last into the fall season. They are worth posting here, for all who have invested time, labor, and spirit in the Wisconsin movement to consider.
What is your vision of the strategy for going forward in Wisconsin or with this fight more broadly--with a Walker recall, 2012 elections, other electoral or non-electoral strategies?
-- What did the media miss in telling this story?
-- A pervasive theory about the 2008 election was that progressives hit a ceiling with involvement and massive turnout of the Democratic base and young people and people of color. During the Wisconsin protests, lots of new people got involved--were these people who hadn't been involved in '08? What would we have to do in 2012 to get these people involved and active in elections?
-- Was the Wisconsin fight fundamentally about labor rights and unions, or something else?
-- A remarkable thing about what happened in Wisconsin, and particularly with the recalls, was alliances between groups on the left that otherwise wouldn't have worked together--how do you think that happened, or do you see that continuing? What have been the benefits as well as the challenges to that?
-- We know about the incredible protests that unfolded in Madison, but less talked about is what happened and is still happening around the state. Can you talk about how a movement was built statewide with less likely people and places involved?
-- One of the defining aspects of these protests was how many people who had previously not been at all political got involved and got politicized or radicalized. Also defining was the re-politicization of many established institutions and unions. How did that happen?
-- How do you think the half a year of this movement compares with the timeframes of other social movements? Is this the birth of a new social movement, and can social movements have geographic components?
-- How are groups in Wisconsin planning to counter the influx of corporate money that has influenced the recent recalls and will influence the Walker recall effort?
-- What role did technology and the internet play in driving action, distributing information, and telling the story of the Wisconsin protests? How did online and offline work together?
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