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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Afterthoughts, 6:35 p.m.: Two women walking behind me stated that they were not from West Bend, but didn't want to go to Madison so West Bend was the next best thing. I imagine it was the same with others who were there. An older man on the corner introduced himself to union workers as a union organizer, thought his name was Steve Nelson, but not positive on that.

Other faces in the crowd include:
Former West Bend East VP, current WB District Teachers, former Silverbrook orchestra teacher


I participated in the pro-Scott Walker rally today in West Bend. I'll blog on it shortly, but first will get the pics up. I've got video going up on youtube shortly, as well. C'mon back for an update in a little while....

I decided that the best way to get to know how the "other side" really thinks is throw myself into the throngs. I joined the group of protesters who, ironically, called themselves "West Benders for Fairness" and walked, alone, with my Sen. Walker campaign sign. I think they were a bit taken aback at first, but hey, there was one sidewalk and the police asked everyone to keep walking. I was just obeying.

There was one large group with a megaphone on the corner sidewalk by Hobby Lobby (NW corner). The other three corners had decent-sized crowds all walking single file with mostly hand-made signs. The ones that leave me scratching my head are the signs that lend personal attack and disregard the bill or the items within the bill. For instance, there was a gentleman walking his dog in the protest line and he had hung a sign on the poor thing that stated something similar to "Where's Walker, I gotta pee." Seriously. I would consider that an embarrassment. As I walked with the protesters, I kept my ears open to the conversations. I did not initiate conversation or otherwise engage with any protesters. The majority of the protesters were respectful, but I am speaking only for the SW corner by Starbucks where I was walking. One man turned around and told me he gave me credit for being courageous enough to walk in their line. I really didn't see as I had any choice anyway. Like I said, there was only one sidewalk. It was nice of him, nonetheless. People were chanting "Kill the Bill", and "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Scott Walker has got to go" for the majority of the demonstration, on all corners. One particularly offensive group was singing a Christian "Battle Hymn of the Republic," but had changed the words to something that glorified solidarity. Seriously, I would have never gone there.

Seen amongst the protesters were:
ALDERMAN NICK DOBBERSTEIN, Hartford teacher (whose seat is up for re-election in Spring) who was shouting "RECALL WALKER!"
MIKE WESTON, Firefighter and former West Bend school board member (chanting the "hey hey, ho ho" mantra)
STEEV BAKER, Kewaskum Public Librarian - Taking pics and assimilating the protesting crowd
KRISTIN PEKOLL, West Bend Young Adult Librarian (sign reading something like "Don't SHUSH the Librarian"
MARK PETERSON, local liberal UWWC Psychology Professor
WARING FINCKE, local liberal attorney
MICHAEL TYREE, former Library Director

And now I'll briefly vent - I absolutely hate when people take part in a protest and bring their little children, have them hold signs, and tell them things to yell. GEEZ, people. I can understand if someone has to bring their baby and they are walking while pushing a stroller. OK, that's understandable. If your kids is 12 or 13 (give or take) and understands the situation, makes a decision to take part, and wants your assistance, that's fine, too. Just don't exploit the young un's. Really.

Corner of Paradise and Main, West Bend -

Are any of these people YOUR teachers?

About 23 seconds into this video you will hear Dennis Uhlig, employee at Fireside Books, proudly state he called his Democratic Senators and asked them to stay out of Wisconsin. You will remember Dennis from his previous involvement in the library issue, where he stated he was supportive of all information for all people, including minor children. Same Dennis.


Mpeterson said...

Sorry Ginny, but my degree is in philosophy, not psychology.

And the woman who walked behind you most of the day was, in fact, from West Bend. She kept you company for most of the time you were there. Didn't you notice her?

And we all of us were a bit worried about the God Bless Walker signs. It seems that you haven't paid much attention to your own theology. Do go read Acts of the Apostles and then Rerum Novarum on the dignity of labor. That should help get your head around the spiritual dangers of siding with the rich against hard working public servants.

Just something to think about.

Nice to see you today. I hope you had fun.


West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Hi-Ho, there, Mark! Nice to see you, again.... I'm sure you would know exactly who was behind me "most" of the time I was there, and what she said, too. Philosophy? Ooops, my bad. Thx for the assist.

Glad you dropped in!

steev said...

Ginny--I'm not sure that I was "assimilating" anything, I was just showing my solidarity with teachers and other public workers.



mariner said...

A couple of comments about your thoughts on the rally yesterday:

1. Regarding offensive signs - how about the one that you like on facebook: "Stop Leeching, Start Teaching"? Remember what they say about people who live in glass houses...

2. Your comment about seeing if any teachers are in the pictures seems to imply that it is wrong for teachers to rally and support a particular cause. Certainly a Sunday afternoon rally is on their own time - and probably most of them did school work before or after the rally. Standing up for a cause does not make someone a bad teacher.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Thanks for your comments, Mariner!

As for the Facebook sign, keep in mind my message was to those teachers who ditched their students and illegally walked out of regularly-scheduled classes, not to the teachers who remained on the job, doing what they are paid to do, regardless of their feelings regarding SB11. If you were one of those who stayed in the classroom, and knowing you, you are, then that message was not directed towards you. Don't read things that are not there.

No implication of wrongdoing for protesting, but just so we are aware of who stands where, that's all. After all, if that were the case, then I'd be just as guilty, right? ;-)

speak up said...

I was at this rally as well. I am a DOT employee. A couple of things...there were people who were there that were not tied to schools but there for their own jobs such as myself and my coworker among several others who did not have ties to the schools. This bill is affecting more than just teachers and schools. Second, I made a comment about this being the next best thing to Madison. I am a West Bend resident. I DESPERATELY wanted to go to Madison to show my support of my fellow state employees and to have my voice heard. I couldn't go as my husband was recovering in St Joe's and I didn't want to be that far away from him. So for me, this was the next best thing. Third, thank you for walking. Most of the people who were there supporting Walker stood at the corners and wouldn't let us pass.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

A belated FYI to all, just in case you think I'm joshin'! ;-D

From West Benders for Fairness:
Waring Fincke:
"A great effort by over 75 volunteers who collected signatures on petitions ....." "People even came from outside the District to help."

Seriously. Be realistic.