This is what democracy looks like!

by Free Speech on February 19, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Yesterday at our state capitol, the walls echoed as people responded to the question  “What does democracy look like?”  Thousands–actual count–filled the building beyond capacity to send the message to  our governor and our representatives that we take our democracy seriously.

We stood shoulder to shoulder, packed tightly together:  the washed,the unwashed; the infant,the elder; the idealist,the pragmatic; the union member, the non-union member.  WE are what democracy looks like…not always pretty, but passionate and in Wisconsin-oh so politely firm.

It was so friendly. It was so well behaved. It was so respectful. It was so serious.  We stood firm.  If only our communities were like that every day.

I stood across from the capitol statue of Fighting Bob.  I felt he watched it all and these were his and Belle’s people doing that hard work that democracy requires.  As Bob said:  Democracy is an on going struggle.   We are struggling mightily in Wisconsin.

I made a sandwich board that said “Boycott Walker Campaign Donors”  One young man came up to me and told me he stopped drinking beer because Coors had donated.  In Wisconsin-stop drinking beer!!  Can you even imagine that?  (I haven’t checked that out yet, but no 20something in Wisconsin would make that decision lightly!) This is Wisconsin.  TA’s from UW walked around the square with garbage bags picking up litter.

Outside the capitol building, thousands more.  Walking around the square with signs that are as creative as the variety of folks walking. Homemade–scrawled on the back of a cardboard box–or whatever happened to be around before they left for the gathering.  Again that firm passion, this time in print.

We are working hard to deliver a message.  My State Senator and Representative’s voice mail box’s are full.  I started calling on Monday and then I could get through. (Trust me I’ve been on the phone every day with them) This is growing.

Louis Brandeis was a great friend of the La Follette’s.  The first Jewish Supreme Court justice gave me my favorite mantra:
“The most important political office is that of private citizen.”

We’re living and proving it here in Wisconsin.

Gail Lamberty

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