Thousands are marching in the streets of Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana. In March 2011, sparked by protestors in Madison, Wisconsin, workers and union members across the United States have rallied in front of statehouses in support of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. Demonstrators are speaking out against attacks by their Republican governors to eliminate collective bargaining rights and blame public employees and their unions for widespread budget crises.
The protestors are the young, joining the old. Some of them remember Madison as the centre of anti-war protests in the 1960s. For others, this is their first protest. As young activists organise teach-ins and rallies across college campuses and town halls, a new generation redefines its relationship to unions. This new generation recognises that unions provide one of the few ways that regular workers, including public employees, can fight back against the increasingly powerful networks of corporate executives and the politicians who do their bidding.