By Matthew Rothschild, April 23, 2011
It’s been weeks since we’ve had a huge mass protest in Madison. The failure by the leadership of the labor movement to keep calling people out in historic numbers has given the impression that things are dying down here. This helps Scott Walker and his minions, and it discourages pro-labor people at the base. There is a latent demand for taking to the streets that is not being met, and the power that such a mobilization represents is being allowed to dissipate.
In this vacuum, some organizers have valiantly tried to rally people to the capitol. Groups like Wisconsin Wave have called several protests, but without the institutional support of the state AFL-CIO and its largest members, the crowds have been relatively—and depressingly—small.
My reporting indicates that many senior labor leaders in Wisconsin were reluctant to call the mass protests in the first place and pooh-poohed the importance of continuing with them.