Day 27

Day 27.  The fourth Saturday of protests at the Madison Capitol.

The day the tractors came:

A group of farmers, organized by Family Farm Defenders, came to the square for a "Tractorade" in support of Wisconsin Working families. Their motto was "Pull Together:  Support Working Families."  And what a cool idea this was.

Their rationale was this:  "Rural communities will be disproportionately hurt by the cuts to education and BadgerCare, as well as Gov. Walker’s decision to eliminate funding for other sustainable agriculture initiatives such as the Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program." 

Additionally, (one of my personal peeves with this administration) the governor has appointed as the head of the DNR a woman openly disdainful of the department she is now in charge of.  There has been much talk of "streamlining" the permitting process for businesses, which includes issues such as water quality for large factory farms.  So there were also a lot of signs in support of family farms and in opposition to large agri-business. 

This guy stalled at one point, and plenty of willing hands turned up to push him along until he could get restarted. 

So they came downtown to join us in rallying, and they were a HUGE hit.  The tractors were awesome; some pristine, some rusty and tired, and some covered in mud and manure.  Though most of the tractors were fairly local, farmers came from all over the state to speak, and a dairy farmer with a lovely (baritone?) voice sang the national anthem.  All of these events have been family oriented, and you can imagine how 50+ tractors go over with kids.  And this mini-farmer loved it too.

girl farmer power!  :)

The dude of farmers
By mid-afternoon, more than 100 thousand people were gathered for the main rally.  Reverend Jesse Jackson led a prayer for the people of Japan, and the gigantic crowd, stretching for blocks,  hushed into respectful silence for a moment.  I continue to be proud to live in Wisconsin. 

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  1. Amazing. I wish I could have been there. Go Farmers!

  2. Well, it might just come to you, you never know.
    I hope they do the parade again (under hopefully different circumstances). Farmers don't get celebrated enough these days, and you can tell they really appreciated it.

    One thing I've found these last few weeks is that the speakers are so amazed by what they see, it's almost more of a boost for them as for the crowd they came to energize, if that makes sense.


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