Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 7 My first milestone, the movements second chapter

Managed to sleep from 4 until nearly 6 this morning.  Woke and perked up my day with some tap water and a smoke.  Caught up on some networking and was tracking the tsunami story from earlier in the morning. 

The walk to the Capitol seemed more difficult than it should have been.  Smaller than anticipated crowd yet still a pretty happy turnout.  The day proceeded with what is starting to appear to me as normal . . . if by normal you mean sitting on cold granite in a monolithic structure surrounded by scores of uniformed officers listening to people chanting, while simultaneously having an in-depth political discussion as you pose for a picture with a stranger's children.

As Dr. Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, "When the going gets weird the weird turn pro." 

Anyway, mid-afternoon around 3 o clock, having signed his union-busting legislation, Governor Scotty Walker held (or at least attempted to hold) a press conference announcing his historic moment.    Hearing of this, the Capitol rotunda emptied at the speed of angst,  the protesters chanting loudly to make their presence known, while outside the Chamber windows out on the inner ring others did the same.  I haven't looked for the video of the press conference yet so I'm not sure of the content of his speech or of the effectiveness of the protesters.  It was an as-anticipated day of dealing with our failure as a state to vote responsibly.

At 6 in the evening the Capitol building closed to the public and we filed out, bitter yet still very much hopeful in our cause.  The short walk back was a bit of a struggle and seemed to last forever. My strength has definitely faded from me today, the effects of the hunger strike catching up to me.  All day long I was cold and could not warm up.  The temperature outside was about 40 and sunny, which is pretty nice really.  And I was wearing full thermals with a tee shirt, baseball jersey and a sweatshirt over that covered by my signature Aaron Rodger's number #12 jersey.

I don't feel sick at all; my strength is just gone.  And I can't stay warm. My thinking is sometimes becoming pretty foggy; some chest pains but not too bad, all things considered.  I'm carefully monitoring my hydration level and water intake.  Obviously important as water is, it's the only thing I'm ingesting through this hunger strike.  Too much water and I'm told my electrolytes can become out of balance and put me into shock.  Was also told that salt and potassium levels are or will become seriously important to me.  A couple of different medical personnel have advised me to at least drink some Gatorade or similar product.  I suppose I would but my vow is to not take in any calories for the duration of the strike. Unlike our duplicitous Governor and his flip-flopping Senate lap dogs, I have to stay the course and keep true to my vows.  Okay, that was sort of hateful and I apologize, but I've also been rather testy today.  And I feel justified in this testiness.  I'm only asking for 2 concessions from Mr. Walker and they both seem quite reasonable to myself and pretty much all the folks I talk to. Those 2 things are:

1.  Open dialogue with Independents and Democrats on the financial aspects of the Governor's Budget Reform Bill.

2.  Originally this point referred to removing language in reference to collective bargaining from the union concessions aspects of that bill.

Part 2 of course will now have to be adapted, mostly likely to an amendment putting a 1-2 year limit to the removal of collective bargaining, or the re-installation of collective bargaining with a 1-3 year unilateral freeze on raises apart from cost of living adjustments.

A big heartfelt thank you to all the thousands and thousands of people staying the course and not backing down from this movement.  I've thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent in conversation or just quiet solidarity with all of you.  And if you have any pictures of us inside the Capitol rotunda I would love it if you could send them to me.

On Wisconsin!  FORWARD!!!!  Let the will of the people be known.

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