Milwaukee students walk out and occupy building
_Fighting back against Gov. Walker’s attempts to destroy public sector unions and slash funding for education _
Milwaukee, WI – Over 1500 students and workers walked out Mar. 2 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in protest of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's plan to destroy public sector unions and slash funding for public education. Initiated by Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society, the protest included a worker contingent of AFSCME, TAUWP and AFT union members. The protest took place on the National Day of Action to Defend Education.
The protest began at the UWM union where people chanted “Kill the bill” and “Tax the rich.” The protest then marched around campus, through streets and buildings and ended at a plaza on campus where speeches were delivered by union members and students.
“This is not only a job killer, this is a people killer,” stated AFSCME Local 82 President Gilbert Johnson. “We're not making a lot of money and these cuts will force us to make some tough decisions. This bill has got to be stopped at whatever cost.”
After the protest, student leaders met and decided to take it to the next level. Inspired by past university occupations held in California and New York, they declared an occupation of a theater building. Around 100 students arrived to the occupation.
“I helped organize this protest today because I'm afraid about the future of our educational system,” commented Mike Gold of SDS. “We'll do whatever it takes to save our school and defend campus workers.”