Save the American Dream Rally in Jefferson City, MO

This is just an editorial of my own views, and I’m in no way representing the Ethical Society of St. Louis.

I felt honored to be at the Save the American Dream Rally in Jefferson City, MO yesterday, Feb. 26, 2011, not only to stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers, but also to stand with all American workers against the shock doctrine.

There were at least 300 pro-Wisconsin supporters in the group, many of them in unions or retired from unions.  About 10 people or so got up and spoke about their concerns, incidents in their lives, their jobs, etc.  It was a wonderful event.

The most exciting part for me was hearing the “Cheesehead” (said with all due respect – look for the cheese hat in the video) from Wisconsin speak.  This past week, he had stayed outside and inside the Wisconsin capitol building, so he had some first-hand stories to tell us about the protests in Madison.

What about the shock doctrine? Paul Krugman, a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, had a great op-ed column in the New York Times on Feb. 24, “Shock Doctrine, U.S.A,” drawing parallels between Chile from the 1970s onward to Wisconsin 2011, where, as Krugman points out, “the shock doctrine is on full display.”

The title of Krugman’s article is a reference to Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.  If you haven’t read it, please do so because it’s one of those books everyone should read to understand how Americans are currently being manipulated into giving up basic rights.  She predicted the current war on the middle class because the same things happened in other countries, including Chile, which she highlights.  Abolishing labor unions was one of the first steps after an authoritarian government was established to take away the voice of the Chilean workers.  Selling off public assets, which Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is trying to do and which Krugman points out in his article, was another step to enriching the corporatists and getting rid of the middle class.

Solidarity to Wisconsin and to American workers!

(The attached video, unfortunately, only shows bits and pieces of the event. I show up quickly in two different panned shots.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss me; I’m right in front.)