fighting back

The marquee at the Orpheum Theatre (Madison, Wisconsin) mocks Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker showing him starring in the Arnold Schwarzengger film Total Recall

The Nation: The blowback from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s union-busting crusade has only just begun — and it may soon hit the governor where it really hurts: in the deep pockets of his biggest donors. Workers have begun organizing a “Move Your Money Campaign” against M&I Bank, whose employees are among his chief financial backers.

M&I Bank is the largest bank in Wisconsin, and was the recipient of $1.7 billion in TARP bailout money from the federal government. The bundled contributions from M&I executives were Walker’s second-largest source of campaign funds … executives at M&I Bank gave $46,308 to Walker’s campaign. And now, a group of local unions in Wisconsin have threatened to pull their money from M&I Bank unless it denounces Scott Walker’s attack on workers’ rights.

…On Thursday morning, several hundred protesters surrounded an M&I Bank across the street from the Wisconsin State Capitol shouting “You Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out.”  International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311 President Joe Conway Jr. told me two union members marched in and pulled a combined $192,000 dollars out of the bank. “Hopefully this sends a message to the bank,” says Conway. “We wanted to illustrate how serious our threat is by having just two of our members pull their money out. “ The union said it plans to escalate actions and will soon begin handing out flyers at protests asking people to move their money.

A senior union researcher estimates that unions have at least $1 billion invested in M&I Bank, mostly through pension funds. Discussions are going on at the highest levels of the labor movement about how exactly to leverage this financial clout in the political debate in Wisconsin. Since the Bank of Montreal is in process of purchasing M&I Bank, US unions have reached out to the Canadian Labour Congress to urge their involvement in a disinvestment campaign.

Full article here

Thank you Marlene 😉

23 Responses to “fighting back”

  1. 2 dannie22
    March 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    This is awesome news. The unions and the people should absolutely leverage their economic power. Wisconsin is a model for all of the U. S. Everyone should take what litlke money they have out of the “too big to fail ” banks and place them in smaller banks or credit unions. We should stop shopping at certain businesses and stop being held hostage the liked of the Koch bros.

    • March 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      We took everything we had out of Bank of America a couple of years ago. We didn’t ask to have our money with them in the first place, they just took over our local bank.

      We also reduced our retirement funds to pay off our mortgage in order for our kids to have this place free and clear without having BofA hanging like the sword of Damocles over their heads. Again, BofA had bought out Countrywide who was the lender of choice for our credit union (which turned out less than well, as we all know by now).

      Bank of America was looking more and more like a hydra-headed beast, getting bigger and bigger, and more and more inefficient (at breaking the law).

      • 4 dannie22
        March 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm

        Good for you!!! That’s the only way to get these bozos off our backs!! If every American has to place our few dollars in a few small banks then we’ll have to do it. And we have to scream louder at these banks so that they invest in our communities. We have to wake up.

    • 5 Dorothy Rissman
      March 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      dannnie, I think you are on the right track. I don’t buy any Koch Head products. If we could really get a movement together to punish the too big to fails, then we could begin to have a voice. We may not close them down, but hopefully they will get the message.

      • 6 dannie22
        March 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

        Hey Dorothy!! Good on you for not buying Koch products. I’ve done the same and I’ve told everyone I know about boycotting Koch products.

  2. March 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    When will we wake up and collectively fight back!!! Remember the Montgomery Bus Boycott; it worked because a community came together and realized they had the power to win. In this Capitalist society, money talks. The citizens of WI have come to the realization that they have Power by withholding their monies and trade from the people that have misused them. We, the voters and communities have a lot of Power, if we would just use it. To take their monies out of the bank is a step in the right direction. Now get every bank account that is owned by the union to “make a run” and see how fast it changes its tune. There is strength in numbers. It worked in Alabama, why can’t WI set the trend for the rest of the nation. Republicans were saying if Walker could win in WI then the rest of the states will follow and break the Unions. NOW let’s turn that around, if we make a run on all industries and banks that are supporting this “union busting”, then we have played a winning card??? “You can’t take my money and then mistreat me”. I am a union member. Wake up people they have dealt us a good hand.

    • 8 dannie22
      March 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      Your right! It’s time to go Montgomery Bus Boycott on America. We can protest high gas prices by more car pooling and walking just like they did in Montgomery. We have to shop less. Stop buying stuff. Take our economic power back!! I’m cheap so it’s easy for me not to spend money.

      • 9 V C prezOfan2
        March 12, 2011 at 7:34 pm

        While I like the idea of moving one’s bank account into banks that respect the worker, I’m not sure that the suggestion to ‘Stop buying stuff’ is currently a good one. My understanding is that in order to help the economy fight its way back from the edge, consumers do need to be ‘buying stuff’. I agree that workers should continue to work together to show their displeasure with the path the republicans are pushing them towards, but IMO the choices taken should be well-thought out, in order not to stifle progress that has already been made.

        • March 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm

          Hey VC, the key here is not to buy Koch stuff – buy their rivals’ products!

          • 11 Dorothy Rissman
            March 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

            Spot on. Let’s just try to beaware of those stores who are making money off of us but do not respect our political choices. I am thinking about leaving Wells Fargo bank. I do not like who they are.

            • March 13, 2011 at 11:48 am

              It can also have to power to change the current debate back to the rich leaving the middle, working, and poor to pay for everything which is what is really happening right now. They are trying to take our political power away from us.

        • 13 Dorothy Rissman
          March 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

          VC, You make a good point, but if we become discerning as to what we buy and where, it might help.
          Target backed off their political donations for their favorite teabagger for the November election because he was anti-gay. It became a public issue. They got all over themselves apologizing for not knowing that he was a gay basher. I still do not buy at Target because I know their politics are far right.

          • 14 BIGFan
            March 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm

            Yes, Dorothy. I never shop at Target any more. They donated to right wing, and, then lied to cover it up. Are there any others we should boycott?

            • 15 Dorothy Rissman
              March 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

              Good on you BIGFan. We have to stand up if we are going to make a difference. I do not think it is enough to try to control these monopolies through our votes. Let’s hurt them in their wallets.

            • 17 Dorothy Rissman
              March 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm

              You know I need to do some research. It is definitely a worthy pursuit.

          • 18 Sue in Minnesota
            March 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm

            I quit Target after their CEO’s misstep. It’s important to our household to not reward those who have little regard for the “general respect and welfare” of all. It doesn’t mean we quit spending, just that we take extra care as to where we do spend. We also think it’s time, for the truth regarding local, state and federally dispensed benefits, in whatever form, and with which our corporations are richly endowed. The term “welfare queen” could then no longer be used to disparage the needy and the poor.

  3. March 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    It was estimated that 150,000 protesters were present in WI today..I am glad that people are rising up. I bet
    Walker thought that the protest would die down by now, but he was mistaken. Power to the People!

    • March 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      I’m sure they’ve been asking those protesters to sign the recall petitions. I was thinking of the 70,000 protesters earlier this week, but 150,000 is wonderful. A huge percent of those must be Wisconsinites who would be eligible to sign. The sooner they get the recall petition legally ready to go, the sooner they’ll be rid of those Republicans.

      And if they’re successful in their recall effort, other states having voter’s remorse could go ahead and follow suit.

      The best of luck, Wisconsin! Lead the way!

  4. 21 BIGFan
    March 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Yes, Yes, POWER TO THE PEOPLE of WI!!! LOVE the marquee. And,I’m excited that 150,000 protesters showed up. Great job protesting M&I Bank. Stick it to Gov Walker EVERY way you can!!!

  5. 22 LYNN
    March 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm


  6. 23 Shirley
    March 12, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I like the marquee too 🙂 🙂 🙂

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