Friday, May 20, 2011

My Manifesto, Or Why I Fight For Workers Rights In Wisconsin

Joanne Staudacher
Courtesy of
One of my #wiunion friends, Joanne Staudacher (@battiestgrrl to the twitterati), wrote the following "manifesto" (her word, not mine), which she had put on a sign which spent many a day in Madison with her. She also read it at a public hearing in front of soon to be ousted State Senator Randy Randy "Bed" Hopper.

With my deepest and most heartfelt thanks, Joanne was kind enough to let me reproduce it here, from her Facebook page:

Dear Walker & Hopper:


Conceived, born, raised,
educated, employed + unemployed,
living still, and hope to die.

My father is a forester, methodist, veteran.

My mother is a seamstress, CCD teacher, devout Catholic.

Both sides farmed. I come from
hardworking, determined, long-lived stock.

I am unemployed. I am pro-union.

I have worked for pay in homes, yards,
restaurants, offices, computer labs, warehouses,
thrift stores, and college classrooms.

I have a Ph.D.

I have been a literacy tutor, humane society
volunteer--I’ve donated money, food, blood,
and time.

I am a daughter, wife, sister, aunt, niece,
cousin, friend, mentor. I will be a mother.

I will not see my children’s future spoiled.

I sewed my own wedding dress + changed my alternator.
I am a deer hunter who bakes vegan cookies.
I’m equal parts June Cleaver + meat cleaver.

I am educated, creative, passionate. Complex.

I have been Chippewa Falls, Holcombe, Eau Claire,
Prairie du Chien, Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Green Bay.
I am Oshkosh.

I stand before you in my science
camp T-shirt + thrift store skirt.

I am not a slob. If I were
lazy, I wouldn’t be here.

You may not remember folks
like me, but I WILL RECALL

I am Wisconsin, and I am
NOT alone!

The following are Joanne's words regarding the manifesto:
This is the text of the sign I wore on my back when I marched at the capitol last. It is my manifesto, my statement of purpose, and every word is truth. My manifesto was limited to the size of what I could carry on my back, could have used some better planning, had to have an amendment over my two-poster limit and I had to tie it around my throat like a cape to keep it all visible. I broke the lines in the same way that my medium and handwriting dictated. 
I fight for the people I love, the people I have loved, the people I will love. I fight for the land beneath my feet. I fight for people who don't agree with me, because I still want them to have a beautiful future. Yes, some of you tagged will not agree with me. I still offer you my story, my motivation, my intent, and the better future I hope we will share. 
This is why I fight. This is why I will not give up. I have made this note visible to "Everyone"--feel free to share it, to comment on it, to think about it--whatever makes you happy. This is why I fight, for better I hope, not worse. The war isn't over. In true badger fashion, we dig in and hold fast.

1 comment:

  1. Love this! Will also share the link on my blog at Thank you for sharing - so moving! Solidarity!