(see a link to a some great photos here.)
A lot has happened in a week, including our wonderful Governor and all the wonderful Republican senators' treacherous moves to deny collective bargaining to state workers and bust unions, but aside from that everything is just dandy. In fact, they did find a way, possibly illegal, to ram through the bill to do just that. That prompted some mid-week trips to the Capitol, although we don't generally stay for more than an hour or two when we go after work. It's just good to touch base with other angry (but peaceful!) and like-minded people.
It's been a month since this whole thing started, and I can't believe that the protest movement is even stronger now than ever. Yesterday there were 85,000 people, or 200,000, depending on who's doing the estimate and at what time of day. By anyone's reckoning, it's a whole lot of people. The day began with a "tractorcade" of farmers on various tractors and farm equipment circling the square, and then there was a farmer's rally. After that, a teachers' rally/march, which I skipped to join my husband's local union chapter's march. Oops, I think we forgot to get a permit.....
All told, we were up there for four hours. That's a few marches around the square and a lot of standing and listening to speakers and singers. Supportive celebrities have been coming to Madison - yesterday, Jesse Jackson asked us to take time to think of the Japanese people, which was appropriately sobering. Tony Shaloub (a Wisconsin Native and brother of a teacher) spoke, as well as Susan Sarandon (not sure of her connection to Wisconsin, but it was nice anyway). When we have been up there, we've been able to either buy food from enterprising food-cart people, or eat free pizza donated by supporters from around the world and delivered by a local pizzeria named Ian's. Well, "we" don't eat the pizza, although one day I ate A's crust. And he only had it once, although so many protesters are living on donated pizza that people are starting to call it the Pizza Revolution. This made me hungry, so today I decided to make some at home. I was in a hurry and didn't want to go to the trouble of making some fancy cheese-alternative, so I flipped through some cookbooks and found a Parmesan-style topping in Fresh and Fast Vegan Pleasures. Basically, the idea was to grind nutritional yeast, sesame seeds and salt together in a food processor. Sounded easy.... and it was, but it didn't taste exciting enough. I had once tossed some ground walnuts on a pizza, so I added some to the mix, and it immediately tasted better. As long as I was on a roll, I added some pepitas and garlic powder. NOW it tastes great.
And the pizza did too!
Back in the day, when I was a card-carrying member of the New American Movement, we were fond of saying "The personal is the political." So true, especially if you get to eat pizza!