An Open letter from ICWJ in Response to the Solidarity Sing-Along Arrests

August 22, 2013

The Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin views the recent arrests during the Solidarity Sing-Alongs as an unwise continuation of the confrontational and divisive approach and policies of the Walker administration. We believe these actions have a negative effect on all Wisconsin citizens and on the overall economic climate of the state.

The Solidarity Sing-Alongs began as a reaction to one of these policies, the elimination of most collective bargaining rights for state workers, teachers, and most public employees in Wisconsin through the passing of Act 10 by the Wisconsin Legislature on June 29, 2011. This Act reduced to a mere whisper the collective voice of workers in their workplaces. Further administrative rules requiring permits for groups of more than 4 (now modified to 20 by judicial action) seems to us to be a blatant attempt to dampen even the voices of those protesting that Act, in spite of the fact that both the US and the Wisconsin Constitutions guarantee the right of citizens to peaceably assemble and petition their government for the redress of grievances.

Instead of continuing its confrontational approach to public policy issues by arresting and in other ways seeking to intimidate those who disagree with its policies, thereby further dividing and polarizing the state, we urge the Walker administration and the leaders of the State Legislature to engage in respectful, sincere and open-minded dialogue with citizens across the political and ideological spectrum. We advocate engaging in a collective search for solutions to our many problems that will improve the lives of all people that live and work in Wisconsin.

Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin, Inc.

Board of Directors:                                                  Executive Director:

Sadat Abiri                                                                     Rabbi Renee Bauer

Rev. Curt Anderson

Melissa Austin

Michael Childers, Labor Co-Chair

Rev. Marianne Cotter

Rev. Jerry L. Folk, Faith Co-Chair

Paulette Harder

Melissa Horsfall

Douglas Keillor

Sr. Maureen McDonnell, O.P.

Craig Myrbo



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