On Tuesday, Americans in all 50 states will rally in front of schools, libraries, fire stations, hospitals, and parks to protest the rising tide of austerity gripping all levels of our government. There's a rally near you—sign up here to attend.
Many of the structures that long operated as a check against corporate power—campaign finance laws, unions, ACORN, public broadcasting—are being dismantled. As a result, the working and middle classes are being forced to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy, corporate giveaways, wars, and economic crashes caused by Wall Street. Money continues to flow upward, and our already undemocratic level of inequality is worsening.
All is not lost, however. The example of Wisconsin teaches us that when we are fighting for each other, we can put together some amazing grassroots activism. Wisconsin shows we still have the energy to swing public opinion our way, and to extract accountability from the elected officials who are dragging us into plutocracy. From Wisconsin, we can build a new populist movement which, not long from now, will act as an effective counterweight to the forces of austerity.