What is the We’re Still Here Project?
On February 14, 2011, a mass of protesters arrived at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison to show opposition to newly elected Governor Scott Walker’s fast-tracking of his “Budget Repair Bill.” This bill contained some of the most sweeping ideological changes to funding, organization and public service the state of Wisconsin has ever seen. Polling showed that Wisconsin residents overwhelmingly rejected Walker’s ideas and his methods of enacting them. Tens of thousands of protesters arrived, many of them camping in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building or on the Capitol lawn in frigid February temps to voice their opposition. State Senate Democrats fled the state to give the public time to learn the extent of the bill’s contents and slow the parliamentary process that Walker and republicans were trying to rush through. The more details that emerged from the bill, the more angry the residents of Wisconsin became, and opposition continued to grow. The occupation and protesting continued for 28 days, with weekend rallies swelling into the hundreds of thousands and attracting celebrities and national news outlets.
On March 10, amid cries of, “Shame!” Senate Republicans passed the Budget Repair Bill with questionable adherence to Wisconsin Open Meetings Law, and the fight moved from the Capitol to the courts. At the same time, extensive recall efforts were launched against state senators working with Scott Walker. Slowly, protesters returned to their hometowns to focus on these grassroots initiatives. As the months have drawn on, the passion of what has come to be known as the #wiunion movement has only continued to flourish in new and creative ways: themed weekend rallies in Madison, flash mob protests at local events, and boating flotilla protests among them.
The We’re Still Here Project was created to show the passion and dedication of all #wiunion supporters, one (or two, or three) people at a time. The We’re Still Here Project wants to remind people all over the world that we love Wisconsin, that we stand up for what we believe in, and that most importantly, We’re Still Here.
How It Works:
Anyone is invited to participate – you don’t have to live in Wisconsin, or even live in the United States. If you support the #wiunion cause, simply make a video (around 3-5 minutes in length) explaining why you care, how this experience has changed you or how you’ve participated. There are no rules – be creative! Just be sure to end the video with the phrase, “We’re still here.”
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