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Wisconsin has made national headlines lately because of our Governor's recall election that failed to unseat him from his throne. However, demonstrators occupying the state capitol are not the only type of activism happening in Wisconsin.
On International Women's Day, mothers and others joined together for the Mom's Bus Tour for the Welfare of the People and the Planet. The purpose of our tour was to celebrate the Global Women's Strike by raising awareness about war tax resistance and government cuts to programs for the poor.
"Federal proposals would deny WIC to 800,000 babies and deny Headstart to 218,000 at risk children and reduce Pell grants $1,000 for poor college students," points out Pat Gowens of the Welfare Warriors. "Politicians pretend that we are in a fiscal crisis due to poverty programs and pay/pensions for ordinary people. This is not true. Since 2001 taxpayers paid over $1 trillion to bomb and colonize Iraq and Afghanistan. That is causing the financial crisis."
The first stop on the bus tour was a for-profit tax preparation office. There we began to sing our anti-war songs to the perplexed pedestrians and handed out flyers encouraging war tax resistance to the entertained tax payers. Our first song was inspired by this very business and their numerous US flags calling attention to the building.
To the tune of "America the Beautiful"
The country we adore
It's time to pay our taxes for
Our endless wars and gore
America, Let's put an end
To pay for wealthy wars
So save your bucks and
Say 'no more' to war forevermore
Next we proceeded to the Bradley Foundation, a right-wing think-tank that not only funded our anti-union Governor, but also helped start Wisconsin's failed welfare to work program. Mary, of the Mother's Organizing Center, led a chant about stopping the war on moms and kids while Barbara Brown pointed out that college money appointed for veterans, like herself, is now at risk of being taken away.
Our final stop was Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services office to bring the message to the people who truly feel the effect of our ever increasing budget cuts. With our flyers and singing, we tried to draw connections between our current wars and our state's drastic budget cuts. The group's self appointed cheerleader, Ms. Martines, bellowed out to the crowd "Bring the horses! This is the way to protest! Don't pay your federal taxes!"
After all the excitement, we went back to the Mother's Organizing Center and Roberta Thurstin of Casa Maria shared, "We need to take care of human needs. I have been a war tax resister for many years. They talk of these government cuts. They never talk about money going towards the military."
While our bus tour wasn't as intense as thousands of union organizers occupying our state capitol, it was definitely worth it and we are all giddy with excitement for next year's action.
Tags: Afghanistan/Pakistan Children Families & Seniors Civil Liberties Corporate Accountability Democracy/Activism Economic Justice Government Accountability Iraq War Urban Development Women & Feminism
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