It’s been a couple of days without an update from the 24-7 Vigil—that is because many of the vigil participants were on the road in Indiana, Ohio, and of course, Madison, supporting the ongoing struggle for workers rights on its many fronts throughout the Midwest. Now that we have finally made it back to our computers, we write to tell you about the many places we have been, the people we have met, and the local work that continues.
The work-in at the Student Union keeps up its daily routine. If you haven’t stopped by in a while, bring your work this week (9 am-2 pm—who knows you might even run into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while!)
On Thursday approximately 15 people from various unions on campus made the trip to Indianapolis to participate in a candlelight vigil at the Capitol. While there, we heard from AFT President Randi Weingarten as well as from many of those engaged in the local struggle on the ground in Indiana. We also had the chance to have Indiana union workers and community members sign a poster to bring back to the Democratic Representatives still staying strong in Urbana.
On Friday night, we presented these words of thanks and encouragement to three of the Indiana Representatives, at a gathering with GEO and CFA members. It was an emotional evening for all involved, and for those who were there it will remain a highlight of the vigil experience. It has renewed our commitment to support the working people of Indiana, as they engage in this historic effort to protect worker’s rights.
Also on Friday and Saturday 7 GEO members made the trip to Cleveland to attend an “Emergency Labor Meeting” with about 100 labor organizers and activists from throughout the United States. It was a great opportunity to learn about what is happening on the ground in many different communities, to build relationships with fellow unionists, and encourage each other in this fight. What became clear while we were there is that we must continue to focus on local struggles and to build strong connections here in our community, even as we engage in this national fight.
Finally more people made what has become the weekly weekend trip to Madison. Michael Vederame sent this report, “Let people know that things are still ticking. Students and teachers have put up post-it notes on all the Capitol doors talking about importance of education. And they’re also tracing people’s bodies in chalk outlines; anyone who wants can get traced once, and they’re creating a human chain of chalk outlines around the Capitol. Each chain has a message in it; in mine I gave a shout-out to the GEO.”
The 24-7 vigil “ticks on” and we plan to keep on ticking until victory chimes out for working people in the Madison and the Midwest. We will be in touch with updates about this week’s schedule soon. Until then, peace and solidarity.
Update from GEO member, Michael Verderame:
I got into Madison last night (Friday) and wanted to let people know that things are still ticking. Students and teachers have pasted put up post-it notes on all the Capitol doors talking about importance of education. And they’re also tracing people’s bodies in chalk outlines; anyone who wants can get traced once, and they’re creating a human chain of chalk outlines around the Capitol. Each chain has a message in it; in mine I gave a shoutout to the GEO. I’ll keep you posted about today. I think about a dozen more of us are coming up today. I think it’s really amazing that we’re sending people all over–Indy, Cleveland, Madison–and also had time to host the Indiana reps last night. Best to everyone.