According to The Pulse Of Radio, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello spoke with Spinner.com about playing last week at the massive protests at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, where demonstrators and union members are battling Governor Scott Walker's attempt to strip public unions of collective bargaining rights. Morello explained, "I was asked to go to Madison by the individual workers and more than one union, to come and play and energize people on the street and the kids in the capitol. I was so inspired by what I saw in the streets and in the capitol building . . . It's like it's every stripe, every creed, every color, there are kids, there are religious groups, there are teachers, old hippies, they were very militant and wound up and it was very exciting."
Other artists who have performed at the Wisconsin rallies include Tim McIlrath from RISE AGAINST and Wayne Kramer of the MC5.
Morello told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that he is a firm believer in grassroots political activism. "I think that any real, progressive, substantive, radical or revolutionary change for the better that's ever happened in our country has happened because people whose names are not on the ballot, whose names you do not read about in history books, gather together, organize and struggle to make their lives, their community and their country better," he said.
The guitarist, who performs acoustically as the NIGHTWATCHMAN, says he thinks the Wisconsin protests are having a ripple effect, with the governor of Florida saying he will not pursue anti-union legislation and similar situations taking place in Indiana and Ohio.
The public unions in Wisconsin have already agreed to financial concessions in Walker's state budget, and claim that the move to take away collective rights is an attempt to break the state's unions. Walker has remained adamant that such a move is necessary to curb the state's deficit.
Morello said about Walker's stance, "Governor Walker has said in this issue there's no room for compromise. He should go down to his own capitol building and explain that to the cops, firefighters, veterans, and students down there, which he's afraid to do."
Morello has a one-year-old son and told Spinner.com that he and his wife are expecting another boy imminently, adding, "Our boys are gonna grow up to be union men."