From Wisconsin to New York: Crisis, Austerity and Resistance

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Date/Time: 15/04/2011 12:00 am

From Wisconsin to New York: Crisis, Austerity and Resistance
All across the country, eyes had been set upon the struggles of Wisconsin’s public workers against the imposition of austerity and the cutting of collective bargaining rights. The solidarity shown by broad segments of Wisconsin’s working class—from teachers to firefighters, from steelworkers to clerical workers—was an inspiration. Workers in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York have recently mobilized against similar proposals by their Governors. It is clear that the militant actions of Wisconsin workers are having a resounding effect upon how others across the country react to savage attacks on public sector employees.
The workers of Wisconsin were the front lines of an assault that affects us all. Indeed, history has shown that attacks on public unions are an attack on the entirety of the working class. Since the crisis of the 70’s, working class gains have been shredded. Union participation in the private sector continues to decline, while concessions by labor leaders and service cutbacks are commonplace across the country. States like New York, New Jersey and California face even bigger budget deficits than Wisconsin. For this reason, the developments in Madison were a test case for what will happen across the country.
What can we learn from their struggle? And how can we use that knowledge to arm ourselves against this current onslaught in Wisconsin and beyond? What’s the role of austerity measures in managing capitalist crisis? What’s the current fiscal status of New York City, and who will be affected by the budget cuts to come? What forms of self-organization and resistance are occurring here and elsewhere? What are their dynamics, and what are their limits?
This meeting will feature presentations by speakers on Wisconsin, the history of austerity, and the current financial and political conditions of New York City.
Friday April 15th, 7pm
16 Beaver St
Fourth Floor
New York, NY

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