Browse Exhibits (22 total)

Nothing but Thugs and Bullies

In response to Fox News' classification of the Wisconsin Protests as "nothing but thugs and bullies" protesters used signs to demonstrate the absurdity of this claim and drawing attention to the ways that democratic dissent has been classified as danger by the right wing media.

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Protest in the Capital hall

The pictures tell the story about protest ongoing in the Capital building in the winter. 

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References to Pop Culture and to Historical Conflicts in the Wisconsin Uprising

A look at some images being circulated during the protests which made allusions to popular culture and to broader conflicts in history, possibly to make the protests in Wisconsin more relatable or salient to a wide audience.

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Solidarity: Voces de la Frontera and the Wisconsin Uprising

Voces de la Frontera maintained a strong and highly visible presence at the State Capital during the WI Uprising. Their messaging emphasized solidarity and the intersection of worker and immigrant rights.  VDLF not only fought against the cuts to collective bargaining, but also to those being made to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students and limit immigrants access to Badgercare and Foodshare.

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Struggling for Schools

This exhibit displays the important role that teachers and students played in both leading and participating in the Wisconsin Uprising. Education centered in the fight over both the public sector and public sector employees' rights.  The following images portray the some of the ways people considered education an important part of the struggle.

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Students of Color in Solidarity with Workers and Families of Color

On 3-19-2011 marked Day 37 of demostrations against the budget repair bill in Wisconsin. It also marked the day for the student organization MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) that held their 18th Annual Conference in UW-Madison and incorporated in their program a protest with community organizations such as Freedom Inc, UTI (Union de Trabajadores Inmigrantes- Madison WI) along with other organizations to stand in solidarity with workers and families of color which were also impacted by the budget repair bill. In addition, this protest was also organized due to the exclusiveness of people of color within the uprising in Wisconsin. Both students and community members were commited in representing social issues that impact people of color along the lines of violence prevention, women's reproductive rights, educational access and workers rights through socially justice musical perfomances, artistic signs and vocal chants. These photographs were taken by Jim Escalante. 

The Power of Signs

During the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising many different people from all walks of life came to protest at the Capitol steps, signs in hand. This exhibit explores the creativity protesters exerted through their signs and the power that their creativity played in the movement. Many of the signs that came out of the protest were humorous, not only drawing large attention and making a serious situation seem easier to deal with, but also showing the unique group of people that rallied around the Capitol on those cold winter days. Another factor this exhibit explores is how signs occupied all parts of the Capitol, leaving no space empty. One could not walk around the Capitol, inside or out, without a protest sign in their vision. Overall, this exhibit shows the power a simple sign can play in protest movement and the unique messages spread through the Wisconsin Uprising through various signs. 

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The Student Faction of the Wisconsin Uprising

On February 14, 2011, the 2011 Wisconsin protests against Act 10 began with students.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Assistant Association organized a Valentine's Day protest with the delivery of "We ♥ UW: Don't Break My ♥" valentines to the governor’s office at the state capitol building. Throughout the duration of the protest, students, both college and high school, and even younger, were an active and vocal portion of the movement.  The student’s involvement provided the protesters much needed energy, enthusiasm, hope, and humor to the long cold winter days. 

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Unions at the Uprising

With Governor Walker in office in 2011, the Wisconsin state legislature proposed a series of bills curtailing the rights of public sector unions within Wisconsin. These changes brought union members out onto the streets en masse. In the pages of this exhibit, you can see the different types of unions that participated as well as an effect of the media portrayal of the unions.

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Unique Materials Utilized by Protesters

During the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising, there were many different types of ideas, objects, chants, and signs used as protest. Although all were effective in providing distinctive and productive protest, some of the more noticeable materials employed were the costumes, animals, props, and snowmen. These various forms of material utilized by the protestors during the beginning of the Wisconsin uprising provided a unique yet powerful impact to anyone that approached the Capitol building or paid attention to media coverage.

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