‘Farm Aid’ for Public Employee Unions in Wisconsin

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

During the 1980s this country went through a farm crisis in which thousands of family farmers lost their farms to foreclosure (including friends and neighbors of mine). The Midwest Farm Crisis of the 1980s:

On March 17, 1986, protesters used tractors and other farm machinery to surround the Livingston County FmHA office in Chillicothe, Missouri, chanting, "Farm aid, not Contra aid!" and "Butter, not guns!" This was the start of a campaign by the National Save the Family Farm Coalition[.]

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The American Agriculture Movement (AAM), a lobbying group that had grown out of the "tractorcade" protests of the Seventies, played a crucial role in the new progressive farm politics of the Eighties. The North American Farm Alliance was a coalition of grass-roots groups based in Ames, Iowa. In 1986 the United Farmer and Rancher Congress was organized with funds raised by Willie Nelson's first two Farm Aid concerts.

You may be surprised to learn that Willie Nelson's Farm Aid is still necessary and, ironically, just held a "Farm Aid 25" concert in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last October. Concert – Farm Aid.

Unions have always stood with family farmers, now Dairy State family farmers are coming to the aid of public employee unions in Wisconsin. The "tractorcade protests" of the 1970s and 1980s are about to make a comeback. H/t http://community.thenest.com

Tractorcade

FreakOutNation blog reports Thousands Of Farmers To Descend On WI Capitol With Their Tractors:

[On Saturday, March 12 · 12:00pm – 2:00pm], Thousands of farmers from across the dairyland are about to descend on Wisconsin’s capitol to show their solidarity with unions fighting to keep collective bargaining rights.

In fact, they’re not coming alone — they’re bring their tractors. This is in response to the new radical bill that Governor Walker is trying to enact on the unions, clearly attempting to neuter them altogether.

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From their Facebook page:

Next week, farmers from across the dairyland will bring tractors and solidarity to the WI capitol to fight for labor rights and a just state budget. Rural communities will be disproportionately hurt by the cuts to education and badgercare, and farmers in Wisconsin stand with state workers, and all working and middle class families in the state. The event is sponsored by Family Farm Defenders, Wisconsin Farmers Union and Land Stewardship project. All farmers and eaters welcome and encouraged to come!

If you have a tractor and would like to join in the tractorcade please contact John Peck at Family Farm Defenders – (608) 260-0900; familyfarmdefenders@yahoo.com

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Show some support for the farmers on their Facebook page, “Join The Farmer Labor Tractorcade."

This is familiar to Minnesotans who have long had a "Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party." It was born of prairie populism and the progressive movement of the early 20th Century, and the Grange movement of the late 19th Century that preceded it.

Perhaps Gov. Walker has accomplished something that Beltway Democrats have been unable to do, until now — reenergize the populist progressive movement that has always been there and has never gone away, but does not receive the favorable attention of the corporate media like the billionaire-funded Astroturf corporate front groups of the Tea Party.

Grassroots "prairie populism" can spread like prairie fire.

One comment on the FB page by Cml Home stated:

I just asked Neil Young and Willie Nelson via their FB pages to consider coming next week-end for the Farmer Labor Tractorcade and I encourage you all to the same. They have both been involved with Farm-Aid since 1985 and might consider this if enough people asked. We could use their voices!

It wouldn't hurt if you asked as well, and don't forget to also ask John Mellencamp.

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