Wisc. Governor Makes a Threat to Sic the National Guard on Union Workers
by Mike Elk
If the National Guard is called out in Wisconsin, workers across the country should take a page from Egypt and go out on a general strike.
February 16, 2011 | Last week, Wisconsin’s Republican governor Scott Walker threatened to use the National Guard if his state’s public employees go on strike in response to his proposal to strip them of the right to bargain collectively.
By merely mentioning the possibility of deploying the Guard to prevent a strike, Governor Walker has threatened to militarize the attack on unions. The 150-year history of the American labor movement shows that such moves often lead to the deaths of union members.
Some observers claim that Governor Walker was merely “alerting the National Guard” in order to take over Wisconsin’s correctional facilities if the prison unions went out on strike. However, such preparation could have been made in private without risking the criticism Walker has received since raising the issue. By announcing it publicly, Walker was attempting to intimidate unions with the threat of force; his militarization is creating a toxic climate of fear and violence in which an inspired right-wing nutjob might feel justified attacking union members.