Governor compares Wisconsin protesters to terrorists

By Patrick Martin
February 28, 2015
World Socialist Web Site


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, speaking Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an ultra-right political conference held in suburban Washington DC, compared the working class and student protesters who thronged the streets of Madison in 2011 to ISIS terrorists. “If I could take on 100,000 protestors, I could do the same across the world,” he said, boasting that his defeat of the unions in Wisconsin qualified him to wage war in the Middle East.

Following his remarks, Walker was criticized by at least one other potential candidate, former Texas governor Rick Perry, who said on MSNBC, “You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate.”

In a brief interchange with reporters, Walker backtracked, saying, “There’s no comparison between the two, let me be perfectly clear. I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling a difficult situation was the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with.”

He continued, attacking the media questioners, saying, “You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit. That’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.” Walker’s campaign later issued a statement declaring, “He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS.”

No one at CPAC was fooled by the subsequent disclaimers. On the contrary, Walker’s remarks, including his comparison of protesters to ISIS, were greeted with noisy cheering, and his speech was the most well-attended of the day’s events. Walker is a top-tier candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, leading in party polls in Iowa, the first state primary contest, and well financed by billionaire supporters like the Koch brothers.

The clear favorite among the half dozen potential presidential candidates who addressed CPAC, Walker repeatedly cited his success in pushing through a battery of anti-worker laws in Wisconsin as his political calling card.

When a heckler shouted something about his attacks on workers, Walker received a standing ovation from the crowd as he claimed to represent “the hard-working taxpayers of this country.” He provoked another ovation by announcing he would sign a right-to-work law next week, making Wisconsin the 25th state to outlaw the union shop.

Walker’s “gaffe,” if it was one, was the blurting out of a usually unspoken truth: in the eyes of the American ruling elite, the working class at home is an enemy just as dangerous—and in reality, far more dangerous—than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The Wisconsin governor is not the first prominent figure in the US ruling elite to make such a comparison. Only a month ago, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton—appointed by liberal Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio—announced plans for a Special Response Unit of 350 highly trained paramilitary police.

This new unit was “designed for dealing with events like our recent protests or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris,” Bratton said, equating peaceful marches against the official whitewash of police murders in New York City to the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine that killed 10 people and the massacre of nearly 200 people in Mumbai. (See: New police unit in New York: The ruling elite prepares for class struggle).

Like Walker, Bratton sought to defuse outrage, saying he had misspoken and that there would be two separate elite police units, one to kill terrorists, the other to beat and arrest demonstrators.

In making an amalgam of peaceful protest and terrorism, to justify murderous mass repression, American politicians are following in the footsteps of military juntas and right-wing dictators around the world.

Only two days before Walker’s speech, the Egyptian military dictator, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi issued a decree that broadens the official definition of terrorism to include any group that uses “any means” to disturb public order, endanger state interests, or “disrupt the constitution or law, or harm national unity.”

3 thoughts on “Governor compares Wisconsin protesters to terrorists

  1. ars1947

    With people like this in power, its no wonder that ordinary citizens get a misconstrued idea of war implanted into their minds. The last thing we need is to compare activities here to war, because like Ferguson, the government will justify and treat it as such.

    Aside from that, I have a serious question. I was looking into writing op pieces for neswspapers but Im not sure how to go about it. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. newsfortherevolution Post author

      It’s the same in all countries of the west. Laws are being passed to limit our rights to protest and speak out against our governments.

      In Canada our government is now lumping environmental activists into the same broad category of “terrorists”. We’ve reached the point where anyone who does not support the status quo is now considered a threat to “national security”. It’s a crazy situation.

      As for writing op pieces, the best thing to do is find newspapers or online sites that publish pieces similar to the type you would like to write and then just starting submitting articles.

      You can also contact the editors responsible for submissions and introduce yourself. You have an interesting perspective to offer, both as a young person growing up in a society of increasing social inequality and limited prospects, and also as a young Muslim growing up in an increasingly hostile environment.

      Many editors will welcome your contributions and be willing to offer you advice on how to increase your chances of getting your work published in their papers.

      You should also make sure your writing conforms as much as possible to industry standards. Here in Canada we have the Canadian Press Stylebook, which is the industry guide for spelling, punctuation, etc. This is something that is very important to editors. The more professional your work, the better your chances of getting it published. Most articles are rejected because of style, as opposed to their content. In school we could get a failing grade for spelling or punctuation mistakes in an article, which was nerve wracking for me, because I’m dyslexic.

      The most important thing to do is keep writing and publishing articles on your own site and also on sites that accept reader content. This gives you both experience and exposure. However, don’t post articles that you are submitting. Wait until after you know if its been accepted or not. Editors might not want to publish something that’s already been online for a week.

      Don’t get discouraged over rejections, because everybody, including professional journalists, get rejections all the time. Just stick with it and have fun. You have the ability, so believe in yourself and what you’re doing and you will start seeing positive results

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ars1947

        Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 I already contacted a couple of papers and Im hoping that at least one will get back to me. In America we have the AP stylebook so Im already working with that in Journalism. My hope is that I can at least build up some experience so if I ever wish to do Journalism as a career that I have some background in it.

        Liked by 1 person

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