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  1. I saw “Citizen Koch” in Madison with friends from our recall action group, Dee was there (the SEIU Reagan Republican recaller featured in the film and trailer). It was a packed house. The film shows well what it was like on the ground in Wisconsin in those days, in particular the contrast between the astroturf Koch people on one side and us in our hundreds of thousands on the other.

    The trailer has a brief clip of Sarah Palin when she came to town for an event at the Capitol in April 2011. It was a secretive deal organized by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch people. Our groups heard about it just a couple days before. We showed up by the thousands and outnumbered the right-wingers maybe ten to one. AFP goons menaced people and ordered us off our own Capitol grounds until the Capitol police told them to back off.

    We started crowding in close, cowbells, cymbals, and every noise-making apparatus you can imagine blaring for all the world, energy to the max – I was hoarse for days after. Andrew Breitbart told us to go to hell, he could hardly hear himself think up there with Palin and the few local right-wingers they could scrape up.

    Cops for Labor was a big help, off-duty officers linking arms as a human chain between us and the right-wingers and keeping the violence-prone among the latter at bay. They started leaving early in frustration and as they thinned out the Cops for Labor line would move one big step forward in a coordinated way, arms linked. We were maybe fifty yards from the speakers towards the end.

    It was a peak life experience. Reading about it in the New York Times the next day, it was unrecognizable – like the journalist hadn’t been there.

    Mike

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