Segment Synopsis: Start of Interview/Interviewer’s Introduction. Kevin Gibbons (KG) describes his role as co-president of the TAA for the 2010-2011 school year and his responsibilities as co-president were prior to Governor Scott Walker taking office in January 2011. He mentions that Alex Hanna was the other co-president at the time. KG said that on Thursday, February 10th, he had heard about Scott Walker’s cuts to union bargaining rights and power.
Keywords: Alex Hanna; Florida; unions
Segment Synopsis: Kevin describes how he became aware of the Budget Repair Bill, protesting at the Capitol, basic information about unions, and how they came to stay in the Capitol.
Keywords: AFT; I heart UW; Memorial Union; Scott Walker; State Street; TAA (Teaching Assistant Association); bargaining rights; legislation; oral testimonies
Subjects: University of Wisconsin - Madison; social protest; unions
Segment Synopsis: The students continued to give oral testimonies in order to defer the passing of the bill. Wisconsin has a law where they are required to listen to oral testimony before passing bills. Kevin discusses the mobilization of the TAA members.
Keywords: Budget Repair Bill; TAA; legislation; legislators; politics
Segment Synopsis: They did not plan to stay in the Capitol initially, thus they were not prepared to stay long term. People donated food, which allowed the protesters to stay in the Capitol in order to have their voices heard. Kevin also discusses how things were organized in the Capitol, such as food tables and ensuring that people were up to date on the happenings.
Keywords: Harriet Rowan; MIke Quito; National Guard; TAA; occupation
Segment Synopsis: The protesters banded together to block any senators from calling quorum. The Democratic senators left the state, which delayed the passing of the bill. The protesters worked together to block the bill from being passed, regardless of the consequences. This is when the protesters blocked the exits so no one could get in, but people could get out.
Keywords: Capitol Police; Quorum; Wisconsin 14
SG: Spring Greeney KG: Kevin Gibbons JM: Joslyn Mink
SG: Today is April 16, 2013. Recording this interview is Spring Greeney, a gradstudent at the UW.
JM: And Joslyn Mink, also a grad student at the UW.
SG: We'rein Helen C. White library with our interview guest. Can you just say your name and spell your last name and we'll keep an eye on the sound.
KG: Okay, I amKevin Gibbons. It's G I B B O N S.
SG: Great. Cool. That looks good. Joslyn, doyou want to lead off with your questions?
JM: Yeah, sure. Just to start, Iguess you were co-president of the T.A.A.?
KG: Mhmm (yes) JM: Is that correct.During the time that the 2011 protests started and so what were your, what was your role basically? What did that entail? Especially for like planning for 00:01:00organizing the stand-up fight back? Is that what the name of the initial thing was or was it something else?
KG: So, part of it is like, what was your rolebefore the all protests happened? And then what was it after and because one is really boring and you know it's sort of the standard kind of get involved the leadership of the labor union and have everybody ignore you and then there's the sort of after and then people have more difficulty ignoring you. I so beforehand as co-presidents, our main duties are to kind of coordinate a lot of meetings, set agendas for what the union's going to do you know in terms of bargaining, in terms of doing contract enforcement managing the finances of the institutions so they Yeah. Organizing you know helping to organize campaigns but 00:02:00it's a, it's a pretty horizontal organization which is why I mentioned some of that in that you have like a Steward's Council that does a lot of the organizing events and plans to you know get members to sign cards, or does parties, you have a bargaining committee, you a contact enforcement committee. So a lot of times what as co-president is what we did was to coordinate kind of executive board meetings, to get people to talk about things. Lead general membership meetings. Pretty mundane things that can be sort of unrewarding at times but it's a good job. It was fun for a little while. Certainly a distraction from graduate school.
SG: What motivated... sorry, before you get into the sexierpart, what motivated you to get involved initially?
KG: I think a stared in theTAA when I was a grad student in 2007 because somebody asked me to. They said, 00:03:00'Hey, you should come out and you should come to a bargain team meeting.' and so and I was interested to hear... I didn't have strong opinion about labor unions before coming to graduate school. I mean I'm from Tampa, Florida. So there's not real, you know strong labor history in Tampa, Florida. My parents were sort of true blue Democrats more or less but you know, labor unions have been out of fashion for quite a bit and so there's... not that, I mean there is when you look for it. There's not that same culture or unions have as much influence at least that I could see growing up in where I grew up. But then when I came back and I was sort of interested in it and it seemed like a nice thing to do. I mean you should always get in if you want a grad student be part of your organization you should get him early. You know make it hard for her to back out and then 00:04:00yeah so I got involved and really liked bargaining team because we'd you know survey members to see what people wanted to do. And then come to a... comment sort of adversarial process at the bargaining table which, I don't know it was it was interesting to see the process. You read such negative things about what labor unions do and when you actually sit down and what you do is like you know, 'we want... we bargained for lactation rooms.' So that women have a place to nurse, right? Which is something people asked for. People really wanted to get rid of segregated fees, you know these sort of fees that are tacked on, and in some ways of that's becoming a sort of ballooning out a back end way to raise tuition because it's so hard to raise tuition because they have to go through legislature. You know a little pay raise and things like that it's all it's all like little tweaks it's all a little a kind of jockeying for position. Yeah, that's how I got involved and then a few years later, I guess that's 2010. So 00:05:00that's yeah three years later I ended up as co-president because I'd been the vice president of bargaining before. Yeah, for a few a few different reasons we- Alex and I decided to run- Alex Hanna was the other co-president who decided to run for co-president-
SG: How do you spell Alex's last name?
KG: H A N N A.And so we, yeah, decided to try it out for co-president. We've been on the executive board we felt comfortable with the organization and really cared about what it, you know, what it had done.
SG: Now so the first bit of your term, wassort of dealing with the expected...
KG: Pretty standard stuff, yeah.
SG:Duties. And then when did things start to change?
KG: So we, Scott Walker waselected and TAA had been sort of marginally into the elections. I think we have done phone banking stuff like that. And we and we heard the first we heard about 00:06:00what might happen was in was like the Thursday before. Monday was February 14 was Valentine's Day and the Thursday before that we heard that Scott Walker was going to roll out these things. We had heard from our union contacts and AFT here you know he laid out some bullet points what's going to happen and it was like you know, no contract and bargaining rights for govern- for state employees and it's in that sort of mixed language of 'you can only bargain over wages' and something like that, which basically means like you can't bargain because there's no... there's... really bargaining power if you don't have like things you know multiple things to bargain with. You know you can only buy a bargain over the amount of toilet paper in the men's restroom.
SG: Single or double ply?00:07:00
KG: It's an unfair comparison but it certainly is like really like cutting...cutting basically the function of unions for representing, representing workers cutting them off at the knees to do it. And other things about collecting, collecting dues, which is also huge. Making it you know, less than a fair share in some way. If that means anything to you guys. There's a fair share - fair share and a right to work state.
SG: Oh oh, this is the...
KG: Yeah so fair share, if everybody comes in and, atone point in time elects to have a union. Then the union then has the power to collect dues from all the members whether, or not they sign a card. And before the University or the state would take would automatically take out those dues out of the paycheck and pay the Union. And a right to work state is you have to sign the card and opt in. Yeah. 00:08:00
SG: Okay, cool. So Thursday you start to hearthese- Thursday, that would have been the 11th if I'm doing my....?
KG: I'mtrying to think... no. The 10th.
SG: The 10th. KG: We got here at Thursdaynight and we're all kind of freaking out because we know that means a lot but there's a lot of uncertainty. A lot of uncertainty with that. And then, so we were planning, and I actually gone that weekend. I was going to a friend's wedding, or something like that. I forget what I was- what I had to do. But some people have planned to have this... because we knew Scott Walker was pretty anti-union and was kind of h- I would even say budget hog, you know, he wanted to limit, you know, small government Republican, and so we knew that was happening so people who come up with a campaign to the 'I Heart UW' campaign. It was going to be Valentine's Day. Everybody... we'd gotten a lot of people to sign these cards and we were going to deliver these cards to the Governor saying, 'I Heart our UW. Please don't take away the funding for U.W. You know 00:09:00public schooling is good.' And then it became like a bigger thing because now, like, oh my goodness, this is a big deal. We actually know his agenda and his plan and it's what we would have what we think to be a lot of negative impacts for the state. So the now Monday protests were we were we would walk pretty standard walk down from the library mall up State Street, connects right to the Capitol. On that day, we, you know, gathered around Memorial Union and about a thousand people turned up I think. A thousand or fifteen hundred people turned up and the cops were like, 'OK, just stay off the road and you know stay the sidewalks and don't block traffic.' And the people had more experience in bigger demonstrations, I myself never having been part of the big demonstration really, were kind of like chuckling a little bit because the point is kind of to disrupt 00:10:00things, but you know... So we went up State Street on the sidewalks. We had banners and we have this little cart where we were wheeling all these 'I Heart UW' things and we, you know so we went up and everybody was chanting but we didn't really know it's chants to use you know we weren't sort of seasoned and hadn't sort of prepared this to be that kind of thing ahead of time. And then yeah, brought the cart up the stairs and sort of delivered them to the governor's office. But a lot of people had turned out because people have heard about this by that time. over the weekend, I think the details were released and people were starting to really get worried. So that was the first day. And then so we disbanded but we were really worried. We were you know we're thinking about doing some demonstration the next day. Planned to do a similar walk and the next day, I think we had double the amount of people, which is a lot I mean three thousand people turning out a lot of people. I'm mixing all the figures but it was a lot more people. It felt more in there was it was a gravity to what was going on. And the next day is when they had planned to sort of pass the 00:11:00thing by Thursday or Friday. OK, this is up. This is totally going to change the social contract within the State. We're going to have it passed by Friday. You know it's like, 'Oh my God. You know like when this is happening? Why can't government ever function this efficiently, you know on something I care about?' It just seems like the cards are against you but it was this thing where I was like, 'oh well it's just sort of being changed in the budget.' Like, how do you do that? The streamlined policies because it was a budget repair bill. So it's like, 'Oh, we have this huge problem with the budgets so we're allowed to you know, tweak some of the knobs a bit more than we would ordinarily. so they were taking testimony and we had... so we were turning out... we're trying to turn out people as all unions were to turn up people to like take part of this testimony. Myself not really knowing where that could go. I don't think anybody knew what exactly it was going to... you know nobody knows what's going to 00:12:00percolate up. But we're sort of just doing what we know how to do. And a lot of that's from advice from more seasoned politicos and AFT-Wisconsin. So having a... having an umbrella Union is really important as it turns out because they have the staff who can just know about politics and can sort of be tapped into who the right people to talk to. Whereas, there's so much flux in our institution and you know we can't support full time sort of political staffing. Yeah, we just turn people out. and then we just had a full docket and people want to give testimony all through the night which is when we started actually occupying the building because they wanted to shut it off, or you know or say let's come back the next day and everybody was just riled, you know? and there is this.... when we kind of knew that we were going to start sleeping there was, we were in this hallway because they were they were going to sort of close the doors of whatever room to convene and the legislators were going to talk about 00:13:00it. And you know they're a bunch of hot heads in there and you know, not me and I'm super reasonable. Everybody was like, 'No we want to keep...' you know? 'We've got a full line up. We've got people continuing to sign up.' You know there was this momentum to what we were doing. You gotta hear testimony right? This is the way it is Wisconsin. In another state you couldn't tell that way because Wisconsin required to sort of take public testimony over something, which is the only reason we really sort of sustain the thing I think. Or at least, it was you know it was the immediate impetus for ...for the way things happened I think because then we were just trying to turn people out. OK, come in, sign up, you know, give your two minutes or whatever it is and just fill it up. So people are sort of yelling in the hallway. It was just sort of reverberating throughout the building. We're going to stay. Let us in. Lots of chants and everybody was so tired because we'd been doing that most of the day. Or just like I think we started in the late morning or something and we're just 00:14:00trying to turn people out and sort of run around the building you know in this. Yeah. So... so then that's when it started and that's what we kept doing it for days that's what sort of sustained the occupation.
SG: And that started, yousaid that was Tuesday?
SG: That the testimonies?
Okay, so Tuesday wasthe first day you were really trying to turn people out?
KG: Yeah, you need tofact check me on that, but I think... I think it was yeah I think it was... Tuesday was when occupation started to happen. The first protest was February 14th and February 15th was Tuesday. And then they thought we'd pass the thing. (?)
SG: I won't quote you on that.
KG: No, quote me on that, but fact check me.I mean, this is an oral history right? You're limited by the bounds of my memory.
SG: Yeah, and actually this is all new to me, so this is reallyinteresting. OK And then what, well, what was the physical space that the testimonies were being given or taken in? Do you remember?
KG: I couldn't tell you00:15:00the room number right now. It was somewhere in between...
SG: It was just a roomin the Capitol?
KG: Yeah, it was a hearing room in the Capitol. There are twobig hearing rooms. I think there's the... there's two big like legislation rooms. I think they're called a Senate hearing room and the House hearing room maybe.
SG: There's the yeah, yeah.
KG: Not one of those. It was just this kindof a smaller room and they let a few people in it at a time and you'd sit in your chair and wait for your turn to come up. And there be kind of those big raised desks that the legislators will look down at you upon. It's a person after person like would come up and say, 'Please don't pass this. It's bad because...' you know? Yeah I'm just you know. Person after person even if they weren't super... super politically active ahead of time would sort of turn out that, 'This thing's terrible. Don't do this.' You know, it was powerful.
SG:Now, who- who was in the room listening to these testimonies? Was there 00:16:00someone?
KG: Yeah. No, no - they had to. You know they had to turn people outand legislators took turns.
They didn't all have to be there but legislators would take turns inthere being some Republicans and some Democrats who would be there. And then, I think within themselves they organized to do it shifts. And after a while, so ostensibly that that's what was letting us stay in the building, in the beginning. Let me know if I'm giving too many details that you're not interested in.
SG: Sorry, I just keep asking questions even though I know. It's sointeresting.
KG: But that was, so essentially was keeping us in the building.They can't close the building if there's still testimony going on, right? You know, they can't chase us out. Otherwise, they could. So we sort of kept going. but after a while we were sustaining that and only... and but then after a while it was sort of, I think, the legislators or the police had sort of realized that 00:17:00it would have been a big problem to get everybody out of the building. It wasn't something they were... that they wanted to do. but they still kept taking testimony and Democratic legislators worked in shifts like having night shifts and stuff like that to sort of keep it going. and we kept we kept that going for the first week I think.
JM: Woah, really?
KG: At first it was sort of like youshould only talk once, I think is the standard of what was going to happen. That I think if the people signed up again, just to sort of keep it going.
SG:And why it is that? Is that Wisconsin law that if there is oral testimony...?
KG: You have to receive, you have to, I mean, like at the time I knew exactlywhat the wording was but you have to sort of... if you're passing legislation you have to have three days of to receive public testimony, which is not true of 00:18:00all states.
JM: Yeah, I think when the Senate's in the session they can't closethe building or something.
KG: Mhmm (yes)JM: that was also like a contingency.
KG: Yes, so all the senators had to keep turning out. Or legislators, itwasn't just senators. They had to like keep session open to keep the building open. Anyway, so that doesn't have a lot to say about the material history of the building but that's what got everything started. And if you and if you sort of ask, as you sort of alluded to in the beginning about TAA's role and getting things started or whether TAA was sort of super central to making everything happen, I would say after a while if they had momentum you know when one hundred fifty thousand people turned out, no, our tiny union of two thousand graduate employees you know you know dozens of whom show up to meetings did not do all that. But I think we did we had a lot of like capacity to mobilize people to 00:19:00turn people out and beginning when we had that first protest. We... we kept turning up and after we were first after we started sleeping in the building, occupy wasn't really a word at that time...
SG: Mhmm, my memory always hastrouble remembering that.
KG: The way it is now, it's not like a capital 'O' atthe time. And we didn't call it an occupation, right? There's 'Occupy,' the movement but it's based on sort of occupying a building not being able to be kicked out. Technically, and in the beginning we were on the up and up because everything was it was the session was open, I guess. So technically wasn't really an occupation. It was like well we were sleeping there, you know, during an open Senate session I think. Yeah so TAA's role was mobilizing people in the beginning, getting people to turn out, keeping... keeping things in line, 00:20:00keeping... once... once more... and there are thousands of people staying. And certainly hundreds staying overnight. We get information to a lot of people, you know, channel resources where it was needed. We're kind of like we had a room that we were staying in in the beginning before they kicked us out, that had been reserved by the AFT, in which you could call a Situation Room or the War Room. That's where I was most of the time with... and with some others TAA members to have like a Twitter feed, and a website which everybody was using at the time, how we distributed information and yeah doing that stuff. So, we had... we were in place to do a lot of that mobilization to keep information flowing, keep sort of butts in the seats for the testimonies. And so that was 00:21:00our... from my end, that was our big contribution, getting things started and being there consistently. Having the most people- not that they were all T.A.A. members of course, but we coordinated having people sleep there at night and cater to people's needs and stuff.
JM: So, did you stay the night then? Or allthose nights?
KG: Oh yeah, yeah totally. I slept there every night for the firstweek or two and then after that we would take turn outs and I would take turns which is nice. That means you could shower more. But yeah, I did a lot of sleeping there. I slept on the marble, on in that- on the carpet in that room in the Capitol. Yeah yeah.
JM: What was, so the first night were there sleepingbags? Did people know to bring blankets and for camping out or was it just like 00:22:00lay down on the ground?
KG: Yeah, no, the first night was in some ways the mostexciting, right. At least at night, there was the most energy. I mean for the first couple weeks on the slept two, three, four hours a night. It was very taxing and tiring and it just felt like it was there was this need to sort of keep... keep on top of things. We had to sort of... everything was sort of in flux. Oh, the governor's going to bring in the National Guard to like kick us out. Supposedly he had prepared the National Guard. I never actually heard if that were true or if they were staged in some place. Oh the police are coming in riot gear to do something like that and one of our main jobs was to like field rumors. Ask somebody about them and have them say no, none of that is true. You know but it's a rumor mill when have thousands of people in one place are all 00:23:00sort of. Just feeling very paranoid of what's going to happen or how long is this sort of flash in the pan going to last, you know? What was your question again?
SG: The first night.
KG: Oh, the first night. Okay, so
JM: The peoplecame prepared?
KG: No, the first night we didn't, you know we didn't know wejust turned out to like testify. And from my point you know you might get a different answer from different people, but me, it was like, 'Oh, OK. We've got to like, yeah let's just keep going. Oh, well let's stay here tonight.' you know? Or you know people were riled up, you know? Let's make that happen. Now OK let's... people are offering us food, you know let's figure out how to get pizzas in the building and so we just stayed there. people weren't really prepared. We sort of... it was really exciting because you know you slept in the rotunda and the second floor of the rotunda is where I remember sleeping. Everybody just sort of like you know laid against the wall, but there was a 00:24:00whole lot of sleeping being done.
Yeah, there was this energy to it, like 'Oh, wow we are here. What is going on?You know? Sort of thinking it might dissolve the next day, or the day after that. The first couple two or three days it really feels like... you know, OK, well let's do what we can. The thing's going to pass but let's raise hell, you know
JM: how did the organization of it change as the sleeping in it continued?Oh just that I read about volunteer stations of different things and it sounded really organized but I don't know, did it feel organized? I don't know, or how did that evolve?
KG: Yeah very... from my point of view was very lateral. I feellike I get praised too much like, 'Oh my God, Kevin did this and he was in the news and oh, he was the president so he like made it happen.' And you're like, 00:25:00'No.' You know, I didn't do all that, you know. It was really bottom up, happened, you know I was sort of a node where information would go through or it would help facilitate things but, really I think the organization, there's always a mix, right? Of people who are at leadership saying, 'oh well let's do it like this and let's work like this.' But you know oh well we're getting all this food and it's nasty in here and we need to clean it up. OK, well let's set up a table. Let's have a food table.' OK, so we did that and you know and then a few people were like in charge of food and... and did that and we had this guy, Mike Quito who was a former TAA president and works, I don't know if he works in the elections bureau or the Clerk's office or something like that at the time. He had... he said the lady's auxiliary sees a gay man and a lot of gay friends. Each one of them would make a crockpot worth of like vegetarian soup. Real food, 00:26:00the Ladies Auxiliary of the TAA for us.
SG: That's awesome.
KG: So we have likehave real food because for a while you know when we first started they brought this big thing of hotdogs that the Teamsters or somebody would bring in they just found that a lot of us don't eat hot dogs, you know? And you're like, 'Ah, sorry and solidarity and all but, you know half of us are vegetarian, man. Oh this isn't your everyday union thug. That's so interesting.
KG: you know so itwas funny so we had sort of different food was coming in: Ian's pizza, Mediterranean cafe, so we were doing that. So, then that became like a full time job. Right? And we were eating great food for free, we had great coffee. That's when I became addicted to coffee. I didn't drink coffee before. Yeah, I was more of a tea drinker but then just if you sleep for three hours a night you know, you need something. And OK, so they organized the food table then there is 00:27:00somebody who is realizing that people who are staying on the floor of the Capitol, there was a building- you know a different group of people. They weren't TAA's members, weren't necessarily union members people who really cared about this issue. There was that drum circle. I'm sure you've heard, there was like drumming all through the day. That was based there and there's a like a lot of energy right in the center of the rotunda, that those people felt isolated and it felt like our situation room was this like top down body that wasn't talking to people and so it went from us being co-presidents of this small labor union of graduate employees that party that hardly does anything, you know, or tries to stay afloat like, 'oh you're like big you're big labor. You know. you're like the union folks and you're not letting people in,' and you know it 00:28:00just felt like all of a sudden we've got this power. We're not we're not really sure- or at least we've got repute and we're not really sure what to do with it. And you know, 'oh why aren't you?' you know when things like, why aren't there more sort of minority and poor communities involved? Or you know why don't why we just talk about these issues and other issues? and I was like, 'I don't know.' you know? What do we know, you know? like it's just sort of like we're just trying to like respond what's going on. so that kind of thing happened. There... there was a woman, a student named Harriet... Harriet Rowan. She'd be an interesting person to interview. She wanted to have this information station so she had organized to disseminate information that we were getting about political things and what was going on. And she would... and they had a couple volunteers and they would either pass out flyers or walk around, and sort of you know just let people know what was going on and because if, you know, you're in 00:29:00the center of the Capitol and tweets and stuff going on or like you know you hear ruffles and things going throughout the building, but you're not sure what's happening. So that ended up being important because you know we all needed to talk to each other and you know and there was like Little by little over time it was like there is this animosity towards what we were doing because we were seen as like orchestrating the things and from our point of view it didn't feel like that, you know? It felt like trying to stay on top of what's going on. Other things that were organized, it was that. There was, I think, every day the police, the Capitol Police would meet with people. So we had a member or two go to that. And Harriet Rowan is another person to talk about that. We had a really good relation to the police. They said it was like you know the nice people protests, right? Only in Wisconsin would you have all these 00:30:00people who are giving the cops a pat on the back and you know talking about I was going on. 'Oh, I really appreciate your job and what you're doing.' Like, that didn't happen everywhere. You know if you compare it to Egypt, which happened you know weeks before and occupy which happened later. There was always... there was a little... there was always tension, right. So every week to Capitol Police would meet and sort of talk about what was going on. and so we tried to respond OK. and they're like, 'You can't have all this stuff out of here you know like the food or whatever clutter was building up,' or 'the cleaning staff just... they want to clean the building so could you could you guys move off this floor for a couple hours?' I was like, 'Yes, that sounds great. It smells like feet in here all of the time. We will help you.' And so stuff like stuff like that and they felt... you'd have to talk to the Capitol. I mean, I'd be interested to hear, but they were little panicked because, you know 00:31:00they're part of the executive branch. So, they're supposed to do what, you know, things that are keeping people safe and I think the governor was sort of moving towards, 'Let's get these people out of here. This is no good. So they were they were in a... they're in a difficult place. But then a lot of...
JM: Becausethey are unionized?
KG: Because, I don't think all of them wanted to kick usout, but it was their job to do what they were what they were ordered to do. And we weren't being kicked out, partly because our numbers kept being high but of course people were sort of jockeying to sort of figure out what will be the right time and place to do it and way to do it. And it was hard because they had to have more shifts. I think they needed to bring in extra people. They brought in... they were bringing in people from the... I don't know if it was the Park Service the D.N.R. officers are coming in and local sheriffs from other areas 00:32:00who were taking shifts and so there's a larger police presence over time. That's an aside but you asked about the organization that happened it was mostly around food. There were events that went on like those big events that people had to book ahead of time I think that was done by AFT, AFCILO people coordinating food, that I remember now, that's mostly were doing and just information you know we had a couple folks who were on the on top of the website. Oh, there was... it got to like our P.R. department kind of in which if we... papers were calling us to like ask for interviews and so they would... they would, 'Ok, if you want to hear what the organization said you have to talk to Alex and Kevin because we're the ones empowered to speak for TAA, right? Any member can do anything like, 'oh this guy's going on a hunger strike, what we think about it?' I was like, 'we didn't authorize- he can do what he wants to. It's not what 00:33:00we're encouraging people to do.' you know? that kind of thing. Well our union has you know, decided on these things. So we had people doing that releasing articles on the Website, defend Wisconsin, and making sure that our tweets that went out, which were, you know, really being followed by a lot of people who are relaying the right information. Those are the things I remember. Yeah, but it to me it wasn't us saying, 'This is a problem. You do that.' you know? There was a little bit of that coordination where somebody had to make a decision or something afterwards and we had to do a lot of that. But a lot of it was, 'Hey you guys are not doing this right. I think you should do that.' It's like, 'OK. Great. Thanks that makes sense.'
JM & SG: Yeah.
JM: So, when in the stay or wasit after the stay that the damage account, like that number, I think was 7.5... 00:34:007.4 million dollars ...
KG: It was bumped down to tens of thousands of dollars.
JM: Right, yeah.
KG: It was mostly to the grass, I think. It's like, well wecan't help that. We gotta replace this sod. Taxpayers...
JM: When did that getreleased? What that while you guys were staying inside?
KG: Well, we knew thattowards the beginning... I talked about those meetings we would have with the police. So we were like, 'OK what can we do?' You know, and they would tell us a few things like, 'Oh these guys are acting up' or you know 'some people are just being antagonistic.' It's like, 'well, they're protesters and you're the police you know, that's part of the deal.' another was that people- posters were going all over the place, right? I don't know if you saw photos but they were like on all the columns and people were hanging things from inside the rotunda. It was 00:35:00awesome. It was beautiful in a street art way. But, I think people were using like packing tape in a clear plastic packing tape or shipping tape, whatever you call it. Scotch tape all different kinds. And they said there are like you know we were really worried about the marble right. The glue from those can seep into the marble and sort of dissolve the marble and when you take that off you can take a kind of take a chunk from the marble is what we've been told. Was what I understand is the worst thing that could happen.
SG: Who was the source of thisinformation?
KG: The police told us. The police told us, yea. So it was like,'well we don't want to do that,' you know? Like, we love this building you know. we love this building more than anybody else probably right now, so... even though it smells like feet. But, we... so we said. So we... Yeah, apparently 00:36:00foot smell does not dissolve marble cause otherwise... man. So, we try to take them down very gingerly. We...AFT was connecting us with supplies. We needed medical supplies. We needed... some people wanted sleeping masks or you know some blankets people donated and we would ask for you know... food was just coming in regularly so after a while we didn't have to ask for things. But every now you need supplies and so I asked the A.F.L.-CIO who was delivering us supplies, which was run to Home Depot. We need as much painter's tape as you can find. Blue painter's tape, so just give us reams of this stuff and so we did that and little by little we said if you put a sign up use this tape, right? It was everywhere. All this blue tape and we sort of gingerly tried to like remove 00:37:00the other ones take the other tape off put it back on with the painter's tape. Yeah because it really mattered to us and you know we were there to like make a political statement but I think at that time I think this is a testament to how much we started really....certainly I started, other people really caring about the stain towards the middle of the protests and as they were going on it was like I just felt like a Wisconsinite. you know being from Florida and I've been there for a few years that really liked Madison, Wisconsin but you could put a finger on what I really liked about the place and the way I connected to it and what I valued that was being threatened by this bill. You know? I think that tape discussion sort of insights that in my head, are those sort of like very 00:38:00powerful feelings for me in that wasn't like you just... we didn't live in that we didn't live in the place anymore we are fighting for it. You know? We're fighting for something we saw as integral to the Wisconsin experience or the type of place we wanted to live in and this bill threatened that. And the type of place we wanted to live in had really nice marble columns, so let's take care of them, you know.
SG: Yeah, say a little more about what by that point youstarted to feel like you were... you knew to be true for yourself. You felt like... you said I knew by then what I was fighting for.
KG: Oh yea.
SG: Say alittle bit more, that's interesting.
KG: I guess, often we just grow up in aplace, right, so I grew up in Tampa. Things I really love about Tampa I connect to the people and it felt like this was the first time I had to fight. That's 00:39:00probably not totally true, but I really had to fight for the place or fight for something that that meant something to me. Wisconsin's labor history, affordable public education, and the power of institutions of strong institutions, a progressive history within the state. Those things that I've been steadily learning more about and still have a lot to learn about, all the sudden how to gravity, maybe naively or ignorantly had a gravity to them because we're fighting for these things. OK we're passing by that statue of fighting Bob and all these sort of posters are very progressive politicians that sort of litter the inside of the building and. To me are connected is that political history too that the TAA being the first graduate assistant Union in the country. Right? and having contract bargaining rights. But in a way that's Wisconsin, right? In 00:40:00a way that has a strong sense of place that has these sort of lofty principles, like the Wisconsin idea or the way that institutions are supposed to serve the people. And I thought, I saw that was very much a threat to this talks of austerity and that you know representation of labor unions and other organizations that come to have just a profound respect for their wish where in other states. I wish other people could benefit from yeah the relationships of their institutions and their government. We're sort of being under threat in this place and in this area that was much more home to me now than it had been before I had to fight for it.
JM: Is that weird that our house, this house, ourhouse...
KG: I dunno.00:41:00
JM: When did that start?
KG: Whose house? Our house?'Whose house? Our house.' You know, it was awesome. That chant and 'this is what democracy looks like...' 'Tell us what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like' were all over the place. Like that one, people even like honk it like down the street for months. I'm surprised they don't still do it. Months they would....like.... (noises)
KG: Yeah. So, 'whose house, ourhouse' I mean I'm guessing that comes from somewhere else right? It wasn't invented here, but the same time it was this idea that we were we were staying a public build... this is how I think of it... We're staying in this public building. you don't get to decide who comes and goes from the building, you know? This is, this is our government, right? This is the government of the people and we belong here. So yeah, you kind of felt like a direct tie to your 00:42:00representative democracy in some ways because usually we don't, you know. We vote, we move on with our lives you know and do what we need to do it right now, it felt like to me the first time I actively participated in my government. You know, we all do right. Government is made up of all of us and lots of different ways but this was like, 'no! You're not representing us right. you need to, you know, you need to like hear what people are saying' and that's... to me that was the impetus of what we're doing. after a while you realize when you know by building the media comes in you know when you can occupy for longer because it's harder to chase you away, great! Funny how that works out, I didn't know that but I'm not like I didn't have this wealth of sort of lefty knowledge of social movements and protests and things going into it and... and I think we during 00:43:00that time, around Egypt and then occupy with us, we're realizing that at least our generation is sort of realizing, well it's about sort of stirring things up for a little bit and the media follows and then your message gets heard. it's... it's about sort of staking your claim for a while until you know that knowledge of media and the way they take over until that happens it's a little easier to do away with you.
JM: Have you been to the capitol since then and like walkedthrough?
KG: It's changed, yeah... it's really powerful to be in there for me.It's a beautiful to begin with. It has this grandeur about it. Its super high ceilings and just ornate murals and multiple colors of marble that was all impressive and awe inspiring before, but now as you know you move around when I 00:44:00walk around the Capitol. it's wearing off now after a couple years. But, you remember that day that it had one hundred fifty thousand people walking around in the Square around the Capitol with all their funny chants and great signs. And the drum circles of what was inside and all this activity that was going on. We're right here at this epicenter of something big, that felt like something big in the world an historical event and so I think being the weight of the Capitol to me has that inside that more than all those other things it's. It's what it's what it felt like the energy that it had on the inside. Some of the other lived experiences of smelly feet and loud drums until late in the night and chatting with people and sort of what the marble felt like when you're 00:45:00running around on it because we had to sort of be dashing from one place to the other quite a bit. The smell pizza. Those things still kind of linger for me. Feel of the carpet when you're sleeping on it because in those rooms, you slept sometimes in the room sometimes on the marble. So yeah, I think those experiences are certainly wrapped up in the capitol and will always be there to certain extent. Yeah. We had this one, if I could tell an anecdote, which is the whole point. We had we had time where-
SG: Story telling, Kevin.
KG: We hada meeting with the Chancellor. All of a sudden the Chancellor wants to chat it up.
SG: Of the University?
KG: Yeah, of the University. Bitty Martin.
SG:Before she left for-
KG: Yeah. Well, at this point in time, I'll stop going intothat and she I mean she had a policy she was trying to pass at the University. and if you're the Chancellor of the University and you know a large segment of 00:46:00your student population is staying in the building or involved politically in what's going and the rest of the population is affected by what's going on and we had teach-ins. Did you hear about those? We didn't have strikes, graduate students. We had lots of general membership meetings at the time. we didn't have strikes or anything, but... which people I'm proud to say were very hesitant to do and we got flak for other people you know... like if you can't hold a strike doing this when can you strike? It's actually kind of difficult to hold a strike in the U.S. at least in our institution. You know you have to get a full two thirds of members to sign up for the thing and usually it's time bound and most strikes you should have you know a demand for what's going on and are we willing to do that? And then people in general are very hesitant to sort of strike and, 'Yeah, but then we won't be teaching. The students will suffer if we don't 00:47:00strike' and I think a lot of... it was a lot of teachers and TAs and other people who are like you know, 'why should the students suffer for our sort of political trials and battles?' And there are lots of great arguments against that you know, and a lot of good arguments for. So we didn't strike but we have these teach-ins, in which TS would either cancel class or teach off-campus. You wouldn't teach off... on-campus. And we did that I think maybe Thursday and Friday of that first week. Maybe Monday... Thursday, Friday, Monday maybe. We're supposed to sort of, at least stir things up a little bit. Right? We weren't going to ask all professors to cancel classes and stuff like that. And yeah, TA's were really worried about you know like drawing their students into something and their students are there to learn and we're providing services to students. Bitty Martin... and so we're going to talk to Bitty Martin down at 00:48:00Memorial Union and so we had coordinated via e-mail. She wanted us to visit her in her office and I'm like so, 'well, let's meet somewhere in between,' you know? And so we went there and the vice chancellor Paul Deluca was there and a couple other people. And so we want to talk about stuff. I think we... we had on our mindset that we could cancel school on Friday or Monday or something. And I think they were checking in to see what we were thinking. I forget the substance of the meeting, but we met a couple times. And we were coming down... and I think that was the first Saturday or the next or Friday or something like that, and there were one hundred fifty people on the square. And so I'd been sort of... we had been sort of stuck inside and I was coming out with one or two 00:49:00other members and staff member of TAA, and we came outside and it's a beautiful bright outside. It's still cold, but it wasn't too cold. So, the sunshine after being on the inside, there aren't a whole lot of windows and natural light always coming in. People were sort of running around chanting. When I went came outside they were singing 'Solidarity forever' and I just made my hair stand on end. Because people really meant it, right. Solidarity, this word. This kind of lefty propaganda word that often doesn't mean very much, meant something. And it really resonated at the time people were singing it and so we walked down, we were walking down State Street to go to it and there they have this demonstration of union cab drivers. So, all these cabbies were driving up State Street and we're going to do it you know do a roundabout within the Capitol 00:50:00Square and we're like giving people high-fives. People down the street were so energizing to be outside running and walking around. And I'm sort of like, 'hold up over computer you know? Just sort of within that bubble, this bubble that is very sort of taxing in a lot of ways, emotionally and physically taxing to be in there. Yeah, that day was awesome. You know it was just like, oh, just like awe inspiring. One of those moments that after you reflect on it you know that it wasn't going to last very long. There are very few times in your life where you'll be that inspired by events you were living within and at the time it was just, 'Let's just absorb this. How great is this, you know?' can I just you know feel that all over? That energy sort of coursing through your veins and... and all those little high fives and things. I certainly remember those very vividly. It felt good. 00:51:00
JM: Nice, having walked down State Street I can pictureit, though I don't know if my picture reflects reality.
KG: Can you hear thehorn? People running along the sidewalk. It was so many people! I mean it's like an unimaginable amount of people that like fills the square. You know, there's like such a wide square and you know it's cool.
JM: Yeah that's crazy.
SG: So, I mean is there anything that you ask about that you want to share, feellike is relevant regardless of our project or just in general... your sort of your memory.
KG: No I was thinking of your project. One is a bit disorientingto be in the building. If you think about how the buildings built so symmetric l that you're like, oh it's on the North West Wing, which is in this one you know 00:52:00after a while. And so I am easily disoriented. I always take a left when I should take a right. So it was like oh it's on the North West Wing and after a while I knew what that meant, but in general you can't really... when you're in the center of the rotunda you know you can look at a little like directional markers but you can sort of have to run around. Oh, it's in the Senate hearing room so you'd run around the way you thought it would be, like oh it's on the other side and so you sort of walk around it. I found that so fun, well fun because I love just the running around. But it was like, oh more running, but you know sometimes you needed to be at a place you know and wanted to know where you're going so it was a bit disorienting because it's such a symmetric building, right? And you have it's all on the square, and it's sort of built around a certain plan of the way things worked. The other thing about... So you have this really high ceilings and they had everybody was in the center of the floor in the basement, the first floor basement. That's the first floor, right? 00:53:00Anyway and so they had a drum circle and it was just resound throughout the building, and you just hear this like (boom boom boom) you know because it's a hippy drum circle, and after a while we were sort of like, 'OK after ten thirty,' you know like 'stop the drums after ten thirty, eleven, midnight... something.' Something not 4am. People will play drums like crazy but it really, because of how the building was built, right, where its like spokes off the center All those drums were present throughout the day. I can't think back to experience what I was like going through out and not think of the sound of the drums like resonating throughout the building. It was a... it was a soundtrack to our lives at the time as much, as the chants. there was one... yeah, you 00:54:00talked about the damage accounts that the governor was putting in part... part of it was just to shed us in a negative light, 'oh these crazy protesters...' you know and a lot of it feels like the political discourse is about slandering. You know, slandering's a bad word, saying something negative about your opponent and then that takes over that gets a hold of the media. And then so they think, 'Oh well what are these people doing? Why are they still there?' you know, and there was a lot of that. You know once you got a little bit outside of Madison people were, you know didn't really get it, or didn't really connect with what you're doing. Or like you know, he's our governor, we elected him. You know like what? We stand, you know, stand with Scott Walker. Maybe they didn't vote for him but you know and so when we did recall elections later on, we we're doing some canvassing, sort of realized that... oh this really didn't... this didn't have the gravity in people's lives it did for us. We knew that was true outside of the state, right, because you assume. but also within the state you know it 00:55:00was like something that was happening in Madison for some people like as big as it seemed to us, you know it's humbling a good way to sort of step outside and think, 'OK it was you know it was... it was important for a lot of people.' a lot of people knew why it was going- could intellectualize why they thought was going on but that doesn't mean it resonated with everybody. Even the people who weren't you know right wing, or you know behind Walker the whole time.
There's one other thing I thinking about the space in the way that it wasarranged. On Thursday, you know we know that the senators left... um left the state right because they could be required to go to session and there were enough Democratic senators that they wouldn't have a quorum. I think the only one Democratic senator to get a quorum to call a Bill into question, call for a vote, and then pass the bill and so they decided, some people disagree with that 00:56:00decision, but at the time we didn't you know still needed something to help... I guess, people realize and so because this was in first few days. Yeah, this was the first few days. And so, it was the... first Thursday, the 17th. We had heard that there was one senator who was still in the building and we were like angry with this guy because the Capitol Police, you know, if they say look if if if you're in the state and you're in the building they can say look you have to come to session right, it's your job. and so we had heard they were still there and everything will be over soon after the first three days... four days. so we thought they were going to call the question. So it was like... So we heard this information from our AFT folks, and they're like, now you know. and it was like 00:57:00oh my God what to do with this you know? So we decided that we would try to organize a sit-in that would blockade the doors to the Senate hearing room so that even if they did get the guy they couldn't get him in there. And you know so so we had to go around and talk to people we know very well and say 'OK there are three doorways there are there are two main door ways to get in a Senate hearing room,' and apparently there's is a back door really we don't know about or still the architecture of the building eludes me you know because we didn't have to have like a blueprint of the building to say OK these are the exits and entrances and it's now you can Google that and look it up and we had to make a decision right then. So it's like, there's probably a back door because you know, duh, there should be a back door, fire exit or something like that, in 00:58:00case somebody wants to stage a sit-in and block all the exits. There's probably a back door but and so we're trying to figure out that information, but we were going to stage a sit in so that people couldn't get in. So there's two of the big hallways or there are four entrances to the Senate hearing room, if I recall correctly. and so... so we had sat people on like the first floor, then second floor so we coordinate and you know when I went down, I remember running down stairs you know and I asked a few people, 'Hey, can you come along with me so it looks like an entourage or something,' you know? Maybe I'll carry white. And so I went down there and said you know, 'I have something to say.' And somebody had a bull horn and they down one of the buckets that they played drums on, one of those plastic buckets or whatever, and sort of stood up on that and said, 'OK, here's what we know. There might be somebody in the building, and if they're able to call it to session, there's pretty much nothing we can do.' Right? And 00:59:00they're going pass the thing, which was called yea... it was the budget repair bill at the time, ended up becoming Act 10. 'They're going to pass the thing, OK. So what we're suggesting to people,' what they do right, 'Well, we'd like to do, what we think would work, would be to sit to block people coming in.' And just say, you know... you know, 'Here is the potential of things that can happen.' Right? You could get arrested. You can, if you, if the police ask you to leave and you leave, nothing happens. If the police ask you to leave but you don't do anything they can drag you away, or you could also say like, 'No. I'm not going to leave.' 'OK, I'm going to arrest you,' and then they will walk you away, you know? And you... you know agree to walk with them or you say, 'No, I'm going to leave and they have to drag you. And there are different... there could be different consequences for those different actions. Like those are... that's 01:00:00what could happen. You guys all need to know that, but we're going to do this and you guys sit down, we'll make sure we get you food and water and we'll try to keep information going. And so people did. And of course they're disorganized, 'which way is the...' and 'how do we find that?' And so then they sat down and blocked the exits. And then... and then, so we're trying to figure it out, are there other exits? How's that working? And then we heard like 'some people are letting people... other people in.' And it's like well, 'that's not the point' you know? Don't let people in. 'Well, some people aren't letting people out.' It's like, 'Let people out.'
KG: So, yeah, we're runningaround sort of screaming like, 'OK, there are two rules.' you know, 'Nobody gets in and the second rule is, everybody gets out.' you know. If anybody wants to get out, they get out. But we then got flak for that because then the press... the people weren't letting the press in because we didn't have like one you know 01:01:00access entrance where people reading ids or something but you know you gotta make simple... you know. You gotta like just sort of...
SG: You're thinking onthe fly
KG: Yeah after I figured that out I was like 'OK, we'll one entrancewhere people can check to make sure the press schedules are [inaudible] or something. Anyway, it did never pan out, but a lot of the way that ended up going. and then so you're running around trying to get information going hoarse at the time, but a lot of how that went I had to do that sort of the layout of the building each of these four entrances and it was like... it was like a nightmare for siege, this type of siege warfare type thing because you had so many entrances and they're kind of wide and you weren't sure. There is this uncertainty about what doors went where. You know there's a big sort of complex like building with... with all these little rooms in those places. Yeah, that was a really powerful day for me because, one, it was asking... doing is asking 01:02:00people to do things that are running around them or asking people to break the law to possibly break the law and knew that there would be negative consequences, and a lot of things we couldn't control. That people could get arrested and it was something that we you know we suggested that people do. And just that sort of maintenance of something that was more than just sleeping and staying over. It was a bit more, you could say hostile. But at the time I was like, 'Well, we need to keep this thing going.' That was our whole... our impetus, or at least what we thought is, 'OK, we're going to stay in this building until somebody kills the bill,' right. And so that's what we've gotta like... that's what I had my mind on, whether people did... whether or not we had formal demands but, OK we need to you know need to stay here until we kill the bill. And that may not be possible and there's a lot 01:03:00about the democratic process that we don't understand. Yeah. So if that's your goal then it's like well, we gotta stop them in some way. But then apparently, the guy was there or hadn't reported to people that he left the state. Or maybe he was and he jumped out of a window and left you know.
SG: Do a demonstration!
KG: Absconded or something I don't know. Sothat's the other spatial story about the place. That's all I can remember for now.
JM: No, that's great. That's great. In touch with your sensory memory aswell and in some ways those are actually probably the easier details to remember than chronological.
KG: Yeah, I think... I think it's really fair that a lot of thesethings were, at the time, I could like spit out. OK this is this type of civil disobedience. This is this type. Or OK, well this legal thing pertains to this 01:04:00other legal thing. But certainly... and that's what a lot of the accounts of the Occupy movement and some of the criticisms about it. and some of Wisconsin is talking... it's a lot about personal experience of these things. We have so much of that, that it's and lot of social theory goes on around it. That in some ways it's it... it can be too much about just the organizing effort and not really about, I dunno, of the politics are moving forward and sometimes we're too wrapped up in and infatuated with our experience of... of the protest. I don't know if that's true, but I see why there's so much of that stuff coming out because it is inspiring. It feels like something you want to write about. it feels like... you want other people to know and hear about it because it has 01:05:00such a big impact on your life and why so many people connected to it and why there are a lot of people who became activists during that time and stay in that stuff and that's involved in their identity because of the gravity of that... of that time.
SG: Yeah. Yeah, what are...? I think you was said political...political stories or something... I mean, what are some of the stories that you feel like you wish you saw more of in the media either at the time or now? Do you feel like they're, I dunno, like parts of the experience that are just uncaptured? If there is this sort of...?
KG: Yeah, I think... I think thecriticism of it wasn't clear about it. It's just that people are too... we have too much out about what it's what the organization of occupy is about and what this other thing is about and we don't understand the politics of it very well or that it's not clear about what the whole aim of the thing was. I think the 01:06:00same in Wisconsin, in some ways in that part of it is about, 'Oh, we're standing up to the man,' and it sounds like propaganda and as a first person account. I don't know I mean how much this belongs on a history but but but certainly we do have a lot of that... a lot of those accounts. But we're still with... with Occupy, for sure and with this protest as well. I think history has yet to be written about what this means, what this will mean in the long term, right? It's clear to me, it's clear... what it... what it... the impacts that it did and didn't have right? if you were to judge the success of a movement or of an action and that action was eventually passed. We were not able to recall the governor a lot of things sort of like ticks in the lose column kept racking up but... but how those... and those things are hard to change, right? Seems like 01:07:00you can remove contract bargaining rights in three days- four days. Three days of testimony and then a vote, but to get them back takes a long time. My understanding though, you could have, you know. a benevolent dictator governor who could you know pass the same kind of letter up here, 'what we need are more human rights and that will fix our budget.' So I don't know, I think... I think that stuff still isn't... Well, we may... you know, for years we won't understand that of the long-term impact it will have, not just on the material... material, you know, sort of actual political changes of the state, but also the sentiment within the state and where the politics will go from now. Because what actually happened was we have much weaker Unions. We just laid off 01:08:00two TAA staff. A lot of the unions in the state are having to combine, you know, so they can pool resources more. Just realizing they're never going to have the stream of income because of some of those things from Act 10. So, we've got weaker institutions you know. and if something similar were to happen, a similarly objectionable bill or to happen now we wouldn't... we would have a lot of those. It couldn't happen the same way because we don't have those institutions that were in place to sort of make things make things happen. And I'd stand by that. That you may not connect with your union or you may not even be part of the union or some of these big organizations and... and there's lots of criticisms of them. But the same time, having those institutions there benefits us all. And... and one of one of the benefits is... is having the 01:09:00structures in place that people can... can jump into when they're motivated, like a... you know, Obama campaign or a Romney campaign or these protests. Some people may have never been to a TAA meeting before, but now they you know are getting involved in some of these activities. So that is one of the big, big impacts that you know we all worry about. On top of those lived experiences that are also significant. significant to a bunch of people, but may or may not be... have the same consequences that the actual, you know, the political consequences and story that that that played itself out may have.
SG: Yeah, yeah, no thatthat does... that's really interesting. I mean that's also just personally interesting as I think of sort of not in the paper general political worldview. 01:10:00
SG: So that's interesting to hear if someone... think through and talkthrough.
KG: Yeah I think there's been lots of good articles about that. Occupyis in love with itself. The Wisconsin protests are sort of in love with themselves, whereas, you know... still all the things that a lot of people who participated in occupied, participated in the protests here are still around and may have gotten worse. That's humbling.
JM: Yeah, that's so true.
SG:Yeah, Well, I feel like that suffices to answer my questions, but I don't want to speak for you, Josyln.
JM: Yeah, I think so. I guess, one thing I waswondering after that you were talking about the clear things that would have gone in the loss column. Were there clear things in the win column that came 01:11:00out?
KG: In the win column? Look at you. That is a good interview question. Thewin column. I think we certainly collectively revived, in some words resuscitated if only for a short period of time, progressive politics in the state. And it gave, I think... I think it inspired people to get more involved with activism, to appreciate the value of protest in a direct action and civic engagement. Some people who may not have been so convinced beforehand that the role of the citizen changed a lot at least for me, you know I grew up in the eighty's you know, eighty's-ninety's. you know? Nots, not necessarily times a 01:12:00lot of direct political action in the US you know. Whereas my, my parents who... you know, may you know, may have sort of - I don't know if they would have discouraged me to be involved with something like that beforehand. Pretty sort of fun of the mill. You know 'don't... don't cause too much trouble' right. 'Care about that stuff but you know get arrested, and you know try to push that down so you can get a job.' you know, that changed a bit. That you have a bunch of, a generation of people, we had high school students who turned out to this, right? A lot of high school students because teachers did 'sick outs' and so there are a lot of like high schoolers are turned out. Oh my God, it really brings me to tears. Think how awesome it would have been as a high school student, to be involved in something like that; to be developing your political self, and to be part of this event during that time. 01:13:00It's inspiring to me that they would grow up and think, 'Yeah, this stuff can happen. This matters and you know. We should get involved you know. we shouldn't just scoff whenever we get political phone calls asking for contributions, like yea that stuff's annoying but you know. So, I think that hopefully, will last a while. I think people saw the value of the strong labor movement in here and in the country. Of course, not everybody, but you know a lot of people saw what unions were capable of. And some of...move beyond some of the regular criticisms of what unions do. All these are sort of ideational win column because we haven't any others. Getting Obama re-elected. Some people might argue that wasn't a win 01:14:00for the progressive movement but we'll see. But certainly politics have been moving to the left, in recent years and our protest was part of that, I would argue. Yeah from a personal standpoint it was a win for me in that it made me admire myself more, respect myself more. I'm capable of doing some pretty cool things right? and I was involved in, throughout my whole graduate career that's probably... or like through my life, I guess, right now that felt like it was 01:15:00the most substantive contribution that I made to affecting society in a way, or you know, like sort of following my vision of what a... what a society should be like and then following through on it. Even if nothing comes of it like, 'OK yes. I inspire my own self,' you know? And I think a lot of people felt like... feel like that. Their own personal experience of getting involved in a.... yeah just it feels empowering. You know? I can do the stuff I don't have to like, think that somebody out there is doing it. So, if that carries on and where we're just even a small part of that, that's cool. That's a win.