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00:00:00 - Introduction 00:00:36 - Why UW-Madison / undergraduate background

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Peter as I mentioned before we turned this on, the first question is 'why come to UW-Madison?'"

A: "For graduate and law school..."

Segment Synopsis: Peter Rickman (PR) grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin. He discusses his undergraduate interests, and the decision to go to UW-Madison for graduate and law school.

Keywords: Miami University (OH); Neenah

00:02:51 - Important experience while working his way through undergrad

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Peter, did I hear you right, did you do some work in undergraduate in terms of social movements and social activism?"

A: "I did not mention that, but it was pretty minimal..."

Segment Synopsis: Worked at university dining hall in undergrad where he experienced a food service and clerical worker strike.

Keywords: Miami University (OH; National Labor Relations Board; strike

00:05:43 - Parents, home life, and growing up with collective bargaining

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Can we back up again and talk a little bit about your growing up in Neenah, what did you parents do?"

A: "My dad bargained for management on the opposite side of the table from my mom's union."

Segment Synopsis: PR discusses his parent's professions, particularly his dad's work bargaining on behalf of the management, and the formulation of his own political opinions in regards to worker's rights.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Fox Valley Technical College; National Education Association (NEA); Neenah

00:08:28 - Dual enrollment in law school and La Follette School of Public Affairs, and joining the TAA

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Graduate school and law school, what school, or department, did you want to get your graduate degree in?"

A: "I was a dual-degree student in the law school and the La Follette School of Public Affairs."

Segment Synopsis: While discussing dual enrollment at UW-Madison, PR hints at his eventual dropping out and his early involvement with the TAA.

Keywords: Chicago, Illinois; Miami University (OH); Oxford, Ohio; TAA

00:10:15 - Experience returning to college after a four year break

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Partial Transcript: Q: "You said you took classes a year before to transition in, to a certain extent, but how was it being a full-time student on campus that first semester?"

A: "It was great..."

Segment Synopsis: PR describes the excitement of being on campus and why he enjoys college.

00:12:15 - Becoming involved in TAA

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Partial Transcript: Q: "You said you signed a card before coming back to school, do you recall when you first became actually involved in TAA stuff?"

A: "Oh yeah, right away..."

Segment Synopsis: PR talks about becoming involved with TAA before even arriving on campus. Elected to executive board before starting classes.

Keywords: TAA; executive board

00:15:16 - Work on the 2008 Presidential election

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Partial Transcript: Q: "What work did you do on the 2008 election?"

A: "Well we built a pretty amazing political program inside TAA..."

Segment Synopsis: Describes the mobilization within the TAA and on campus for the 2008 election, not only presidential, but state legislative races as well.

Keywords: 2008 Presidential election; AFT Wisconsin; Barack Obama

00:17:48 - Knowing how to organize politically

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Partial Transcript: Q: "How did you know how to do that, or how did you know that that's what you wanted to do?"

A: "How did I know that that's what I wanted to do, those are two different questions, so maybe I should answer them separately..."

Segment Synopsis: PR notes his "savant-like" ability to build organizations and mobilize workers.

00:21:47 - The campaign against raising segregated fees for the Natatorium

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Partial Transcript: Q: "You talked about seg fees, were you here during the first campaign to try to renovate, I think it was the Nat, and other similar places, so the recreational facilities?"

A: "There was two Union South seg fee fights just before my time..."

Segment Synopsis: PR talks about leading a campaign against raising segregated fees, and the values behind his position.

Keywords: Natatorium; Union South; segregated fees

00:26:39 - 2010 election and its difference with the 2008 election

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Partial Transcript: Q: "If this is the Fall of 2010, this PAship you have researching, it sounds like just the type of things you want to research, is also coming around the time of the 2010 election."

A: "Yeah. God What a disaster that was..."

Segment Synopsis: Description of the events occurring between 2008 and 2010 that led to Democrats' loss of seats in state government

Keywords: AFSCME; Economic crisis; Scott Walker; Tom Barrett

00:33:39 - Concluding contract negotiations after the swearing in of Scott Walker

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Partial Transcript: Q: "You just said this but I want to make sure we clarify. You being on the inside saw the writing on the wall that there was going to be a change at least on the gubernatorial level..."

A: "Yeah it was just a matter of how badly we were going to lose..."

Segment Synopsis: PR talks about the TAA and other unions preparing themselves to fight back against Gov. Walker's actions against worker's rights.

Keywords: 2009-2011 biennium; AFT 212; Jim Doyle; Joe Wineke; Michael Rosen; Milwaukee Area Technical College; Scott Walker; TAA

00:41:03 - In-depth discussion about segregated fees in regards to the Natatorium

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Partial Transcript: Q: "I've got a few more minutes left and I want to back up to the no seg fees, particularly the Nat...I wonder if you could walk me through, starting with when you knew this was coming and then how you reacted to it."

A: "For many of us, segregated fees had been identified a long while previous as a major issue..."

Segment Synopsis: Strategies to negotiate segregated fees in TA contracts, and reaction to the proposal of fee increase for the purposes of building a gym.

Keywords: Associated Press; Facebook; NatUP; Natatorium; astroturf; social media; tuition remission

00:47:43 - Benefit of having TAA as central organizing space for grass roots campaigns on campus

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Partial Transcript: Q: "That had to be a bit of an expense, though."

A: "Totally, and this is the value of having an institution around that had resources..."

Segment Synopsis: PR notes the benefits of having an institution with funds and a physical location to unite campus groups with common causes

Keywords: No New Seg Fees; TAA; collective bargaining

00:52:01 - Debate within the TAA about the future direction of the TAA

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Peter, before we shut down there anything on your mind, not that you won't be able to say it next time, particularly about the time you started with the TAA until, lets say, the inauguration of Governor Walker..."

A: "I don't think it's that big a deal to talk a lot about, but there was a real vibrant and lively debate inside the union about the future of the union..."

Segment Synopsis: In the closing remarks of his first interview, PR talks about the debate within the TAA about use of dues money and the nature of the union itself.

Keywords: TAA

00:53:55 - Beginning of second interview / introduction

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Partial Transcript: Okay, today is March 12th, 2015...

00:54:28 - Memories of the introduction of the Budget Repair Bill

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Partial Transcript: Q: "As i mentioned before we turned on the record, were going to start right off with the Budget Repair bill..."

A: "Well, I actually, I'm not sure if I can remember the sort of where I was, what I was doing when, as Governor Walker put it, he 'dropped the bomb'..."

Segment Synopsis: PR begins by noting that campus activists had met well in advance of the February 11th “leaking” of the Budget Repair Bill (BRB). The “I Heart UW” event was planned before they heard about the BRB. Once they heard, a core group of activists met and decided to turn the “I Heart UW” event into one about workers’ rights. He noted that the BRB led to a “flowering of leadership” among student activists and others.

Keywords: Governor Scott Walker; I Heart UW; neoliberalism

00:57:45 - Organizing the 'I Heart UW' event at the Capitol

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Partial Transcript: A: "We turned to those who had signed our cards, we had, you know, probably a couple thousand of these 'I Heart UW' cards..."

Segment Synopsis: Talked briefly about another event held that Monday on the Union steps, he and Paul Soglin spoke at it, and PR recalled Soglin prescient words about this event just being the start of something big.

Keywords: Facebook; Memorial Union; Paul Soglin

01:00:00 - Memories of the I Heart UW event from the Capitol

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Partial Transcript: A: "And so that Monday, as everything was sort of coming together, we were going through the checklist of all the things that needed to happen..."

Segment Synopsis: PR recalls the day of the I Heart UW event, his nervousness about the turn-out, and the scene in the Captiol.

Keywords: Capitol; Capitol Police; I Heart UW; Joe Kuo; Kyle VandenLangenberg; Library Mall

01:05:20 - Memories of Tuesday, February 15

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So, roughly 2,000 the first day, but it's really Tuesday that it mushrooms from 2,000 to thousands and thousands of people...what are your memories of that next day?"

A: "Well, one, is there was a lot going on..."

Segment Synopsis: PR recalls the Joint Finance Committee testimonies happening at the Captiol, and the actions of protestors.

Keywords: Budget Repair Bill; Joint Finance Committee; TAA

01:08:14 - Realizing the possibility of a sit-in at the Capitol

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Partial Transcript: A: "As the day went on and the testimony kept going, I got in my head: 1) There's a lot of people here..."

Segment Synopsis: After realizing the presence of "ordinary, every day people" and the spirit of the protests, PR went home to get supplies and prepared to stay at the Capitol overnight.

Keywords: Joint Finance Committee

01:12:00 - The transition from protest to occupation

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Partial Transcript: A: "It was a pretty intense sort of thing, and I don't know how it all came about, but the Assembly and Senate Democrats decided that they were going to, even if the Republicans wouldn't continue the hearings, they would continue the hearings..."

Segment Synopsis: After the Joint Finance Committee hearing was declared closed, protestors and Democratic representatives remained, and eventually the decision was reached at the TAA's headquarters in room 300 NE of the Capitol to occupy the building.

Keywords: 300 North East; AFL-CIO; AFT Wisconsin; Stephanie Bloomingdale

01:16:48 - Importance of Room 300 North East

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So that room became -- I've heard that room talked about as sort of the hub of activism..."

A: "Yeah, it was, you know, if the Capitol was a center of activity in this multi-faceted, multi-layered Wisconsin uprising of 2011, in some ways Room 300 NE was the nerve center..."

Segment Synopsis: PR describes the use of 300 NE during the protests.

Keywords: TAA; The Concourse Hotel

01:19:31 - Balancing work and protesting

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Partial Transcript: Q: "How are you...balancing, in general, being a TA and being at the Capitol at this time...?"

A: "I didn't go to class for the entirety of that occupation time."

Segment Synopsis: PR did not attend classes during the protest, but speaks about the ways he made up classwork, and the support from his professors

Keywords: AFSCME Distrcit Council 40; Cory Mason; Neighborhood Law Clinic

01:25:07 - Balancing protesting and home life

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So how were you balancing, then, being at the Capitol and home?"

A: "I am married to a woman who is incredible in any number of different ways..."

Segment Synopsis: PR speaks about the support he had from his wife and his family during the protest.

01:29:51 - Relationship with Representative Cory Mason

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Lets take a second then since you referenced your home representative...You mentioned earlier that you ended up spending some time in Representative Mason's -- how did that all come about?"

A: "I had know Cory before then..."

Segment Synopsis: PR talks about how he came to know Cory Mason and their relationship before and during the protests

Keywords: AFT Wisconsin; Cory Mason

01:32:43 - Reflections done for class during the protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So maybe just briefly then more on...these sort of daily missives or daily reflections..."

A: "First person accounts of what was going on..."

Segment Synopsis: PR shares the typical content of the reflection pieces he wrote in lieu of going to class.

01:34:01 - The role of technology on the protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "In one sense this was not our mother's protest. By that I mean we live in an age where you can be plugged in all the time...How do you think technology, either personally or in general, affected what was going on in the Capitol during those days?"

A: "I think -- I'm sure you've probably heard different answers for this..."

Segment Synopsis: Notes that technology, such as email, text messages, and Facebook posts helped, but the most important thing about the protests was being there.

Keywords: Facebook; e-mail

01:38:08 - Thoughts on the "Wisconsin 14"

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Your memories, if any, of the "14", like when you heard they had left, what it meant to you, if anything. I wondered if you could spend a moment on that."

A: "Yeah, that was huge..."

Segment Synopsis: PR's thoughts on the "Wisconsin 14," the group of Democratic state senators that left the state to prevent a quorum at the Capitol.

Keywords: Dropkick Murphys; Ed Schultz; Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; Tom Morello; Wisconsin 14

01:42:26 - Thoughts about the potential for recall elections in 2011

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Partial Transcript: Q: "You mentioned earlier that those senators leaving put themselves up to possibly being recalled. Do you recall during this period when the idea of recall of republican senators and eventually the recall of the Governor, do you recall when you started hearing about that?"

A: "I recall vaguely this idea coming forward..."

Segment Synopsis: PR speaks about the importance of recall elections as another way to affect the process and as another way for people outside of Madison to contribute to the protests.

Keywords: AFT Wisconsin; Scott Walker

01:44:40 - A vote to strike within AFT Wisconsin Federated

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Partial Transcript: A: "There were a number of tactical and strategic options on the table..."

Segment Synopsis: PR talks about a vote among AFT Wisconsin Federated over whether or not to strike.

Keywords: AFT Wisconsin; TAA; recall; strike

01:46:41 - The evolving talk of recall elections becoming a possibility

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Partial Transcript: A: "We ran canvasses out of the TAA office..."

Segment Synopsis: PR talks about the grassroots effort to instigate recall elections, and the discussion of recalling the governor.

Keywords: Budget Repair Bill; Scott Walker; Wisconsin 14; recall

01:50:00 - Other memories from the Capitol protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So maybe to end...are there things about those 17 days that are specific in your mind that you want to make sure -- sort of get on the record?"

A: "Sure, so when -- I mean I have these memories of Jesse Jackson showing up..."

Segment Synopsis: PR wraps up his second interview with some memories that stand out from the Capitol protest.

Keywords: AFL-CIO; AFSCME; Ed Sadlowski; Fox Valley; James P. Hoffa; Jesse Jackson; Leo Gerard; Madison Teachers Inc.; Mary Kay Henry; Rainbow Coalition; Richard Trumka; SEIU; United Steel Workers

01:55:43 - End of Second Interview 01:55:59 - Beginning of Third Interview 01:56:22 - Media portrayal of the 2011 Capitol Protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "We finished off with your thoughts about the February/March protests of 2011...How do you believe the media presented or represented the protests?

A: "Oh man, I'm sure I'd give you a different answer today as compared to two years ago..."

Segment Synopsis: PR talks about the media and the 2011 Protests, noting they tried their best to represent an event that they held no past precedent to assist them.

Keywords: labor unions; mainstream media

01:59:07 - Readjusting to classes after the protests

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Partial Transcript: Q: "After February/March, still in the Spring semester what are your memories of getting back into, you know, taking class, being in class?"

A: "I think I talked about it in one of our previous interviews, but I ended up dropping a class..."

Segment Synopsis: PR describes the difficulty returning to classes after the protests, especially in regards to the hands-on education he received during the protests.

Keywords: academia; labor unions; law school

02:04:40 - Continued involvement in the TAA after the protests / recall elections

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So then after the protests...did you stay involved in the TAA?"

A: "Yeah, yeah..."

Segment Synopsis: PR discusses his continued involvement in the TAA, and his roles during the recall elections that followed the Capitol Protests.

Keywords: Scott Walker; TAA; We Are Wisconsin; recalls

02:08:18 - Direct action in the lead up to recall elections

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Partial Transcript: A: "Beyond that also doing some things around direct action..."

Segment Synopsis: PR describes some of his personal philosophy in regards to canvassing and participating in elections, and describes some of the direct action he participated in during the recall elections.

Keywords: Walkerville; We Are Wisconsin

02:13:11 - Initial memories of the process to recall Governor Walker

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So I'm embarrassed to say I can't remember...whether it was a year after election or a year after taking office...but I wondered if you could just talk again, starting in sort of general terms, about what you did to help gather signatures."

A: "Well, November 17th of 2011 is when we kicked that off..."

Segment Synopsis: Gathering signatures to initiate a recall and marching in front of Governor Scott Walker's home in Milwaukee.

Keywords: Milwaukee; Scott Walker; grassroots; recall

02:17:01 - Debating the best time to have the recall election and determining Democratic candidate

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Partial Transcript: A: "So that was the kick off..."

Segment Synopsis: PR speaks about the different opinions on the best time to initiate the recall, and meeting with the "professional" left to discuss goals for the election.

Keywords: "Jobs not Cuts"; 2012 elections; Kathleen Falk; Kenosha; Milwaukee; Tom Barrett; Wisconsin Jobs Now; recall

02:22:33 - The days before the recall election

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Partial Transcript: A: "So, you know, we were building that campaign here through Wisconsin Jobs Now..."

Segment Synopsis: PR details the field operation in Milwaukee and the hectic final days before the election.

Keywords: Milwaukee; SEIU; Tom Barrett

02:25:12 - Feelings after the election

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So I guess it behooves me to ask then the feelings once the recall -- once the votes came in. And then what, if anything, you did in the immediate aftermath..."

A: "So it was obviously a deeply disappointing, and frustrating, and crushing night..."

Segment Synopsis: While it was hard not to be crushed and depressed, PR recalled the ways in which he coped with it and tried as quickly and efficiently as possible to move on. He took solace in the idea that what they accomplished (in terms of engaging new activists and voters) could continue.

Keywords: "Jobs not Cuts"; Scott Walker; Tom Barrett; labor unions; recall

02:29:08 - Staying motivated for the 2012 General Election

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Partial Transcript: A: "You know, we also knew there was a November election coming up..."

Segment Synopsis: PR knew he and others needed to motivate for the upcoming 2012 General Election. He and the others wanted to see what they built during the recall election continue and succeed in November 2012. Plus, the fact that his wife gave birth to their first child soon after the recall election helped reignite him. PR noted that he has never took any significant time off since the 2011 Protests, because working has helped him cope with electoral losses too.

Keywords: Barack Obama; Capitol Protests; Mitt Romney

02:33:33 - Thoughts on the 2012 General Election

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So then what did the aftermath of the 2012 do you feel after the 2012 election?"

A: "I think the thing for me about the 2012 presidential and senatorial election was two-fold..."

Segment Synopsis: PR took great pride in Rep. Tammy Baldwin winning her race for the U.S. Senate. He also took pride in the 70 wards in Milwaukee that he and others through their work changed from low turnout and high turnout. This, too, gave him hope for long-term success for the labor movement.

Keywords: "Jobs not Cuts"; ACORN; Barack Obama; Fight For A Fair Economy; Milwaukee; SEIU; Tammy Baldwin

02:41:49 - Impact of the 2011 Capitol Protests on Wisconsin

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Partial Transcript: Q: "Peter you've, I think you sort of hit on these last couple of questions I want to ask...What do you think the impact or impacts of what happened at the Capitol in February and March of 2011 have been seen since?"

A: "Well I think the impacts statewide were actually a little greater than what they are now..."

Segment Synopsis: PR used a “line in the sand” analogy to describe the effect of the Protests on WI overall. He felt that the protests probably did not impact Wisconsinites as much as some think it did, but that his and others work in the labor movement did leave a deep and lasting line in that sand.

Keywords: Capitol Protests; labor unions

02:45:50 - Impact of 2011 Capitol Protests on Peter personally

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Partial Transcript: Q: "So general, and now the impact on you specifically"

A: "I think that the upsurge, you know prior to the upsurge of 2011 I certainly saw myself as having generally leftist politics..."

Segment Synopsis: Before the Protests, PR considered himself generally leftist and interested in labor unions. He explained how the Protests and its “long tail” has made him even more radical in his belief in the labor movement.

Keywords: Capitol Protests; labor unions

02:50:12 - Final Thoughts

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Partial Transcript: Q: "I want to give you space here at the end to, if there's anything you feel it's important, within the context of these three interviews to get on the record or anything..."

A: "We'll save that for part two..."

Segment Synopsis: PR felt the totality of the interviews collected for this project would say more than some pithy final words about his involvement in it.