03/10/2011 04:59 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

From Selma to Madison; We Stand with Wisconsin Workers and Families

This week in 1965, Governor Wallace unleashed dogs and fire hoses in Selma, steamrolling voting and democratic rights.

Last night the Republican members of the Wisconsin legislature, in concert with Governor Scott Walker, steamrolled the democratic rights of working families. There is a clear, straight line from Selma to Madison of 'states' rights' ideology that undermines the basic principles of democracy.

In the dark of night, the Wisconsin legislature's "action" to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights directly and clearly violates legislative open meeting laws -- it is illegal, improper and unethical. It is an affront to the people of Wisconsin. Extremist politicians have trampled on democracy and the state's tradition of free, open, and fair government. Recent polling indicates that 74% of Wisconsinites oppose these Republican moves.

The people of Wisconsin see through the desperate act of the Republican members of the Wisconsin legislature. Their outrage is expressing itself through protests and resistance. They will not let ideological extremists undermine 50 years of civil rights work. Recall petitions are already circulating to remove those legislators who have blatantly violated the democratic rules of the legislature and the will of the people.

Today, thousands are gathering in Madison, Milwaukee and other cities. These protests will undoubtedly escalate as the people turn their protest into power and rise up to take back their government. Rainbow PUSH Coalition supports theses actions and will be with the people of Wisconsin every step of the way.