March 11, 2011- As the protesting spirit spreads in Wisconsin, one tactic that union members are now adopting is to take aim at institutions that have donated heavily to Governor Scott Walker.
Members of the Wisconsin firefighter's union set out for a local branch of the M & I Bank on Thursday to withdraw their personal savings. The UpTake, which describes itself as "a citizen-fueled, online video news gathering organization," reports that "on Thursday members of the union withdrew close to $200,000 from the bank."
A website titled "Keep on eye on Marshall & Ilsley Bank" had been targeting the M & I Bank since last month. "After working families gave Marshall and Ilsley Bank (M&I) a $1.7 billion bailout in 2008," the site explains, "their executives did an about face and funded Governor Scott Walker's attack on our right to collectively bargain. In fact, their financial help combined was more than what the Koch Brothers contributed. And while Governor Walker was demanding austerity from working people, M&I CEO Mark Furlong got an $18 million golden parachute. Even after the bank was having diffulty paying back its TARP loan."
According to Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars, the run on the bank began when teachers, firefighters, and police offers threatened to start a boycott on March 17 if the bank did not publicly oppose Walker's attack on collective bargaining rights. But after the governor pushed the cancellation of collective bargaining through the state legislation, it inspired so many protesters to show up on Thursday that the branch shut down "under the advisement of the Madison Police Department."