ISU student made Madison trip in support of unions


Photo: Matt Wettengel/Iowa State Daily

Brian Guillaume traveled to Madison, Wisconsin in support of state unions. Guillaume volunteered as a marshall throughout the weekend and believes that more college students should get involved with political situations that impact the middle and working class.

Matt Wettengel

Having grown up in a union-supporting family, when Brian Guillaume heard about the protests in Madison, Wis., he got in contact with people in Madison and volunteered his weekend to the cause.

As soon as he got out of class Friday, Guillaume, senior in political science, headed to Madison.

“Madison is the epicenter of American politics, at least [in that] whatever happens in Madison is going to happen across the nation, so I wanted to be up there and just see it,” Guillaume said.

Guillaume volunteered as a marshall, doing some crowd control and question answering.

He witnessed the rally that featured Jesse Jackson, led chants around the Capitol and participated in the constantly-beating drum circles throughout the weekend.

“It was wild to see that mass of people come together for one thing … I think that’s what’s cool about it, it goes beyond parties, it goes beyond political affiliation, this is something that is in American history,” Guillaume said. “Unions are a part of American history and I’ve seen that growing up, and I just want to make sure that I do my part to help them.”

Guillaume said the solidarity that he witnessed amongst the union workers in Madison, who were working together to maintain their basic rights.

With the implications that this legislation has for the future of the nation, Guillaume encourages students to get involved with this and similar movements across the country.

“I think college kids need to get more involved more often because, I mean, at Iowa State we educate teachers, they’re going to have to make that decision, they’re going to be the next generation of these people fighting these battles,” Guillaume said.

“Whatever side they’re on, this is important to you because it’s our future. How are middle class and working class people going to be treated 40 years from now? We’re going to be the middle class and working class, that’s up to us. There’s only gonna be a couple of us that are going to be super rich, and I think that we need to take hold of what’s going on.”