On Saturday, April 30, the fight for collective bargaining will bring a different type of activist to Madison's Capitol Square. As many as 10,000 motorcyclists from around Wisconsin and across the Midwest will ride in support of Wisconsin workers at the "Thunda Around the Rotunda" event.
Eric J. Hartz, a Madison Public School Teacher, organized the "Thunda Around the Rotunda" with a motorcyclist friend. "This is a grassroots event," he said. "There is nobody funding this."
According to Hartz, it started with motorcyclists talking and getting together on social networking sites, and soon, "groups of 100 here and groups of 100 there" were signing up to attend from Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois.
Riding for Rights
The event's goal is to have 10,000 motorcyclists participate in the ride around Capital Square. The point, Hartz says, "is to support city and Wisconsin workers."
Hartz invites bikers of all political stripes to join the ride in protest of the attack on Wisconsin's labor rights traditions. In a radio interview, Hartz said he even extended an invitation to Governor Scott Walker since Walker claims to 'support Wisconsin workers.' "I even offered to let him lead the Parade if he showed up," Hartz said.
Governor Walker has not confirmed his attendance.
The "Thunda Around the Rotunda" will not be the only motorcycle-related event happening in Madison that weekend. The Barrymore Theater will hold its annual Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Film Festival that night to celebrate the Slimey Crud Run happening in Cross Plains, WI the next day.
The parade will rendezvous at 1pm at Goodman Park, 1402 WIngra Creek Parkway on Madison's Westside, and head to the capitol at 2 p.m. More information can be found on the event website, http://www.thundaaroundtherotunda.com/