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The Antelope

The Antelope

‘Divided We Fall’ inspires young Americans to stand

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“Divided We Fall” is a contradictory phrase when compared to our country’s familiar mantra of “United We Stand,” yet it rings with similar truths. If Americans cannot band together for the colors red, white, and blue, changes will never take place, and neither will success. The power of many voices is the message that UNK’s American Democracy Project organization relayed by showing Katherine M. Acosta’s documentary, “Divided We Fall,” in The World Theater on Oct. 8. 

Sponsored by the Calvin T. Library and the UNK Education Association, the film dived deeper into the protests of the Wisconsin uprising, in which diverse labor unions from across the nation marched into Madison to protest against the 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, named the “Wisconsin Budget Repair bill.” With the purpose of doctoring the state’s budget, Governor Scott Walker’s bill siphoned away at the following for Americans: retirement, compensation, sick leave, and health insurance. 

On Feb. 14, the protesting began after the Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Assistants Association sent Valentine’s influence Governor Walker to kill the bill. This action sparked a series of events in which the capitol building was physically occupied for 17 days by 100,000 protestors in its prime. Lasting until late June, the demonstrations incited public hearings, the shutting down of schools, voting sessions by senators, a recall vote for a new governor, and a raging sea of Wisconsin red, larger than that of Memorial Stadium.

Containing personal accounts and insider film, the inspiring documentary consisted of peaceful activists with the incentive to do more than express their anger. Plumbers, teachers, health workers, fireman, and even police officers wanted to peacefully make a difference. In fact, a great deal of the progress was due to college students (specifically political science majors) networking and making their voice heard by the government officials. 

After witnessing the motivation and American pride behind “Divided We Fall,” I urge UNK students to become more involved in our government and be aware of the controversy surrounding us. Even though the bill was never revised to the people’s satisfaction, democracy is nonexistent without the people. 

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