Wisconsin Rising: Sam Mayfield on Tour

Posted Tuesday March 4th 2014 by Jen Angel

Do you remember before Occupy, when there was an uprising in Wisconsin? We do. That's why we're helping Sam Mayfield tour with her new film, Wisconsin Rising.

Sam's film tells the story of the 2011 occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol building and the movement opposing Governor Scott Walker’s repeal of collective bargaining rights for workers. Wisconsin Rising details the continuing assault on democracy and workers rights across the United States, and how everyday people are fighting back. It is a 55-minute feature documentary with footage from the protests, news clips, and interviews with teachers, union leaders, elected officials, and others involved. This film provides an in depth look into what collective action has, and could, look like in the United States today.

Robert McChesney calls Wisconsin Rising “the definitive film” on the events in Wisconsin and says “It captures the spirit and intensity of the dramatic events as they unfolded, and reminds us that we cannot predict the future, and we should not forget our past, even our recent past."

This year, Sam Mayfield will be visiting campuses and community groups around the US.  Each event will include an introduction by the director along with a screening of the film. The director will facilitate a discussion and Q&A following.

If you would like Sam to come to your campus or community organization, please email Mike.

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More About The Film

Film website and trailer: http://wisconsinrising.com/

Wisconsin Rising tells the story of the largest sustained workers resistance in American history.

 In 2011, Wisconsin was the canary in the coal mine for America as newly-elected Republican Governor Scott Walker suddenly stripped collective bargaining rights from the state's public employees, undoing eight decades of basic workers' rights.
 Wisconsin Rising catapults the viewer in to the days, weeks, and months when Wisconsinites fought back against power, authority, and injustice.

Following conservative Governor Scott Walker’s announcement of his controversial ‘Budget Repair Bill,’ the people of Wisconsin rose up, occupied their state capitol and took to the streets as rarely before seen in American History. Their collective actions are the largest sustained gathering of any workers resistance in US history.

Many say Walker’s bill is an assault on working people, unions and the poorest, most vulnerable people in the state. At a time when millions of American families feel the crush of debt and joblessness, while large corporations are seeing record profits, Badger State residents demonstrated the strength that comes from a shared sense of community and acting collectively.

Happening on the heels of the revolutionary Arab Spring and months before the Occupy movement, Wisconsinites spontaneously occupied their state Capitol for weeks as never before seen in American History. Wisconsin Rising tells the story of how one state became an economic testing ground for the nation in a political environment where corporations have growing clout and ordinary citizens are losing their ability to obtain redress.

While Wisconsin Rising highlights one state’s rejection of a conservative takeover, it is a microcosm of what is at stake in America today, at a time of fiscal crisis, ideologically-driven budgets and social reforms.


About Sam Mayfield

Sam Mayfield is a video journalist and documentarian from Burlington, VT.

Since 2004, Mayfield has documented stories that remain untold in the dominant corporate media paradigm. Her video reports have been filed with outlets such as Democracy Now! and Free Speech TV. Her work has taken her to Mexico, India, West Africa, and Palestine.

In 2011, Mayfield traveled to Wisconsin to cover the popular uprising against legislation gutting basic workers rights.  She stayed for seven months, covering the story as it unfolded, ultimately producing from her footage the 55-minute feature documentary film Wisconsin Rising.  

Wisconsin Rising is Mayfield’s second documentary. In 2010, she made the 26-minute film, Silenced Voices, that tells the story of a young migrant farmworker who was killed while working on a Vermont dairy farm. Mayfield and two other Vermonters traveled to Mexico to return the boy’s body to his family. There they interviewed family and community members about the impacts of migration. Silenced Voices has been a useful tool in educating lawmakers and citizens in Vermont .