We Are Wisconsin

Meet the people making history in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin firefighter, video still by Finn Ryan

We Are Wisconsin from Finn Ryan on Vimeo.

What convinces tens of thousands of people—including those whose rights aren't directly on the line—to take to the streets and to occupy their state capitol around the clock? What's it like to be in such a gathering? In this beautiful video, filmmakers Finn Ryan and David Nevala introduce you to the people of Wisconsin.

  • "I love my job, I want to be with my students, but I'm also here for the future of Wisconsin. I'm a single mom. If this bill passes, I will lose my house [...] It's a large percentage of my take-home pay. I started crying in the grocery store because I have the money now, but I won't very soon."
  • "We're grateful that firefighters were exempt from this bill. however, we still collectively bargain and the basic principle of the union is that we stand together—and that's what we're here to do."
  • "I've seen nothing but peace, I've seen nothing but people getting along—responsible adults, people that are friends, that are family. I hear people making this out to be something that's angry, violent. And I've seen none of that. As a police officer [on duty at the capitol] and as a citizen walking out here, I've seen none of that."

© 2011 Finn Ryan and David Nevala


  • It took a while, but protests in Wisconsin show that poor and middle class Americans are ready to push back against the policies and cuts that hurt them most. Madison may be only the beginning.

  • What the privatization of public spaces has to do with our likelihood of taking to the streets.

  • The best signs and slogans of the Wisconsin protests.