The rotunda remained full, with protesters banging drums amid chants of "Tell me what democracy looks like." - http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/28/us-wisconsin-protests-scene-idUSTRE71Q2M920110228
Perhaps it was only fictional, but I have heard of a method of complaining to the "overlords"/"nobility"/"government officials" by drumming a list of complaints followed by what the peasantry did for said O/N/G, and it would go on, 24/7, with different people taking up the drum and chanting the lists until the O/N/G caved and redressed the wrongs.
I know that's not what's happening in Wisconsin, but I wonder if it would work. A chanter would tell one thing the people did to earn the right/compensation they are seeking, followed by a drum beat, then the chanter would say what the people wanted/what their complaint was, followed by a drum beat, and then another thing the people did to earn that right/compensation, followed by a drum beat, then the chanter would repeat what the people wanted/what their complaint was (often, it was just one thing they wanted, but the list of things they did that earned them that right was long), followed by a drum beat, and so it would continue. Once they reached the end of the list of things the people did to earn that right/compensation, they started over again.
And it would continue until the "powers that be" did the right thing.
In this case, it's quite simple:
We keep the streets safe - BOOM - we've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We keep the roads repaired - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We teach the children - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - we plow the streets of winter snow - BOOM - we've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We protect you while you sleep - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We clean the buildings of your mess - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - and on and on.
It would take a long time to get to the repeat.
Peaceful, informative, empowering, and it will drive the "powers that be" wild having to listen to that dreaded BOOM because each drumbeat tells them "We work hard and we deserve this one little thing." The end result (in the story, anyway) was that the people got the one thing they were asking for. Maybe it will work.
More importantly, I think, it tells the people they are doing worthy work, work that benefits all of their fellow citizens, and they deserve the right they want to keep.
My personal experience of unions has not been positive, but my societal experience - what unions have done for me and for society as whole has been exceedingly positive. We have shorter work days, safer work places, worker's compensation, vacations, sick leave, better pay, retirement, health care, and ways to redress grievances - all because unions worked to get those for us. We work for these compensations (I refuse to call them benefits because they are given to us free of charge - we work hard for them, they are compensations we've earned) and we have the right to keep them.
The laws changed to incorporate a lot of what the unions fought for, and when we got them for all workers, not just union members, the unions kind of rested on their laurels, as it were.
Unfortunately, what is given to us by law can be taken away by law. Our work days have increased, our pay is falling, our retirements (that we paid for out of our paychecks!) was squandered by businesses and supported by the laws so they never had to pay us back (I lost 2 full retirement programs this way - I will never get back all the money I paid into those retirement programs - my money went to pay bonuses for corporate crooks), our workplaces are becoming less safe, healthcare is laughable, and many of us haven't received the pay raises we deserve for the long hard hours of work we put in and the skills we apply to our jobs. We used to get paid breaks and lunches, now we don't get breaks at all (I don't know anyone who gets those 15 minute breaks anymore, although some people may still get them somewhere), and we are often asked to work during our unpaid lunch breaks.
Perhaps "unions" have become dinosaurs, but we still need some form of collective bargaining. Without it, we will lose everything we gained and our country will be a poorer plae for it.