Fighting Bob Fest

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Fighting Bob Fest is an annual "progressive" festival, staged in Wisconsin. It is an annual Chautauqua featuring progressive speakers, networking opportunities, and entertainment. Fighting Bob Fest carries on the tradition of Robert LaFollette by providing a forum for progressive ideas on issues facing Wisconsin and the nation.

Freedom and justice are defended through education, and the exchange of ideas promotes solidarity among progressives. To this end, Fighting Bob Fest strives to provide citizens with a forum for democratic participation where frustrations with current policies can be constructively molded into calls to action. [1]

It is affiliated with the website FightingBob.com Wisconsin's Progressive Voice.[2]

History

In 2001, 10 activists who were veterans of the successful battle to stop Perrier-Nestle from "taking our state’s spring water and ruining our ground water and wetlands came together in Wisconsin Dells".

They were looking to find ways to carry the victory forward into other arenas and to help other citizen groups learn from their experiences.

Out of this meeting, and this sentiment, Fighting Bob Fest was born. The group discussed the problems they faced when the Perrier fight began. They pledged to spread their newfound knowledge. They decided to devote what energy they had remaining to sponsoring an event that would bring together citizens who were willing to help each other.

They needed some kind of galvanizing event that would help them establish a statewide network. The discussion soon turned into a proposal to host an old fashioned Chautauqua and name it after Wisconsin’s most famous hell raiser, Fighting Robert LaFollette.

La Follette fought for democracy and economic fairness; he busted trusts, railed against the robber barons’ control over the political system, called for open primaries, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. He thought people and ideas should rule instead of Big Money.

About 1,000 people showed up for the first Fighting Bob Fest in September 2002. In addition to the speakers on the grandstand, there were small session meetings focusing on different issues and topics: how to start a grassroots organization to stop a big box store; how to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Fighting Bob Fest has grown every year and is, the largest annual political festival in the United States. Fighting Bob Fest VI drew more than 8,000 people.[3]

Speakers

2012 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Ed Garvey, Daniel Kunene, Phil Donahue, Stan Gruszynski, Marlon Mitchell, Jim Hightower, Ruth Coniff, Daniel Kunene, Peter Leidy, Mike McCabe, Dr. Jill Stein, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Greg Palast, Juan Cole, Terry O'Neill, Buddy Roemer, Bill McKibben, John Nichols, Lisa Graves, Mary Botari, Patricia Loew, John Mathews, Mike Wiggens, Jr., Frank Koehn, Bob Kincaid, Al Gedicks, Leland Pan, Harriet Rowan, Arthur Kohl-Riggs, CJ-Terrell, David Giffey,Mike Konopacki

2011 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Ellen Bravo, Tom Geoghegan, Raging Grannies (Madison), Stan Gruszynski, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Daniel Kunene, Peter Leidy, Mike McCabe, John Nichols, Congressman Dave Obey, Greg Palast, Matthew Rothschild, Senator Bernie Sanders, Tony Schultz, Nancy Unger, David Zweifel

2010 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, John Bonifaz, Reverend David Couper, Ed Garvey, Tom Geoghegan, Raging Grannies (Madison), Stan Gruszynski, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr.,Peter Leidy, Mike McCabe, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Namakagon String Band, Congressman Dave Obey, Greg Palast, Piper Road Spring Band, Donna Smith, Nancy Unger, David Zweifel

2009 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Ed Garvey, Raging Grannies (Madison), Stan Gruszynski, Doris 'Granny D' Haddock, Senator Tom Harkin, Jim Hightower, Barbara Lawton, Peter Leidy, Mike McCabe, Robert McChesney, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Namakagon String Band, John Nichols, Greg Palast, Piper Road Spring Band, Wendell Potter, Senator Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Scahill, Nancy Unger, State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, David Zweifel

2008 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Phil Donahue, Arvonne Fraser, Ed Garvey, Robert Glennon, Raging Grannies (Madison), Stan Gruszynski, Doris Haddock, Jim Hightower, Peter Leidy, Mike McCabe, Robert McChesney, Bill McKibben, Cynthia McKinney, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Ralph Nader, Namakagon String Band, Piper Road Spring Band, Scott Ritter, Matthew Rothschild, Alan Snitow, Nancy Unger

2007 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Laura Flanders, Ed Garvey, Raging Grannies (Madison), Stan Gruszynski, Doris Haddock, Jim Hightower, Daniel Kunene, Barbara Lawton, Peter Leidy, Mike McCabe, Chuck Mitchell, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, John Nichols, Piper Road Spring Band, Sal Rosselli, Cindy Sheehan, State Senator Lena Taylor, Nancy Unger, David Zweifel

2006 Nino Amato, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Andrew Dunn Bauman, Ed Garvey, Amy Goodman, Raging Grannies (Madison), Stan Gruszynski, Doris Haddock, Senator Tom Harkin, Jim Hightower, Daniel Kunene, Peter Leidy, Mike McCabe, Chuck Mitchell, John Nichols, Greg Palast, Piper Road Spring Band, John Stauber, Nancy Unger, David Zweifel

2005 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Senator Russ Feingold, Ed Garvey, Rep. Dave Obey , Jim Hightower, Mike McCabe, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Tia Nelson, Senator Bernie Sanders

2004 Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Gerald Bracey, David Cobb,Ed Garvey, Stan Gruszynski, Jim Hightower, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Peg Lautenschlager, Robert McChesney, John Nichols, David Zweifel

2003 Ellen Bravo, Ed Garvey, Lois Gibbs, Stan Gruszynski, Jim Hightower, Barbara Lawton, Robert Miranda, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Senator Bernie Sanders, Greg Palast

2002 Ed Garvey, Bert Grover, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Robert Miranda, Chuck Mitchell, John Nichols, Senator Paul Simon, John Stauber[4]

References