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Protesters Vow to Tell "True Story" of Foxconn Deal

Protesters of the massive Foxconn Technology Group project also organized a voter registration drive. (Gaia Coalition Network)
Protesters of the massive Foxconn Technology Group project also organized a voter registration drive. (Gaia Coalition Network)
June 29, 2018

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. – As President Donald Trump and Governor Scott Walker hoisted golden shovels to break ground at a $10 billion factory complex for electronics giant Foxconn, protesters held their own event a few miles away in downtown Mount Pleasant. At "Operation: Shake the Ground!" they focused on the project's negative environmental impact, and the more than $4 billion dollars in potential taxpayer subsidies for the Taiwan-based company.

Jessycah Andersen, co-founder of the Gaia Coalition Network questions whether the 1,300 projected jobs will be long term, or mostly construction work.

"How is this project really going to benefit our state when we are spending so much money on it? Plus, in the area of Racine, the unemployment rate is decently high and we're just questioning what kind of jobs were going to be available for those people," says Andersen.

Governor Walker says the massive project will "transform the state" and make it "a magnet for millennials."

Republicans were mostly unified in support of Foxconn, saying it's a once-a-generation opportunity to transform Wisconsin's economy. But most Democrats – including all eight of those running against Walker – argue that the massive taxpayer subsidies are too much.

Andersen says Foxconn's detractors want some assurance that taxpayers and the environment aren't on the losing end of what they think is a bad deal.

"We at least want to show that these sorts of operations should just be accepted in the future,” says Andersen. “And we can't allow for mass urbanization to occur in our state, because we will lose all of our beautiful land and our resources."

Backers of the project say they are confident the Taiwanese company will become a major Wisconsin employer.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - WI