On Friday, we were treated to a chilling scene: Scott Walker in the Capitol, ringed by extra security, unilaterally announcing he will lower Wisconsin’s quality of life.

Walker says he is ending the collective bargaining rights of state employees that have existed peacefully in Wisconsin for more than five decades, under Republicans and Democrats alike.

He and the Republicans didn’t let the voters in November know it, but they were secretly planning this power grab for months, to the point that they are raising the police-state specter of calling out the National Guard.

Even more disturbing, what Walker proposes upsets the balance of power for working people in Wisconsin by increasing the power of corporations and driving down wages and benefits for all wage-earners, not just public employees or members of unions. What is more, this is a direct payback for the corporate contributors to his recent campaign.

Coupled with the massive Republican cuts to education and health care, this puts Wisconsin at a competitive disadvantage in the world economy, especially when Walker is perfectly fine with giving handouts to those corporations that ship our jobs overseas.

Today is a dark day in the history of our state and that is exactly why I’m asking you to take the following four steps to fight for Wisconsin’s middle class.

1. Call, write or e-mail your local legislators, Republican or Democrat: Let them know you oppose the power grab by Walker that puts the Wisconsin way of life in peril.

2. Call Scott Walker himself: Let him know that raising the specter of the National Guard is inflammatory and not what we expect out of our leaders. Tell him him to work for all the citizens of the state, and not just for his corporate contributors.

3. Canvass your community: The most effective action that you can take is to talk to your friends and neighbors about protecting the rights of working families in Wisconsin.  It is essential that you, our grassroots activists across Wisconsin, start canvassing today.

4. Rally and respond: Beginning on Tuesday and Wednesday we will be rallying at the Capitol, as Walker seeks to impose his skewed values on Wisconsin. Join us in Madison to make your voice heard.

This was a very bad day for all working people in Wisconsin. But now is the time to let your voices be heard. Now is the time to fight for Wisconsin’s way of life.