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The Incredible, Winding Path of a Working-Class Nurse in Wisconsin

A conversation with long-time artist, activist, and registered nurse Susan Simensky Bietila in Milwaukee.

Maximillian Alvarez

Longtime activist artist and registered nurse Susan Simensky Bietila speaks with TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez in her home in Milwaukee on June 2, 2021. Screenshot/TRNN.

Don't miss the special, extra-length issue of In These Times devoted entirely to the subject of socialism in America today. This special issue is available now. Order your copy today for just $5.00, shipping included.

To commemorate Working Peoples 200th episode, we have a special installment of our series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for The Wisconsin Idea.” In this episode, Alvarez talks with longtime artist, activist, and registered nurse Susan Simensky Bietila in Milwaukee. Hearkening back to the episodes we published in the first season of Working People, this is an extended conversation that traces the incredible, winding path that Simensky Bietila has taken in life, from growing up in the projects in New York to drawing and collaging for The Guardian, the radical US newsweekly, during the height of the Vietnam War, to protesting at the Wisconsin State Capitol in 2011 during the Wisconsin Uprising.

Additional links/​info below…

Permanent links below…

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemu​si​carchive​.org):

  • Jules Taylor, Working People Theme Song”
Win a trip for two to Cascais, Portugal!

Don't miss your chance to win! Get your raffle tickets today for Saturday's raffle, with a chance to win a vacation for two to Cascais, Portugal!

One lucky raffle winner will receive a $3,000 gift card to cover the costs of two flights, as well as a stay in a 5-star boutique hotel, housed in a 17th century fortress with medieval architecture and décor. You can schedule the trip on your timeline!

All raffle ticket sales support ongoing In These Times reporting, just like the article you just finished reading. Get your raffle tickets now.

The winner will be selected on the night of September 30, at the In These Times 47th Anniversary Celebration. You do not need to be present at the drawing to win.

Maximillian Alvarez is editor-in-chief at the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, available at InThe​se​Times​.com. He is also the author of The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke.

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