We want to commend University of Wisconsin–Madison staff member and former student Matthew Wisniewski for his superb video chronicle of the protests in Madison and recommend it as essential viewing to understand why Madison just witnessed the largest protest in its protest-rich history.

A masterful videographer, Wisniewski won the 2008 Wisconsin News Photographers Association’s College Photographer of the Year Award and brings his nuanced eye, as well as his good taste in music, to this video.

The short film illuminates the passions that have been provoked, the broad-based opposition to Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to destroy public sector unionism in his state, and, just possibly, the stirrings of a popular grassroots movement largely dormant since the week-long protests in Seattle against the WTO more than a decade ago. (And watch at 2:30 of the first video for a stirring cameo by The Nation‘s John Nichols.)

On Wisconsin!