MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol by protesters fighting efforts to strip public workers of union bargaining rights carried on Sunday after police decided not to forcibly remove demonstrators and end a nearly two-week-long sit-in.

Roughly three hours after a deadline to vacate the building had passed and as police officers continued to look on quietly, protest coordinator Erika Wolf took to a microphone and announced: “There’s really awesomely good news — that we’re going to be able to stay here tonight.”

A cheer went up from the several hundred protesters who had ignored a request from the state agency that oversees the Capitol to leave by 4 p.m. so that the normally immaculate building could get a thorough cleaning.

“If you want to leave — it’s totally cool, because the doors will be open around 8 a.m.” on Monday, said Wolf, 25, who works with the United Council of University of Wisconsin Students.

But many said they would stay and again sleep inside the Capitol, which protesters have filled with chants, catcalls and song since their demonstration began on Feb. 15.

“It was a victory for peace. It was a victory for democracy,” said Kara Randall, 46, a massage therapist from Middleton who had already spent five nights at the Capitol.

Demonstrators began camping out inside the Capitol two weeks ago in an effort to fight legislation proposed by Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, Scott Walker, that would strip most of the state’s public employees of the right to collectively bargain.

Labor leaders and Democratic lawmakers say the bill is intended to undermine the unions and weaken a key base of Democratic Party voters.

Walker argues the Republican-backed measure would help close a projected $3.6 billion deficit in the 2011-13 budget, and that freeing local governments from having to collectively bargain with public employee unions would give them the flexibility needed to deal with forthcoming budget cuts.

Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said demonstrators who had occupied all three floors of the Capitol would have to relocate to the ground floor overnight. Anyone who left the building was barred from returning until Monday morning, although police did allow union officials to bring food into the building for the protesters.

No demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continue to obey the law, Tubbs said. By late evening, the air smelled of pizza and lemon-scented disinfectant as demonstrators quietly ate dinner and several janitors worked around them to clean the Capitol’s marble floors.

“People here have acted lawfully and responsibly,” Tubbs said. “There’s no reason to consider arrests.”

Walker’s spokesman declined late Sunday to comment on the police decision to keep the Capitol open to the demonstrators. In an interview earlier in the day on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Walker said the lengthy protests haven’t eroded his resolve to push forward with his legislative agenda.

“Year after year, governors and legislators before us have kicked the can down the road,” Walker said. “We can’t do that. We’re broke. It’s about time someone stood up and told the truth in our state and said here’s our problem, here’s the solution and let’s do this.”

Walker’s proposal stalled in the state Senate when its 14 Democratic lawmakers fled the state for Illinois, leaving the legislative body one vote short of a quorum. The Democratic senators have vowed to stay away from Wisconsin for as long as it takes.

One of the Democrats, Sen. Lena Taylor, tweeted her support to the protesters who remained: “Thank you for exercising your 1st amend right – I’m glad my actions give you opportunity to stand/sit/express yourself!”

Sue Knetsch, 53, of Waupaca, said she stayed away from the Capitol throughout the nearly two weeks of protests, but that she brought her 21-year-old son, Taylor, to the Capitol on Sunday as a lesson in democracy.

“I just want him to know you can do something — his generation is walking around passively saying, `It doesn’t matter,”‘ said Knetsch, who said she had been arrested at age 17 while protesting the Vietnam War. “This is awesome. I’m a little nostalgic.”

As the deadline to leave the building arrived at 4 p.m., organizers who commanded a microphone on the ground floor urged people to remain until police physically tapped them on the shoulder and asked them to leave. Some individuals left in groups of 10 or 20, while most remained behind. Hundreds of other protesters watched from one floor above, the informal gathering place for those who expected to be arrested.

After the deadline passed, hundreds of protesters on the Capitol’s upper floors picked up their energy level, chanting “peaceful protest,” and “Whose house is this? Our house.” At one point, the crowd sang the national anthem.

Others decided to leave once it became clear police were not going to force anyone to go. Rusty Johnson, 35, of Arena, said after nearly two-days straight inside the Capitol, he needed to get home to see his two kids and get ready for work on Monday.

“If I had expected us to be able to maintain this occupation, I would have made different arrangements,” Johnson said. “This didn’t come down like we were expecting.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (137)
  1. helper says:

    Why are republicans so whiny? Why do they always want to support corporations and the elimination of worker protections?

    1. Austin says:

      Who is doing the whining in Madison now? If you are independantly wealthy then by all means give your money to the unions for their beloved teachers.Do not point a gun at my head and force me to pay for something that does not work and has caused a 3.7 billion dollar budget shortfall.

      1. jimmy says:

        Again a tea pary reference to a gun to the head. Wasn’t the murder of one 9 year old girl enough for you.

      2. Just A Guy says:

        Austin said:
        “If you are independantly [sic] wealthy then by all means give your money to the unions for their beloved teachers. Do not point a gun at my head and force me to pay for something that does not work and has caused a 3.7 billion dollar budget shortfall.”

        If people are independently wealthy, chances are they are sending their kids to private schools. I had no idea that public school teachers and unions alone caused the entire 3.7 billion dollar shortfall. If the education system isn’t working, it’s probably because resources are stretched too thin to begin with.

      3. dmc says:

        So you are blaiming the teachers and nurses for the 3.7 billion dollar budget shortfall – how about the financial backers of Walker who go sweet tax breaks – is that not an issue – how about the public pensions that already have decreased by 40% – how about having to take care of Grandpa and Grandma in the nursing home or all the peoplle who have no heallth insurance becasue the big buddy fat cats are using free market to get rid of that benni – they go to the ER and we all pay.

    2. Tom says:


      You know what is so confusing? These people bashed the “bailout” that kept these corporations afloat, then they turn right around and defend them in this situation. The states that are being run by Rep Gov are all saying the same thing “we need to protect the corporations and the wealthy as they are the ones who will some day we hope bring the jobs back”. Because the Tea Party in Wisc have said that corp should not have too pay taxes.

    3. Dennis Greeley says:

      Well look at president bush he would do anything for money
      he was always for the rich because he always has his hand out.I’ll grease the wheel just as soon as you hand over the green backs or you need what done
      I want you to take care of this for me. But theres one better yet wheres those
      Nuclear weapon that you sent our troop to war with Iraq I think that was a
      smoke screen to keep the economy from taking a nose dive while you were still
      In office so it would be on someone elses watch.

  2. Jason says:

    Why do unions vote demcrate all the time. It not about worker protection, its about the choice whether to be in a union or not. Most in the public sector dont have a say in the matter. CHOICE iITS THE AMERICAN WAY.

    1. Irv says:

      You do have a choice to be in the union or not. Most decide to because the union will provide legal help when a crazy parent tries to sue you (less your guilty). Many schools do not. Unions negotiate on your behalf. Individauls can not. As a matter of principal the Dems tend to support education and strong worker rights. As a matter of principal Rep tend to support wealthy buisness owners intersts. Just look at how cozy Walker was with who he thought was David Koch yet he wont even talk with a single protester.Look at who Bush’s tax cuts helped. Not me. I only make $50K a year while the tax cuts only help if you make over $200k. Who is Walker looking out for? Not the little guy.

      1. Jake says:

        Actually, Irv, if you read the article again, union membership is not always optional, especially among public employees. Note again the paragraph where Democrats in Indiana blocked a Republican-offered bill that would emilinate union membership as a condition of employment. The Republican bill would not have ended the union, it would have eliminated mandatory union membership. Why would the Democrats require union membership? It’s probably pretty simple. Mandatory membership means mandatory dues. Mandatory dues means more political funding available. Those political funds go almost exclusively to Democrats.

      2. Jason says:

        So as an individual im not able to represent myself? Give all you rights and power over to the union because they always represent your best interest. Sounds like youve given up. Thank you very much but I have my own voice. Also now that I think of it, seems like the federal government and the unions have alot in common.

      3. You go WI Gov.!!!! says:

        Irv you might want to double check the facts about the Bush tax cuts because it actually benefited all of us that made in the 50K range, why do you think the Dems were so adamant about only extending them for the middle class earners. You may not think it benefited but trust me it did.

    2. ps says:

      WRONG only 97% of the time

      1. james says:

        @You go WI Gov…
        I believe the point Irv is trying to make is parallel with the book entitled “Perfectly Legal”, written by David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter. No need to recite the book, I would suggest it to everyone, but a couple of key points are:
        1. Real wages adjusted for inflation on an average for the 30 years between 1970 and 2000 have had a $0.05 per hour increase. (Chapter 2)
        2. Income Growth for the bottom 99% of wage earners (of which Irv, yourself and myself are members) have had an income growth of $2710 while the top 1% have had an increase of $20,328,482. (Chapter 3).

        Couple those two facts together and I hope you understand why getting $800 a year didn’t get me real excited about the Bush era tax cuts (an I’m a Republican by philosophy and it took some strength to look in the mirror and be honest about this topic). So I leave you with this question…Is this just the beginning of class warfare in our country between the those that have very little and those that have nearly everything? In otherwords, this issue is really analogous to something much more structral in our society.

    3. Jerry says:

      The public sector made its choice not to join, or form its own union.
      Now they are envious of those who have and want to cry fowl.

    4. Mike says:

      The American way? Those of us who work each day for an employeer do so, but lets be real, the American working model without collective bargaining is working under a DICTATORSHIP! That is THE AMERCIAN WAY………….
      Unions vote Democratic because Republicans are in business TO DESTROY UNIONS! How could it be any more clear?

      PS. I never heard of any union doing the voting at the polls on behalf of its members. Members cast their votes with no one else in the booth, just like you do!

    5. Wesly says:

      Why do unions vote democrat?read the article and think.

      This is what hard line Republicans do to unions
      I cannot figure out why anybody from the working classfrom an economic sense votes republican

      1. Ricky says:

        We vote republican because they want government to be limited, and live within it’s means. The republicans also want to stop the hand outs and limit entitlement programs that are bankrupting our state

  3. Jason says:

    Also I find it strange that alot of demonstrators are not from the Madison area let alone the state. This whole public “OUTRAGE’ is being misrepresented. I would be willing to bet that many locals are either neutral or againts the union. After all they are the people being told to pay more, property taxes, sales tax, and such.

    1. Bryson Powers says:

      ALL of the teabaggers were bused in.

      1. merks says:

        Bryson just put his ignorance and hate on full display with his comment.
        Now tell me what group harbors all the hate and violent rhetoric not to mention over a dozen union members have been arrested.

    2. Tom says:

      How much are you willing to bet Jason??? Because you are dead wrong son…I’m there..the only people being brought in are from the Teaparty…fool!!

  4. change in the air says:

    Even this story is not telling the truth, it’s not about ALL unions only PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS. FOR years ALL Democrat politicians would cut Cops and Firefighter Jobs. UNLESS they raised more taxes for ALL of the public workers
    ( that at one time made less than their counterparts in private sectors ) But that is not true anymore. Most in public jobs get equal or better pay and still have all their benefits. I think the general public would like to reel in Government spending and this is one way to start. Now maybe the Wis. Gov. could have been alot more diplomatic about it. BUT something has to be done.
    And to those lefties that use the Constitution as a tool for the protests. READ it first then speak.

    1. one more thing says:

      If I where a public worker do I want to pay more in poperty, or income tax ??
      ofcoarse not,,,,Unless I pay 100.00 dollars more a year in taxes to make 1000.00 more in my paycheck. BOTOM LINE + 900.00 . I wish I could vote in my job like that.

      1. Irv says:

        I agree. We shouldn’t be paying these people anything more than babysitter wages. $3 per hour is all they need. Lets do a little math and see how much we could save. $3 per hour per kid. And only while they see kids so 6hours per day. And only for the number of kids in their class, so say 25 kids per hour. Thats $450 per day. And only for the days they work, 180. Thats, wait a minute thats $81K. That doesn’t add up. You mean my private day care provider makes that much more than our public teachers. Yes they do. Make all school private and try paying for that. Average private school tuition is $14K. You pay a lot less than that for your public workers. Better recheck your sources.

      2. Jerry says:

        You can, one more thing, Unionize.

    2. Deb says:

      Has YOUR GOVENOR taken a cut yet? Has congress??? Has he or they told you where they are gonna hurt??? NOPE!

  5. Jerry says:

    @ Jason, I think you’ve answered your own question, there is not freedom of choice without unions. Corporations are not democracies, they don’t give you a vote, you do what ever they tell you, and pay you what they feel is a living wage.

    1. correction for all says:

      WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY,,, WHEN WILL AMERICANS GET IT. We are a Represenitive REPUBLIC. you know like in the Pledge of Allegiance. …. and to the Republic for which it stands….

      1. tiredandretired says:

        Yet, we advocate “spreading Democracy” world-wide. Must be a good thing. If the U.S. Govt. believes that it’s desirable for the rest of the world, we should also be pursuing it here. Otherwise, it’s the epitome of hypocrisy.

      2. Jerry says:

        I used the word democracy because that’s the word our manager used to describe the environment we worked in.

    2. Victim Du Jour says:

      Corporations are owned by shareholders and shareholders are people, just like Union Members.

      I don’t get what is so bad about corporations. Unions have a much bloodier history in the United States.

    3. Jake says:

      Actually, Jerry, corporations are a democracy, at least in relation to employment in this country in the present day. Unless you previously and voluntarily agreed to a contract that dictates otherwise, you may vote with your freedom to “take your talents” (sorry LeBron) wherever you are able to find a willing buyer for your efforts at a price you are willing to accept.

      1. jerry says:

        Jake, have you heard of the term, Golden Handcuffs? Those are the benefits you give up to take your talents elsewhere, things like pension, and vacation time.

    4. Jason says:

      @Jerry, well if a company isnt paying me what I think is “fair” I have the choice to find another job, or go back to school and gain some more desireable skills. Your statements sound so hopeless. I guess some of us dont understand that there isnt an evil corporation that is oppressing its employees in this one. How can you negotiate against the taxpayer. To try and defend that is bizarre.

      1. Aren't you adorable says:

        Ever heard of non-compete contracts? They are standard requirements for employment in states that enforce them. Basically it is an anticapitalistic method of depressing wages by legally preventing an employee from moving to a competitor. I am subject to one for two years following leaving my current employer. This either artificially depresses my salary since it is not subject to normal market supply-demand, or introduces an inefficiency into the market if I switch to a job outside my area of expertise to comply with the noncompete contract. Good luck trying to negotiate that out of your contract…1 person has no leverage against $2BB corporation. Given a very qualified applicant and an acceptable applicant, the one willing to sign the noncompete gets the job.

      2. Jerry says:

        Jason, What we have here is a Governor who is targeting unions that didn’t support his election.

  6. Bryson Powers says:

    The Unions were already giving concessions. This is about Walker taking away collective bargaining rights with his ukase. Even Governor Christie, a Repub, says he believes in collective bargaining. Walker shouldn’t have gotten kicked out of Marquette University, it looks like he lacks education.

  7. pat says:

    Collective bargaining, “Hey guys should we vote ourselves a raise and give ourselves more benefits?” “Naw that would mean the taxpayer has to pay more taxes” “So what, that is our collective bargaining right”.

    1. Deb says:

      You have no idea how things work.

  8. Murph says:

    The Wisconsin Constitution declares that residents have the right to hunt and fish! Also to recall idiot politicians.So… once the states citizenry has their wages devasted by the GOP,they can still get something to eat! Hey,Wisconsin babes,’I’ve got minnows” !

    1. Jake says:

      I hate to break this to you, Murph, but the minnows have organized and have completely altered the terms of your relationship with them. They demand a better bucket with warmer water, less crowding, and shorter shifts on the hook. And they refuse to be subjected to watching you hit on Wisconsin women. They say it’s inhumane.

      1. Jason says:

        @ Jake Funny! I like.

  9. Irv says:

    Should we ban all the Republicans who take money from the billionaires such as the Koch brothers?

    1. PAUL says:


      1. mark from says:

        @PAUL I agree, well said

        1. jIM says:


          1. nc says:

            Do we live under a dictator in a country where the rich and mighty round up anyone who would disagree with them?

            1. Julie says:

              you don’t have to be rich,mighty, CEO to tell someone/group that they have outlived their stay. there is nothing worse than someone/group who have outlived their stay.

              it’s not helping the cause, they can come back the next day at 8AM.

              1. nc says:

                No matter how many people protest, call and write to Governor Walker about the bad policies in the Budget Repair Bill; it will become law. It is sad but true, because Governor Walker already made up his mind and he will not back down. America as we knew it is gone.

                1. Tc Radiodj says:

                  Acutally nc, you are partially right. However, it is not Walker’s fault. It is the unions greedy hand that did this. Honestly, it is about time someone grew a pair and is standing up against them. The political system doesn’t run this country. Unions do, however, not for long. Thank god for that!

                2. Sarah says:

                  again… protesting at 2 am in a rotunda = aunt that over extends her stay at your house.

                  Clear the funk….

            2. nc says:

              Do you actually know what a union is? A union is all of the people standing in unity to protect each other and make sure working conditions are safe and pay is decent. They do this because corporations look at the bottom line and spread sheets when they need to cut costs. They forget that GOOD workers are a vital part of a prosperous company. The union is suppose to help them negotiate a mutually beneficial package of pay and benefits.
              Something has gone wrong with unions when the representatives rake in loads of money and do not protect the worker.

    2. Jerry says:

      Ban? The Supreme Court just opened the flood gates to allow corporations to donate their money.

      1. mark from says:

        @Jerry, And why do you think they should not?

        1. Jerry says:

          Corporations are a big part of the problem we’re in, sending our jobs and technology to foreign counties. As far as share holders being part of a corporation, anyone with enough money to buy stock has enough to pay their taxes.

    3. mark from says:

      @Irv just as much as the Dems take from the Unions

    4. TB says:

      Sure. Right after we ban the dems who take money from billionaires like Soros and the hollywood gang. Why be a hypocrite?

  10. Victim Du Jour says:

    Laws are getting vague, and people are being charged serious crimes for Social Worker, Mental Health, Correctional Officer Unions.

    Unions are attacking Freedom, and filling up Prisons and jails to keep their unfunded pensions going.

    1. ps says:

      the only reason that jails and prisons are getting full is because they were convicted of a crime Don’t blame Unions for full prisons …………..remember you do the crime you do the time ………………….ask madoff,petters,or hecker

      1. tiredandretired says:

        …and eventually, Walker.

  11. CACHE says:

    It is not about the kids that is for sure! It is about the spoils….$100,000 for 8 months of work…and every holiday off plus 2 weeks at christmas and spring break? In College we would ask, for self protection. “What is your major?” If they answered “finger painting” (elementary Ed)…we run for cover! Spoiled brats who is what these public unions are!

    1. ps says:

      QUIT WINNING you had the same chance as anyone else to get an education and make something of yourself and get a great public sector job and enjoy all the benifits we don’t have anymore after making consessions every two years when we renewed contracts

  12. Jason says:

    Unions are gone. They have been on the way out for years now and this is their last gasp. The union thugs and bosses will have to go back to organized crime for a living.

    1. Jerry says:

      Jason, Unions are the only organized group left that tries to keep powerful Big Business in check. Corporations have enough power to over throw this country if not controlled.

  13. Allah says:

    Say…if they need help cleaning up in Madison….I’ve got a spare baseball bat….and time on my hands…..

  14. Quiet time says:

    Good, let’s get these teachers back to working for a living. They had plenty of free pizza demanding free benefits. Their security should rest in their work not senority.

    1. Jerry says:

      Quiet time, I actually worked under a union contract with no seniority that included several companies. All but a few employees would be laid off, they never used the word fired, as soon as they reached three years of vacation time. They lost all accrued vacation, and pension benefits.

      1. Jerry says:

        Sorry, that should be three weeks of vacation, not three years. Most union workers that I knew were itching to get back to work after three weeks.

    2. Kelly says:

      I’m not sure what you are referring to here when you say “they have had plenty of free pizza demanding free benefits.” By no means do teachers receive free benefits. They pay deductibles just like you and me and the majority work extremely hard day in and day out to educate the children of this country. My mom is a teacher and rarely as a child do I remember her not bringing her work home at night and every summer we’d head to daycare while she worked in her classroom to prepare for the upcoming school year. Furthermore, I agree their security should rest in their work not their seniority. That being said, my mom (a first grade teacher) who has been recognized for being an outstanding teacher for 30+ years and has dedicated countless hours to her students, holds a masters degree and is far more intelligent that most people I know, has been laid off because she is “too expensive” for the district (she makes FAR less than most people who with her level of education and experience, yet was willing to live a modest lifestyle if it meant educating and impacting the lives of future citizens and having a career she loves). Because the teachers are being stripped of collective bargaining rights, the school can now hire new teachers for a much lower cost with no opportunity to collectively bargain.

      I also don’t think the issue with our education system has anything to do with “bad teachers” being protected by unions. Good teachers don’t want bad teachers either and the bad teachers are pretty few and far between relative to the good teachers. Rather, the problem lies in “bad parenting.” It makes it pretty tough for a teacher to teach a student when the student is only in the classroom half of the time and doesn’t complete their homework because they have an absent parent at home. The personal attacks against teachers and allegations that they are overpaid and lazy are absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary. Individuals making these claims sound both ignorant and unintelligent.

      1. PK says:

        Right on Kelly…everyone needs to stop putting all union workers in the same basket. There are bad workers in every job place. Many teachers do continue to work from home and during vacation. They also do not get paid during the summer break. $100,000? My husband never has never been paid that much to teach!!

  15. Deb says:

    You obviously have had a perfect job, and your employer gives you just about everything you ask for!? Your wages are great, your vacation great, your sick pay wonderful. Your respected??? I doubt it.

    1. mark from says:

      @Deb, Are you insecure about yourself? I think so

  16. Austin says:

    I just about imagine it smells pretty rank in their by now.I wonder how many boogers these protesters have wiped on the walls.Good riddence.

  17. mark from says:

    Mace them!!

  18. Jerry says:

    Everyone, including myself, are getting all worked up over 2% of Wisconsin’s workforce. 2% is the national average per state for unionized teachers.
    Where is the rest of the money coming from to balance the budget?

  19. Murph says:

    I think it’s kind of ironic that a man [Walker] who really got HIS start after a recall of a shady politician.Will fall victim to same fate due to his involvement and incriminating statements to a Koch impersonator.Walker is obviously one of those who cannot handle too much power ,too soon! Sorry Scott,but you have to go! Bye, see ya! Martyred for the GOP cause,what an ignominous distinction! Yet as Americans we would be less than zero if we did not take this logical next step to rid the state of an insatiatiable money grubber!

  20. Murph says:

    Jerry,…the GOP supreme court. Sorry, but the infection is rampant! The cure? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. For sure in 2012,but hopefully sooner! About 2/3 rds of the people who voted GOP that I have talked to.Most of them retired and lifelong GOP faithful have suddenly changed their minds and their TV news channels.It’s a lock for 2012, thanks Scotty boy!

  21. Jason says:

    I support Walker 100% Do not fold for the union thugs!!!

  22. WI Gov. ROCKS!!! You go man!!! says:

    I say GO WI Gov. Walker; it is about time these public paid workers have to actually pay something towards their retirement like the rest of us. Why does everyone on here seem to bash the rich though? I make less than 50K a year and am not rich by any means but I support them and why do I? Because they are the ones that make all the jobs for the small income earners, such as lawn cutters, handy men, small business, carpenters, all those other smaller business. If they didn’t decide to build on or mow their own lawns, open a business we all would be jobless (ok not all but a lot of those that are complaining right now). People seem to forget that those so called rich people are the ones that provide thousands and thousands of jobs for all of us so if we tax the pants off them then they have less to spend and I don’t know about most of you but I don’t have the money to pay someone to mow my lawn, rake my yard, plow my driveway or build an addition. Let’s start looking at the facts that most state employees all have a nice gravy job when it comes to benefits, we all say it when we see a road worker standing holding his shovel up making $20+ an hour.

    1. ps says:

      I know there needs to be ditchdiggers also but soon we will have them in the UNIONS also . And when we do he will realize that the union helped get a better wage,and better benifits and working conditions NOT EVERYONE needs to work for peanuts like we will if walker and BIG business win out and take ALL of our ability to negotiate rights .

  23. Mace them says:

    Mace works great! Tear gas them and beat them down!

    1. ps says:

      that would only make us stronger ! bring it on tough guy

      1. Deb says:

        I support the Mace… I’ve got a can the State can use….

    2. tiredandretired says:

      It is a sad commentary on America, when ANY citizen advocates tear gas, mace, or “beat downs” of other citizens peacefully exercising their first amendment rights.

  24. S. Hoodman says:

    It it unreasonable for those teachers to pay, lets say 10% towards thier pension and healthcare? Seems reasonable to me. They could always find a part-time job in the summer while they’re off for 10 weeks!

    1. PK says:

      They have made those concessions S!!! They want to keep collective bargaining and that is where Walker will not budge. You people need to get your facts straight and stop pushing the talking points you’re getting from that loony Beck, Hannity and O’Reilly. Bunch of buffoons that spread fear and make things up!!!!!

  25. Bryson Powers says:

    There are two kinds of tea baggers: Rich and Stupid.

    1. The Man says:

      and I’m damn proud to be both Bryson!!

  26. American Dream says:

    Didn’t work for Mubarek. If we are still a Democracy, it won’t work for Walker.

    1. Jason says:

      We are not in Egypt, you have an entitlement mentality. Grow up, dont depend on someone else for your personal welfare. Maybe moving out of your moms basement is a good start.

  27. mark from says:

    Time to arrest a few bums, start with the teachers

    1. ps says:

      how about all the tea baggers ………………there just garbage anyway

  28. mark from says:

    Take those Socialist out!

    1. tiredandretired says:

      So, you’re advocating murder? Nice… =(

  29. tiredandretired says:

    Kudos to those brave Americans in Madison, who are now standing up for the working rights of ALL Americans! My God bless you!

  30. Jon Lindquist says:

    it would be really funny if the police and fire departments suddenly decided to join the protest in support.

    1. Joe says:

      I think they know they are next. They need them to protect them. As the prophecy states. They shall use there children against them.

  31. mark from says:

    Could we mace a few of them, so the SOCIALISTS remember what dirt they are!

  32. shirley says:

    walker let it go your starting to sould and look likr gadaffy.

  33. Jon says:

    Mark from waste, take mn out of your title, your an embarrassment to our state the way you talk to people! Grow up

    1. mark from says:

      @Jon Me thinks I hit a nerve, nice! My day is complete.

      1. tiredandretired says:

        Good, because your standards are obviously quite low. Apparently, you have to accomplish very little to feel successful.

  34. Paul Poppie says:

    After the unions are crushed we need to eliminate other deterrents to business. It’s time to end minimum wage, paid vacations, paid holidays, health care and retirement programs. We are unable to compete with third world nations while paying people the way we do.

    God bless Scot Walker for getting the ball rolling.

    1. PAUL says:

      what kind of an IDIOT are you that would be the same as slavery the people running businesses could pay as LITTLE as possible if that sounds good to you your dumber than dumb

  35. Joe Sellner says:

    I served my country for 12 years as a combat soldier. I was not on standing on the line for the billion and million aires. I served for the working stiffs of which I am a proud member of. My message to the elite is “don’t think there can’t be another civil War. So many people are sucked into this at there jobs OR THEY ARE AFRAID TO SPEAK THERE MINDS ON THE THREAT THEY MAYBE FIRED. The silent majority can speak at election time though. Unless they manage toget the election laws changed.

  36. Kris says:

    This is not just about teachers. Why do you people who want to crush the unions keep blaming the teahers and saying how lazy they are along with getting huge paychecks? This is also about the EMT’s who help you when you are hurt, The crews who clear our roads when it snows, Prison Guards who help protect us from violent criminals, Social Workers who in some cases try to help troubled youth and families, and the list goes on.

    Teachers do not get paid all that well, go to the state website, put in any teacher you wish, it gives their salary and their bennefit amount, check it out for yourself. These are state employees and it is the states responsibity to pay these people.

    I have yet to hear Walker say that he will live in his own house at his OWN expense and take cuts to his cushy bennefits now and for life. Don’t forget we all pay for his, as many call it for th teachers, cushy lazy lifestyle.

    I am not a union member not is any of my family, but I think Walkers refusal to negotiate, listen, and be fair to all citizens of this state is wrong!

    1. mark from says:

      @Kris Stop your crying, all State Workers are over paid

      1. nc says:

        All private sector workers are grossly underpaid!
        Before they were laid off by the greedy corporations they made $40,000 a year and now they can’t get a job that pays $20,000 a year. They also lost all their benefits because there was no union to protect them.

      2. Kris says:

        I am not crying Mark, I am just stating my opinion which we all have the right to do. For some reason Republicans don’t think anyone else matters.

        Remarks from Republicans: Name Calling

        Remarks from Everyone else: Opinions on what is going on and facts

        Isn’t it time we all respect each other and try to come to some kind of compramise so that life beyond this can move on. Niether side can have it all that goes for you and us!!

      3. PAUL says:

        mark from you are a discraese to Minnesota your more than likely way over paid ,most NO all state workers deserve the pay we earn until you can honestly show we are over paid STFUYBB

      4. Jerry says:

        Mark, I hope this doesn’t spoil your day, but no matter what work you do, or how little your income, there’s some one out there that thinks you’re over paid.

  37. Art says:

    Federal employees cannot use collective bargaining for a reason, the same should be for states. Its a total conflict of interest to use union dues to elect officails that will then sit across the table and negociate with the people that donated to their campaign.

  38. Susan says:

    I’d love to bring in the high pressure water sprayers…. just to clean out the funk…I support the protestors, but after a while, it looks disgusting… like a men’s lockerroom. I’d be willing to pay for a porta potty to place within the rotunda. I’m sure our tax dollar is going down the toilet with all those protesters using the state toilet.. the janitor must have to work overtime!!! Give him a break!!

  39. Murph says:

    It’s time to get up close and personal! Walker might have a purdy mouth but he is still the back end of a mule! The day when a call to New Jersey might have ended his fame has past. Yet the stupid son ofa gun keeps persisting.So I’ll leave it up to you folks to consider what YOU would do! What I would do is 40 years behind me.SOOOO if you like his Moamarr like personata so be it! But the final shoe has not yet fallen,Fact: he is “demonstratively” infoluenced by a billionaire his own words!!He has admitted some deep seated sexually perversive past experiences.With whatever spin he wants to put on it..nobody has been indicted for the record!He is pure and simple a plant and a shill of people trying their damndist to topple the land of the free!! In short,he is a Rupert puppet with the script,but not the vehicle!! RECALL the SOB!

  40. Joe says:

    This for the 90%. Who are actually working. Study this carefully! When was last time the boss asked you if you where doing ok finacially? Do you think they really care? Or are permitted to? Get ready for war! between the haves and the have nots. Just like the middle east is going through now. Just a couple years out!

  41. Stan says:

    Wisconsin is a great state, I’m wondering if the protestors could afford to hire themselves? Everyone needs a job and if your not happy then quit, there are more people qualified/ready to move in and take your job’s. State jobs are the last to be affected by the poor economy, sorry it’s real and your State is broke.

  42. Murph says:

    Sounds like the cops agains’t the robber barrons.. how do you spell Koch’s! Unfornunately your governor loves them no matter how you spell it! In the old days Vito and Jimmy would have buried the SOB’s long before now!It’s time for the GOP to back off or suffer,I mean REALLY suffer the consequenses!We’ve had enough.It’s beyond time to let let the little fairy Walker know it!

  43. Tc Radiodj says:

    Until the fat can unions are removed from power, there will always be nothing but problems. It is all about money to them. How much money can we scam this year is their motto. Get rid of the unions and we will be free again!

  44. Murph says:

    FIRST IT WAS FREEDOM FOR PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND NOW THEY WANT TO ? Yes the GOP has an agenda and all of Rupperts puppets cannot disquise their intention! Storm the tv station, lynch Lambchop and Froggy the Gremlin.It is far past time that people tossed away their toys and joined the real world.These devils can only be stoppped by God and his most intelligent followers.Not the mindless uneducated zombies of red states who don’t know their poop shoots from a gopher hole! Toss the SOB’s now!

  45. Murph says:

    I will lead you in an offensive designed to to disenhearten and disenbowel the GOP! They are ordinary men with extraordinary greed and lack of morals.Their blood will fuel the grass of our cattle and sheep when we are done with them.Their blood is our fertilizer,their rotten guts are our podium! Just kidding,but Sarah will come out with something similar that will be A OK with the media moguls! Amazing how much protection there is for FAMOUS nut cases. Signed Joe Blow!

  46. And that's what I have to say about that says:

    How intelligent is it to be hiding and avoiding your responsibilities and/or abandoning your students and skipping work so you can have a 1960s style teenage sit in to protest something you don’t fully understand?

    I’m surprised the governor and police have the patience and tolerance to allow this vocal minority to continue to disrupt the capital.

    And why isn’t the media giving equal coverage to those who do support the governor and his efforts to correct past indulgences?

    By the way, I am a tax accountant, I respect teachers just as I respect anyone else who has a job and accepts financial responsibility for him/herself and his/her family. And I can also tell you teachers generally pay considerably less for health coverage and retirement than other classes of employees – plus, they get a better pension than most. Not unlike the automotive industry where unions eventually “benefitted” their members out of jobs, the teachers need to accept some limitations too. Only politicians get a free lunch these days.

  47. Frustrated says:

    Don’t these people have families and homes to manage? They obviously don’t care to return to their jobs. If I was out of work and had a teacher’s license, I would start applying in Wisconsin.

  48. Frustrated says:

    I have a hard time believing that most of the protesters are actually teachers. Did you see the woman protester with the pink mohawk and studded ears? I think these are professional protesters bused in from other states. This isn’t a sit-in, it’s a media stunt.

  49. mom29 says:

    Wonder what teachers would say to students who decided to behave the way they have….Not coming to school because they disagree with the school’s rules, not vacating the school after being asked to, not being willing to let the administration set policies for their own building. Isn’t that what Scott Walker and law makers are trying to do. I understand the right to be heard, but after it is all said and done aren’t we supposed to let the people we elected do their jobs. Whether you agree with the position of the lawmakers or Scott Walker, they were elected by the people of Wisconsin. If they don’t like it they ought to make sure they vote in the next election. They should be an example for their kids and students about good behavior and following the rules even when we don’t like them. We don’t act like small children and try to cheat at the game or clear all the pieces.

  50. Steve says:

    Well the liberal union protesters have posted there crap filled signs all over the War Memorial honoring the war veterans from Wisconsin. They have no respect for the men who served from that state. I can’t believe the VFW and American Legion haven’t gone to the Capital and ripped the signs down. Maybe place a guard next to the memorial for the rest of the protest if they can stand the stench.

  51. Steve says:

    Well the liberal union protesters have posted there cr ap filled signs all over the War Memorial honoring the war veterans from Wisconsin. They have no respect for the men who served from that state. I can’t believe the VFW and American Legion haven’t gone to the Capital and ripped the signs down. Maybe place a guard next to the memorial for the rest of the protest if they can stand the stench.

    1. Jerry says:

      Are you saying a War Veteran can’t be a Liberal?
      I so, guess again.

  52. Jerry says:

    Here’s the kind of thing that’s breaking taxpayers;
    I can’t help but wonder how many times this sort of thing is repeated across out country, the educated stupid.

  53. Lisa Gonyea says:

    1. All the wealthy are not Republicans Congress, there are more Democrat milliionares than Republican.
    2. The taxpayers of Wisc are paying the wages and benefits of public union workers. Most of them with comparable jobs are paid less and don not have such generous benefits.
    3. When is this class warfare going to end…I was a Democrat in the 60’s but that is not the party that is there now.
    4.Let’s not forget all the Hitler and other deflamatory signs and screamers out there.. if there was 1 sign at a tea party like that it would have made all the media out lets….now not even a word. Talk about double standards.

  54. Lisa Gonyea says:

    Jerry…Corporations donating to candidate…a big problem? When in 2008 the Unions donated over 400 million to the Democrats..and there are Corporations that also support the Dems like Progessive INS and GE.

    1. Jerry says:

      Unions are made up of working people trying to make a lining wage.
      Corporations for the most part consist of assets, board members that skim off millions in profits, and share holders that have excess money to gamble with.

  55. Lisa Gonyea says:

    The stock in my company is 42.00 a share…I would rather buy that then a night out at the casino.

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