Battle of Wisconsin: Protesters Storm Capitol Over Anti-Union Move

Wisconsin protesters descend on the Capitol.
Wisconsin protesters descend on the Capitol.

The United States is seeing some protests of its own, namely in Wisconsin, where protesters descended on the Capitol, halting a Republican effort to end a half century of collective-bargaining rights for public workers. Democratic lawmakers fled the session to avoid the measure's near-certain passage. Democrats are saying they won't return before Saturday, and it is unclear when the Senate will be able to begin debating the measure meant to ease the state's budget crisis. Democrats who disappeared Thursday at first kept their whereabouts secret, then started to emerge to give interviews and fan the protests.

Advertisement

The Associated Press reports that protesters' chants of "Kill the bill!" and "Recall Walker now!" could be heard throughout the day and long past dark. They beat on drums and carried signs chiding Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his plan to end collective bargaining for state, county and local workers, except for police, firefighters and the state patrol. Hundreds of teachers have joined the protests by calling in sick, forcing some school districts to cancel classes.

Republicans say they have the votes to pass the bill — yet the protesters are undeterred. Walker has asked Democrats to return to the Capitol to face the vote. The proposal marks a dramatic shift for Wisconsin, which passed a comprehensive collective-bargaining law in 1959 and was the birthplace of the national union representing all nonfederal public employees.

Advertisement

Collective bargaining is one of those issues where there is no middle — you're either for it or against it. Protesters of the measure to end collective bargaining see it as an attack on unions, while supporters of the measure believe that it is necessary in order to make needed budget cuts. Republicans have the votes needed, and Democratic lawmakers will eventually have to return to the session. Is there anything that can be done to stop what appears to be a train wreck?

Read more at Yahoo News.

In other news: First Bachmann, Now Palin Pokes Fun at Michelle Obama Over Breast-Feeding.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION