Thousands Gather at Wisconsin Capitol
to Protest Gov.Walker Anti-Union Bill
By CLAY BARBOUR
Beaver county Blue via Wisconsin State Journal
Feb 16, 2011 – In one of the largest protests in recent memory, thousands of angry union supporters gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to oppose a bill by Gov. Scott Walker that would greatly weaken organized labor in Wisconsin.
More than 12,000 protesters gathered in two separate rallies outside the Capitol, many of them carrying signs and chanting "Recall Walker" or "Kill this bill." Thousands more crowded inside the rotunda and watched TV monitors broadcasting a public hearing on the governor’s proposal.
Capitol Police officers, Department of Natural Resources wardens, UW police and state troopers provided beefed-up security, but the crowd remained peaceful — if loud.
Cheers erupted every time someone in the hearing voiced opposition to the governor’s bill, aimed at erasing a $137 million deficit in the current budget. Unveiled Friday, Walker’s plan would remove collective bargaining rights for most of the 175,000 state and local government employees, allowing most workers to negotiate only over salary.