Monday, March 14, 2011

USA: Demonstrators Dragged from Wisconsin Capitol as Square Remains Packed

Mischa Gaus, Labour notes,  March 10, 2011

The Capitol Square in Madison at 2 p.m. today. Unionists rushed to the Capitol last night and returned today to protest the surprise passage of the governor’s anti-union bill. Photo: antrover.
Police dragged a hundred demonstrators from the Wisconsin statehouse Thursday to break a blockade trying to prevent state representatives from passing the governor’s anti-union bill.

Several thousand bellowed their disapproval outside, joined by more than 1,000 high school and middle school students who walked out of class again to march together to the Capitol.

None of the protesters were arrested, and state representatives spent the afternoon with police blocking Capitol entrances while they debated inside. Republicans have a clear majority in the Assembly and are expected to pass the bill.

Union leaders and a crowd that grew by thousands yesterday evening and throughout the day denounced Wisconsin’s Senate Republicans, who rewrote a month-old bill yesterday to focus just on attacking union rights and collective bargaining.

That allowed them to pass the bill without the participation of Senate Democrats, who reportedly are returning to the state today. Republicans didn’t need them because a quorum of 20 is required only for fiscal measures.

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