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.
Gov. Walker had previously threatened to call out the National Guard in the event of "unrest", but that doesn't appear to have happened yet.
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.
On Tuesday, members of the firefighters union received a loud ovation from the crowd outside the Capitol as they marched through the rally, holding signs displaying solidarity with their fellow state and local employees.
Charles Franklin, UW-Madison political science professor, said Tuesday that the opposition that has erupted over Walker's proposals are more severe than he has seen in 19 years of following politics in Wisconsin.
And also, significant cuts don't have to be made, if you'd stop giving tax breaks to every business like it's a goddamn fire sale at the toy store, using state pension funds to finance tax cuts for rich people, and gambling that economic growth would always continue because there isn't a third grader in this country couldn't have told you that was a bad bet. God, I hate when people ascribe to natural inevitability the results of their acting like morons for years.
Added: A video of the demonstration is available here.