Madison, WI - As Republicans made use of a parliamentary maneuver to ram through major sections of their anti-union legislation, thousands stormed the Capitol last night, March 9, and hundreds remained overnight.
Many decided to sleep in the gallery of the State Assembly meeting area, anticipating the area to be the best place to confront the passing of the bill, as it awaited State Assembly approval.
“We're prepared to do whatever it takes to kill the bill or shut it down,” said Daniel Ginsberg of Milwaukee, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society, who stood with about 75 other people in the gallery as of 10:30 a.m., March 10, a half hour before the scheduled meeting time of the State Assembly.
Holding the gallery for hours throughout the morning, amidst threats of potential felony charges by state troopers, all protesters were eventually dragged out one by one of the area by an army of police officers as people chanted "Shame!" and "The whole world is watching!"
In the meantime, thousands amassed outside the Capitol. While a few were let in under tight security, and others made it in by rushing the doors, most were not able to enter and instead chanted from outside "Let us in!" and "Kill the bill!"
The State Assembly is expected to pass the anti-union legislation later today. All fiscal sections of the bill were removed to avoid a necessary quorum (senate democrats left the state days ago so a quorum would not be present). The legislation threatens to take away collective bargaining rights of most public sector unions in Wisconsin.
Breaking news: The Wisconsin Assembly passed the union busting legislation. More reports to follow.