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March 12 Madison protest: Crowds swell to 150,000

By staff |
March 12, 2011
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Crowd of 150,000 people in Madison March 12.
150,000 protest in Madison March 12. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Madison, WI – As of 3:00 p.m. today, March 12, the number of protesters at the state capitol here has swelled to more than 150,000. Senators who had left Wisconsin in an attempt to block Governor Walker’s union-busting legislations returned to an enthusiastic welcome.

On March 11 Governor Walker signed into law a bill which strips public workers of their right to collectively bargain.

J Burger, a Chicago trade unionist attending the rally stated, “This is the largest protest yet. This fight will continue and the outcome will be determined by the efforts of Wisconsin workers.”


PackerBackerBob! Oehmen wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Phase 3 - Attack the businesses that advertise on FOX

I drove up from Chicago Saturday, and am so proud to be a part of this.

Phase 1 - protest. Phase 2 is the recall.
Phase 3 is, well, read my sign:

"Attack businesses that advertise on FOX
Kick the Kock brothers Ass.
Using Capitalism."

Many of us, independently of each other, have come up with the same core Strategy.
Money is the only thing they understand.

Advertising dollars is what drives the FOX propaganda machine.
Drive down the ROI from advertising (return on investment), and we hurt FOX.

Phase 3, part 1
Focus on the financially weakest company that advertises on FOX.
In the Madison area.

Gum up their ability to make money.
Get 500 people to go in and buy one small thing. On a busy day.

Repeat until they stop funding FOX.

Go after the next weakest company.

I am coordinating with others.
Join my group/PackerBackerBob

Search for PackerBackerBob on youtube, and see the video that's gotten 43,000 hits, and made it onto FOX news in Madison.

I am THE Meanest Liberal in the Land.
I'm a Bears fan, from the South Side of Chicago.

If you have a beef with me
You better have the guts to meet me.

- PackerBackerBob! Oehmen

Scott Wilcox wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago


Anonymous wrote 1 day 2 hours ago
union rally
i do not respect this greedy teachers union nor respect the 14 coward senators who left the state and failed to do their job.

I find it amusing that you are strong enough to call names to people you don't know but yet are too much of a coward to leave your name. I tell youthis, go to your local school and talk to those teachers, find out what they actually make (versus the FOX version) and then find out howmany of them went into teaching for the money. If you don't have the guts to do that, then don't bother voicing your hypoctitical opinions.

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago


LoveBourges- You spelled it out perfectly. They want us fighting among ourselves as they steal the Country. Non-union or private sector union people who complain that the public sector are greedy are playing right into that game. I work healthcare-non-union, but every now and then, union organizers come around. As soon as that happens, administration starts telling us what a big happy family we are and that we don't NEED a union to protect our interests. Then, to prove the point, they give us a (very small) raise. In my career, that's happened maybe 10 or 12 times. So- THANK YOU UNIONS FOR THOSE RAISES. We need unions to keep them honest. And more importantly, we need unions to keep the election process honest. And now, they're trying to make it harder for young people, poor people, new voters, and minorities to vote. You know, the people who tend to vote Democratic. They're trying to steal this country and hand it over to corporations. It is imperative that we stop them.
Thank God for the Wisconsin protesters, and the brave 14 who most certainly did their job courageously.

Longjohn119 wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Make Up You Minds Con Men

A year ago you all said $250,000 doesn't make a person wealthy or greedy and they all deserve to get a big tax cut ... They earned it (even though you never prove that they did) simply because they a making $250,000 ... How can a family of 4 wanting to send their children to College and bought a new house afford to pay more taxes on their income of $250,000 (sob sob)

Now you want is to believe a $48,000 teacher is greedy and overpaid and by God cutting their pay ANOTHER *5 is going to make them better teachers (Like having no incentive makes better workers)

You just feel like grabbing morons like that by their pencil necks and popping their pea brains like a pimple ... Just frustratingly IGNORANT people

Ann Landrey Toronto Canada wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

My real name is on this

Keep reading. My real name is on it. I will not dignify your statement that I am not in my right mind by rising to it. Real people with real lives, families, and hearts and minds beating for democracy in America are on the move to try to save what your founding fathers created. More power to them.

Ruth Madden wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

WI 14

PROUD OF THE WI 14!!! I am a retired IEBW union member and support the WI 14 - I'm watching the IA legislature since the new rep's are talking the same language here. I may need to pitch a tent in Des Moines. It's time the middle class stand up and be counted!

Michele Rossi wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

SOOOO Proud!

Yeah-- those awful greedy teachers who spend money out of their own pockets for supplies-- and since they make a staggering amount of money in the first place (I think the lowest level mailroom employee in corporate land makes more)-- what's with them??

You idiots who don't understand that worker's rights are about the ONLY rights we the underclass (cause there are really only two classes left) have left, had better a) read your history books and b) consider moving to say, China, where workers make our goods because Reagan busted union balls and allowed corps. to begin the great southourn/western migration to US worker's rights states AND to overseas cheap, horrible conditions labor COUNTRIES. WAKE THE F*** UP!!!

No, we can't produce goods for the same low prices here because, well, at least some us, feel that our fellow citizens deserve a decent standard of living... Can you grasp that idea??? Having to sacrifice a bit TO SPREAD THE WEALTH??? WHAT A CONCEPT!!!! I know it sounds "socialist" to you idiots who wouldn't know a socialist from a socialite-- I call it MORALLY CORRECT. You know who capitalism benefits? Those with the most capital--

Green Bay Area wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Go Unions...Go Teachers...Go OUT of Office...Walker!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011 -
The Event was a GREAT Protest & Rally of Support from people of all walks of life.
The words and feelings of all the people that were present, WILL translate into CHANGE in the future: Continued Colletive Bargaining Rights for Hardworking Wisconsin Workers!!!

This was our 3rd Saturday Trip to Madison, WI with our 19-month old toddler boy,
and he says: "I want excellent public schools, smaller classes sizes, and fair working conditions for my future teachers (and my fellow classmates--too), Please!!!"


Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago


No body in there right mind puts their real name out on the internet. I read an article about that. I hope
the Reb do not get voted back in, just because they did not communicate with the people. I would also
like to see some of the campaign tapes were Walker platform was to disban union. I have not see any
of these video's where he speaks of this. I am sure if that is true there are video's of this.

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Respect the process

You may not respect the 14 senators who left the state, but these 14 were doing what they were elected to do--represent the will of their constituents. That is morality. Did you know that Abraham once jumped out the window of the assembly hall to prevent a quorum and a vote? Forcing due process is not cowardly or unethical. It is one of the many tools available to those who respect the process.

What these senators did was not illegal or unethical. The same cannot be said for the tactics of their opponents.

Mountain Girl wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Wisconsin rally for the middle class

I haven't lived in Wisconsin since '72 but I have been watching and couldn't be more proud of you people. Wish I were there to support you because you stand for all of the middle class in these United States! Thank You!

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Greedy Teachers? Huh??

Greedy Teachers? What planet are You living on? To get decent benefits teachers have given up pay raises for years. $35-40K a year is greedy? Meanwhile a stubborn, right-wing Governor... who was bought and paid for by big oil money from Outside of Wisconson... is trying to screw working families and turn the clock back to 1920. Throw the bum out.

Hand basket in ohio wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Wisconsin workers

You guys are an awesome inspiration, we here in Ohio are watching every day and are so proud of you! Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour tonight unless you live in Wisconsin or Ohio, in which case set it back 50 years. we love you, stay strong and let's get some really unified boycotts going soon!

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Have your fun now

Have your fun have to try and celebrate something. A rally to support the effort that failed to stop the bill from passing....great spin

Badger in Gopherville wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Great Rally!!!

The rally at the square today was awesome and inspiring.
I hope the energy on display will translate into real, sustained
action to throw these autocrats out ASAP!

LoveBourges wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

First of all, teachers aren't

First of all, teachers aren't greedy--you are confusing them with corporations. Stop watching Fox News and get some facts from responsible journalists. Government union workers do not make 42% more than private sector workers. In fact, when you compare apples to apples--meaning wages and benefits (which many private sector workers get)--they make the same, if not a little less than private sector workers.

Second, the 14 left Madison to go to Illinois to, basically, filibuster. They wanted the process to slow down in order for not only themselves, but for the state of Wisconsin, to find just what the bill was all about. That was their only choice at the state level. BTW, Republicans spent the entire last two years filibustering and they didn't have to do anything but say the word "filibuster' in order to stop the process. When the senators, and the people of Wisconsin, were able to look into the bill, they found other alarming things that needed to be brought out. One thing that concerned us was the fact that Walker was trying to get the power to sell Wisconsin's power plants with a no-bid clause. So, he could sell Wisconsin's plants to anyone he wanted to, at whatever price. Just take a guess at who the buyer would be? This was just one other thing that was in the bill that should have been brought out into the open.

So, after the unions told Walker that they would concede everything but collective bargaining, and were ignored, it then became apparent that it was ALL about busting the unions. There was no financial crisis when Walker took office. He gave $140 million to corporations in tax breaks and went to the middle class (which includes you) to pay for those breaks. Corporations won again. We are slowly giving the corporations everything, and we need to start paying attention before it gets any worse. Unions are the only people who have the money to back the working class in elections. Corporations, who are catered to because they bought the government positions have unlimited resources and we don't even have to know to whom, or how much, they spend backing their puppets. (Thank the Conservative Supreme Court for that one.) I certainly don't want MY country run by one political party and neither should anyone else. The middle class has the most to lose in this. And unless you are one of the top, oh say, 10% of the population, you should be paying attention.

Oh, BTW, my brother-in-law is a teacher in Wisconsin and has been for 32 years. He NEVER made more than $50,000. So I suggest you talk to some teachers, nurses or firefighters in person and find out just how "greedy" they are. And maybe your should educate yourself to the history of the middle class, brought to you by the unions. Maybe check out The Jungle by Upton Sinclair to get an idea of what life was like before unions. But get away from Fox News, which is a ridiculous place to get the true story of any news item. (The other day I saw a woman named Byrnes state that $250,000/year income for a family of four was near the poverty level! Youtube it and see for yourself.)
Get educated and then maybe you will realise that our government will soon be controlled by the top 2% of people, and then they will be able to do with it whatever they please. Unions help ALL middle class people. If your think that the teachers are greedy with their $40,000/year jobs, instead of complaining, maybe you should look for a better job. Or join a union. Then you will have a voice.

Celeste wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago


Absolutely INCREDIBLE crowd today in Madison. I have been to every Saturday protest so far and today's was undoubtedly the biggest. The energy was so high--every street around the capitol was completely flooded with people. Wisconsinites are making it clear they will not stand for Walker's behavior. Judging from the energy today I would be surprised if Walker and some of the Republican Senators are not recalled.

Jim Smith wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago


Any report on the more 'left' contingents? How big was the 'No Cuts No Concessions' contingent? How about the student contingent that SDS initiated? Other notable contingents?

Greg White wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

This is great! I was there.

This is great! I was there. Big shout out to the fab 14! This is the most people I have seen at the protest in Madison, WI and I've been to them all. RECALL RECALL RECALL!!!!!!!

Landyn McCaul wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Democracy on Display

In response to "Anonymous"... Why is it that you don't even have the balls to put your name out there? I assume you wrote your comment, because you have been paid to do so or you want to stir up controversery, either way sir/madam YOU are the coward. I stand in support of unions ability to collectively bargain and support the the 14 senators that were/are doing their job... As their job is to be the voice of the people of WI, which overwhelmingly disagree with the bill that was passed. Either give me concrete examples of this "greed" that the WI teachers unions are displaying, or have your factless statement be relegated to what it is...factless... In fact if I was if I was in your vicinity I would slap you accross the face and challenge you to a duel... to see how much of a coward YOU really are.

proud of Wisconsin today wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Walker made a mistake!

Walker really believed once he shoved this bill through, the protests would disappear. They are larger than ever. Now translate the power that is being displayed in the Wisc. capitol today to the power to recall the Republicans who stood with Walker. They are gone. And Walker will be recalled next year. I wonder when it finally gets through his thick skull that he is on his way out. I guess when they are changing the locks on his office door.

Ashleigh wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

The People of Wisconsin have spoken

I live in Wisconsin and I am so proud that people from across that state are coming together to protect our rights. This isn't a partisan issue. This is a rights issue. And the people will not forget what Gov. Walker is trying to pull. Unless he manages to change the rules, Scott Walker will be a 1/4 term governor.

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Governor Walker is the

Governor Walker is the Governor of ALL the people of Wisconsin, not the 21% that voted for him. For that matter, many people voted for Walker, and now oppose him because he went too far. At this point it just seems his actions are designed to provoke....the quick votes, the pointed comments, etc. I'm disappointed in my representatives. I voted for Joan Ballweg (R) and Luther Olsen (R) and they litterally won't even talk to their constituents. They might as well have gone to Illinois too, I wouldn't have known the difference.

Yes, I am a union member. Yes we have had cuts in the last years, but the union structure allows us to negogiate where the cuts should come from...paycheck or health insurance. Bottom line, the local government saves the money it needs to. We have been on a zero increase for 4 years, and it has worked out for both the employees and the employer.

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

union rally

I meant to say -
i do not respect this governor's greedy pals nor respect the 18 coward senators who stayed in the state and failed to do their job

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

To Union Rally

Is that you Walker Koch Puppet?

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

Power to the People!

Thank you for standing up, Wisconsin! Recall Gov. Walker. Gov. Walker can walk!!!

Power to the people!!!

Anonymous wrote 4 years 48 weeks ago

union rally

i do not respect this greedy teachers union nor respect the 14 coward senators who left the state and failed to do their job