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Day 8 of protest in Madison demands ‘Kill the bill’

By staff |
February 22, 2011
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SDS at occupation of Wisconsin capitol
SDS at occupation of Wisconsin capitol (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Madison, WI - Inside and out, the Capitol Building is loud and crowded. It's the eighth day of protests against Governor Scott Walker's ‘budget repair bill’ and every night, thousands of students and workers occupy the Capitol Building. The people of Wisconsin are showing determination to kill the bill.

"Scott Walker is not a Badger, he's a weasel"

Members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) can be found at the center of the struggle. They are in the dorms talking to students, they are in the student walkouts, they are arriving in from Chicago and Milwaukee and they are organizing solidarity protests and statements from around the country. SDS member Rachel Matteson spoke to a crowd of 10,000 today. "I say all out to support unions and save our education. Students and workers are not responsible for this economic crisis. Make the rich pay, make Walker pay for his crisis!" The crowd was enthusiastic to see a student involved in the struggle and to celebrate the unity of students and workers.

Signs and chants spoke to the determination of Wisconsin workers. Many signs read, "We will do everything it takes!" Protesters chanted, "Workers rights are under attack, student's rights are under attack...stand up fight back!"

After eight days of occupying the capitol building at Madison, support continues to grow. Students continue to arrive from all over the nation to support the workers and students of Wisconsin because this bill will set a precedent for how people are treated all over the nation. Through food donations and letters, statements of solidarity from around the world are being sent from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. People are united in this struggle to protect the rights of workers.

One group protested outside of M&I bank, the largest contributor to Walker's election campaign, saying "M&I bank received $1.7 billion in bailouts in November 2008."

Heidi Serimsher, of Gateway Community College of Racine, Wisconsin has been here for days. "I'm missing class to be here because I know how important it is to defeat this bill and be part of a movement that's building student and worker power," she stated.

Demonstrators plan to continue their occupation of the capitol for as long as it takes to kill the bill. People are committed to standing behind the workers and students in their struggle to protect the unions and the public institutions of Wisconsin.