Capitol Protests

Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, was arrested on Wednesday.

flickr.com/pinchof

An expert on police procedure is criticizing Capitol police for arresting protesters, but Gov. Scott Walker says protesters should “follow the rules.”

Andy Stenz

Gov. Walker raised eyebrows Monday, when he indicated he might consider curbing the power of police and firefighter unions.

State Capitol
Justin Kern, Flickr

A federal judge is listening to arguments over the rule governing rallies at the Wisconsin Capitol.

The Walker Administration enacted the rule in late 2011, following weeks of massive demonstrations earlier in the year. Under the rule, groups that want to promote a cause at the Capitol, must obtain a permit, if the rally will involve four or more people.

One of the people watching – and taking part in -- the Madison protests has been Margaret (Peggy) Rozga.

She’s an English professor at UW-Waukesha, but perhaps is best known as the widow of James Groppi. He was the former Catholic priest and activist who was a major leader in the civil rights movement in Milwaukee in the 1960s.

A Dane County Circuit Judge ordered all remaining demonstrators to leave the state Capitol late Thursday. There were about 100 there at the time. Judge John Albert says the building should return to normal business hours. For more than two weeks, the Capitol has been filled the protesters around the clock, most demanding that Governor Walker or the Legislature drop his plan to rescind most collective bargaining rights for public workers. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis is here in the studio with me this morning, with the latest developments. To recap the situation, Capitol police asked protesters to vacate the Capitol late Sunday, so the building could be cleaned. Most did leave, but officers allowed the rest to remain, rather than risk confrontation. Then, the DOA, the Department of Administration began limiting access to the building in order to minimize disruption and return a sense of normalcy. But unintended consequences resulted.

Andy Stenz Photography

Recall paperwork has been filed in recent days for eight Republican state senators and five of their Democratic colleagues.

The Government Accountability Board said Wednesday the Republicans targeted are: Robert Cowles, Alberta Darling, Glenn Grothman, Sheila Harsdorf, Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke, Mary Lazich and Luther Olsen.

The Democratic senators targeted are: Spencer Coggs, Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin, Minority Leader Mark Miller and Robert Wirch.

The state Assembly approved Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill early Friday morning. It contains a provision that would strip public employees of most collective bargaining rights and has been the subject of massive protests at the capitol in the past ten days. UW-Madison student Lance Janssen says the debate isn't over because the state Senate still has to vote. He plans to return to the capitol in the next few days.

Protests in Madison enter a second week today. Thousands of people are expected in the state’s capital today to continue their protests against a bill that would strip unionized state workers of virtually all of their collective bargaining rights.

WUWM’s Bob Bach was in Madison over the weekend and joins us in the studio this morning with more on the story.

Dueling Demonstrations in Madison

Feb 19, 2011

It's been another lively, emotional day at the state Capitol in Madison.

Thousands of demonstrators have been on hand, most protesting Governor Scott Walker's plan to strip public workers of most bargaining rights.

We examine the possible short and long term fallout of the protests in Madison and the subsequent hiding of Democratic state senators. Mordecai Lee is a professor of Governmental Affairs at UW-Milwaukee and an occasional political analyst for Lake Effect.

The Joint Finance Committee late last night approved legislation that would strip the public sector of most of its collective bargaining rights. All 12 Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the bill, while the four Democrats opposed the controversial legislation that has drawn thousands to the state Capitol this week. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis joins us in the studio with the latest developments.

More protests are planned in Madison on Thursday. The state Capitol has become the center of opposition to Walker administration plans to virtually abolish state labor unions. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson is in Madison and has been speaking with some of the thousands of protesters as well as supporters of the governor's plans.

The halls of the state Capitol are expected to be packed again today as the state legislature prepares to vote on a proposal to strip state employees of most collective bargaining rights. Marti Mikkelson is in Madison and file this report.

For the second day in a row Wednesday, thousands of people converged on the state Capitol, many of them upset with Gov. Walker’s proposal to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public workers.

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