Protest! (Day 27)

We're approaching one month of constant protesting, and this week marked the end of the first battle. The senate rammed the end of collective bargaining through on Wednesday. The assembly passed it on Thursday. And Walker signed for it on Friday. Despite the constant protests, the republicans of Wisconsin did not care at all. "Busting" the unions was their ultimate goal and financial situations played no part in it.

The people of Wisconsin, and citizens of the Midwest responded by showing up to the Capitol on Saturday to show their disapproval.

The Saturday rally comprised of 2 events. Before Noon, the Wisconsin Farmer's Association drove their tractors to the Capitol and circled the square for about an hour in solidarity. At 2pm, the main rally took place on the State St. side of the Capitol with several musical acts and speakers.

Jess, Jon and I got up to the Square to check out the tractors, which was more parade-like that protesting. I don't really have any pictures of that because it was about as interesting as a parade.

After roaming around for a while, we went to lunch. We still had a while before the main event at 2pm, plus we had to work off the weak hangovers we had from the night before. By the time we finished, Five had caught up to us. We all went back to the Capitol, and met up with Caleb, Fishy, and Chaos who found a perfect spot next to the main event stage.

We got there around 1:30pm, and the crowd had started to gain mass...

Jess and Jon took off to find some Coffee, and Fishy & Chaos took off to get some of their freelance work complete. Caleb, Five, and I remained as the event began. It started with a group of local musicians singing some acoustic protestin' songs. Musically I was not a fan :( They sang for 20 minutes.

The next group got up there, and I was getting bored fast. I decided to break away from the group in order to snap some more photos. The crowd seemed pretty thin from where we were standing, so I figured I could get back without any problem.

Once I got to the base of State St, I started making my way back to the top, but this was when the actual speakers started taking to the stage. The amount of people that amassed on the streets was unbelievable. 100,000 people gathered on the State St. side of Capitol Square, and it was shoulder to shoulder. Wiggle room was at an absolute minimum.

There was no way I was able to make it back to Caleb and Five and there prestine position directly to the left of the stage. And at this point, I really just wanted to get out of the crowd. I had gotten the best photos that I was going to get. It took me about 30 minutes to wiggle half a block to Wisconsin Ave, and finally out of the massive crowd.

I met up with Jess and Jon who had also been lost in the crowd and opted to leave completely. We decided to go into the Capitol and take a look around. Later on, we met up with Five and took off for Chicago.

Saturday's protest was the largest protest Wisconsin had ever seen. There were more people at the Capitol than at any time during the Vietnam War. Additionally, the 100,000 member crowd was larger than the largest Tea Party Rally, which was 70,000 held in DC in 2009.

Dane 101 has been fantastic at covering everything about the politics and protest over the past month, and they posted an amazing Panaramic photo, which you can view here: http://dane101.com/files/Panorama.jpg. You can see Five right below the K in Dave Kreisman's name. Caleb is directly left of the K.

Definitely check out Dane 101 for very detailed accounts of everything: dane101.com.

Previous articles:
Thursday, February 17th -- Day 4
Monday, February 21st -- Day 8
Tuesday, February 22nd -- Day 9
Friday, February 25th -- Day 12
Wed & Thu, March 2nd & 3rd -- Day 17 & 18
Saturday, March 5th -- Day 20
Thursday, March 10th - Day 25




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