MADISON (WKOW) -- The makeshift community of protesters against Governor Scott Walker's biennium budget is up and running.
The two-week long "Walkerville" tent city began Saturday with a kickoff event at 7 pm.
"This is all part of the anger and frustration at politicians that aren't listening to working class folks from around this state," said organizer Peter Rickman.
Protesters are calling it "Walkerville" after the "Hooverville" towns set up during the Great Depression.
Overnight camping is allowed along certain streets on Capitol Square, but not on Capitol grounds.
"If the people's house is going to be closed down we've gotta have a presence known," said Walkerville organizer Peter Rickman.
Rickman hopes to bring back the presence everyone remembers in February.
"We want to hold the politicians accountable for the bad choices they're making," said Rickman.
Each day will have a theme. Sunday - a rally was held for K-12 education.
"We'll take this message of dignity for all workers across this state," said Peggy Coyne, MTI President during a speech.
"It's the impact of those dollars across the state that really indicate how bad the choices are going to be," said Mary Bell, President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council.
"This budget is going to have a long lasting devastating impact on the kind of life we enjoy in Wisconsin," said Bell.
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Maybe if we get them to wear tea bags on their heads and show up in their Medicare funded Scooters the media will start to pay attention to them -- or not.
Police estimated that more than 100,000 people flooded the streets around the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison Saturday, making the turnout larger than any of the fledgling Tea Party's rallies. The largest turnout for a Tea Party rally is the estimated crowd of 60,000 to 70,000 people who marked in Washington, D.C. during the group's September 12, 2009 demonstration.
The 2009 Tea Party rally's crowd size is also notable for the controversy that surrounded it. ABC News published a piece claiming conservative activists had told them that 1 million to 1.5 million people turned out at the rally, when the corrected number was only a fraction of that size.
According to ThinkProgress, the protests in Wisconsin have inspired demonstrations in seven other states, with some protesters even wearing "Cheesehead" hats as a nod to their Madison counterparts. Wisconsin Democrats have also vowed to make virtually every upcoming election a referendum on Gov. Walker's anti-union administration, which they say has made Wisconsin akin to "a dictatorship."
More there so go read the rest. And as they noted at Raw Story, the above video is from "YouTube user stumptownfilms put together a time-lapse video from footage of one day of protests in Madison last week that shows the impressive crowd sizes."
And as Steve Benen noted, It's Not Jut Madison:
When asked by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! noted linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky brings up the current meme of comparing the uprising in Egypt with what is happening in Wisconsin. Since I'm a fan of this idea it's particularly sweet that a giant of the American Left is using it as well. The political right are at turns, either openly dismissive or virulently hostile to such comparisons. And they absolutely hate Noam Chomsky.
AMY GOODMAN: The New York Times coverage of Madison?
NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, that was very interesting. In fact, I urge people to take a look at the February 12th issue of the New York Times, the big front-page headline, you know, banner headline, "Mubarak Leaves," its kind of subheadings say, "Army Takes Over." They’re about 60 years late on that; it took over in 1952, but—and it has held power ever since.
But then if you go to an inside page—I don’t know what page it is—there’s an article on the Governor of Wisconsin. And he’s pretty clear about what he wants to do. I mean, certainly he is aware of and senses this attack on public workers, on unions and so on, and he wants to be upfront, so he announced a sharp attack on public service workers and unions, as the questioner said, to ban collective bargaining, take away their pensions. And he also said that he’d call out the National Guard if there was any disruption about this. Now, that’s happening now to Wisconsin. In Egypt, public protests have driven out the president. There’s a lot of problems about what will happen next, but an overwhelming reaction there.
And I was—it was heartening to see that there are tens of thousands of people protesting in Madison day after day, in fact. I mean, that’s the beginning, maybe, of what we really need here: a democracy uprising. Democracy has almost been eviscerated.
The title on the video is from the famous Leonard Cohen song.
Fox Business reporter Jeff Flock got a bit more than he bargained for in Madison today as some of the locals voiced their opinion of Fox's reportage. One guy in a wool cap was particularly in-your-face about it.