Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's union-stripping bill is in state Supreme Court today. At issue is whether Republicans in the state legislature violated the open meetings law by jamming it through it a hastily called committee. Three months later, protesters are still camping out in the capital of Madison, now literally.
My partner, Sarah Goodyear, spent last week in Madison, Wisconsin, where she says Governor Walker really does seem to be very unpopular. Sarah sends these pictures and a report from a new tent city, Walkerville. They're protesting Governor Walker's budget, which raises taxes for the working poor and cut taxes for corporations. Sarah writes:
"The city gave organizers a permit to camp out across the street from the Capitol Building for 20 days, and by nightfall Saturday, a few dozen tents had been pitched. The atmosphere was festive – lots of kids, a singalong, people parading around with signs – although some local business owners and downtown residents were less than thrilled with the development.
"The next day I asked Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council and a teacher from Wisconsin Rapids, how the night had gone. 'We had lots of people asking questions,' she told me. 'That's the whole purpose of this. It's an educational opportunity, to let people know what really bad news this budget is.'
"I also spoke with Andrew Martin, a 24-year-old Americorps worker from Fond du Lac, who went to school to become a teacher – a profession he’s not sure he'll be able to pursue. 'I love Wisconsin, I love everything about it,' he said. 'The Walker administration is an attack on the Wisconsin tradition that you have known and understood.' "