Protesters took to the streets of the capital to speak out against Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to strip the collective bargaining rights from public worker’s unions. Estimates say 40k people turned out Friday, the day I was able to get out there to document this historic moment in the state. You can read more about it on the BBC’s website (yup, this is global news).
Heading into the Capitol was amazing; the sheer number of people and voices made it LOUD.
Walking around the outside of the Capitol, I noticed a large crowd walking around the square. I ran over and jumped in front for some shots when I realized I was standing in front of the Rev. Jesse Jackson. I’ll be honest, it was very nerve racking and for a moment I didn’t know my shutter button from a hole in the ground.
There was a rally at noon and one at five. Waiting around for them to start offered a chance to capture some of the signs in the crowd.
Former Senator Russ Feingold showed up to the chants of “Russ for governor.”
After the rally at noon, the firefighters (who are not effected by this bill yet are standing with the other unions) marched through the capitol to much fanfare and graditude.
The day was very peaceful and non-violent. Even some cops offered hugs to the protesters.
I admit, I needed a friend to explain this next one to me (but knew it had to be a good nerdy joke – I love those!)
Maybe the best sign of the day (the bright yellow one…)
The evening rally was started by a local folk duo leading the crowd in some songs. A few people spoke and then the Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke. He called this a “Martin Luther King, Jr.” moment.
Regardless of political affiliation or thoughts, this is no minor gathering. Today, Saturday, more people are expected as are a variety of supports for Walker’s bill. My prayer is that all sides remain peaceful and graceful, even in the midst of disagreement.