BREAKING: Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol
“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”
“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’”
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: ( a guy with a “cops for labor” t-shirt addresses the crowd with a bull horn)
(unintelligible)…some of you have been here from the beginning and we appreciate it.
Let me tell you why we are here. Every one of us here took an oath when we started this job to protect and serve the members of our community. And that is exactly when we intend to do . (Drums and cowbells.)
This is not a budget issue. This is a civil rights issue. [unintelligible] (drums and cowbells)
Mr. Walker, if you are listening to me, let me tell you something. We know pretty well now who you work for. (cheers and rim shots)
Let me tell you who we work for. We work for all of these people. (prolonged cheers)
We’re not here Mr. Walker to do your bidding, we’re here to do their bidding. (drums and cheers) [unintelligible]
Mr. Walker, this is not your house, this is all of our house. (prolonged cheers)
From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, Ryan Harvey reported on his Facebook page:
And from what the news has been reporting, things were starting to die down here.
What I saw was quite different….
The entire 4 or 5 story building is nearly completely occupied by union members, students, and people from across Wisconsin. There were literally hundreds of people here last night, and one or two hundred this morning that, like me, slept on the cold floor or on mats they had brought in….
On the second floor, along with many sleeping areas, there’s a medic station, a free food area, a child care space, a computer/phone charging station, an info desk, and other resource area that are setup and staffed full-time. Coffee, tea, and snacks are always available, and every few hours someone walks in with a gigantic load of pizza.
Above them, a third floor hosts sleeping areas and several spots where cameras are posted up. Four large-screen televisions have been setup to show footage of the House meetings that ended last night in an uproar.
As the night grew, people sang songs to each other, networked, and talked politics. One girl sitting near me was doing her math homework, sleeping at the occupied Capitol and going to class in the morning.
In case anyone is wondering who the demonstrators think Governor Walker works for, the governor refused to meet with legislators, but the one person who has been able to get through to him on the phone was someone claiming to be David Koch, the billionaire who has funded the Tea Party movement. The phone call was actually a prank, the twenty minute conversation can be heard here.
(via John Emerson on Facebook )
And then of course there are the no bid contracts for the state’s power, cooling and heating plants hidden in the back pages of the union-busting legislation.
You’ll recall that David Koch of Koch Industries is the billionaire whose backing propelled Scott Walker to the Wisconsin governor’s mansion, and that Koch Industries is a conglomerate rooted in the energy sector. In Wisconsin, Koch has significant energy-sector holdings, including a coal company, oil refineries and some 4,000 miles of pipeline. So, who would stand to benefit from a no-bid sell-off of the state’s power plants and other energy-producing assets?
(Disclaimer: I’m a current member of AFSCME)