Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Day At The Madison Workers' Rights Protests

I went to the protests at the Capitol today, and I wanted to share some thoughts.

The atmosphere hasn't changed much since the first week, everyone is still upbeat and social. There was a little more optimism in the air than the previous week.

I love that people bring their dogs. I've seen more types of dogs in the last few weeks than I probably have all year.

The musicians are one of the best parts of the protests. No matter where you walk, you can hear music.

The speakers are always emotional, thought-provoking, entertaining, and energizing, even on cold days. Today we were treated to a few surprise musicians at the podium following the speakers. Everyone who's involved in those "productions" does a superb job. Though, we did a pretty good job ourselves the first few days, too.

As I mentioned in another post, there is a very large number of police at the Capitol compared to previous weeks. Odd, considering, as I'm sure Walker will point out, the crowds weren't nearly as large as the 100,000-plus crowds the last two weekends. Many of the officers are not from the area, as you can tell from their uniforms, and some are State Police who were present before. All of the police I ran into were cheerful and courteous, but they do look like "palace guards" in the sheer number of them walking around.

I finally got into the Capitol building for the first time since the metal detectors showed up. I didn't feel like waiting in the long lines, but today I snuck in when the line was short. All of the signs have been removed from the Capitol building walls. We were told by the Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs that all of the signs would stay. That's very disappointing. I asked the clerk at the information desk why the signs were removed, and she said, "The DOA has the final say."

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