Earlier today, a debate erupted on Twitter about whether police in Madison would stand aside and let demonstrators overrun the capitol in sympathy with the public-employee unions that planned another massive protest after last night’s vote in the state Senate. So far, it appears that police have instead acted professionally, as they have begun to clear the capitol building of protesters that broke in last night:
Demonstrators were carried out of the Assembly by police Thursday as a new standoff shaped up at the Capitol as Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has again closed the building to the public.As protesters said they were willing to risk arrest to block an Assembly vote on Walker’s bill on union bargaining, police began escorting or dragging some of them out. There is still a sizable group inside, however.
“Shame! Shame! Shame!” demonstrators shouting.
Taylor Tengwall, 21, of Duluth, Minn., said, “They grabbed me by the shoulders and took me out.”
Law enforcement gave early indications that they would play it down the middle. First they decided to keep the building closed instead of opening it on time. When “hundreds” of demonstrators demanded that the police step aside, they held their positions instead. Shortly after that demand, Madison police shut down the roads around the capitol building to cut off traffic.
As I argued on Twitter earlier, the police in Wisconsin have signaled their sympathy to the unions, but have conducted themselves professionally during the three weeks of the crisis. At least thus far, they continue to do so. The demonstrators have a right to assemble on the Capitol grounds and protest, and the police are going to allow that, but they appear ready to secure the building and allow the legislature to meet.
- Protesters fill the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin once again (ironmill.com)
- Capitol Opening Delayed (theundergroundconservative.wordpress.com)
- “Wisconsin Capitol Stormed – Occupied by Protesters” and related posts (themudflats.net)
- Police Removing Protesters At Wisconsin State Capitol (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Good Grief, Hot Air Clueless On Madison, WI (riehlworldview.com)
- All quiet on the Mad Town front? (hotair.com)
- This is what Democracy looks like? Mob overruns Wisconsin Capitol Building (ironmill.com)
- PROFESSOR JACOBSON: The Other Loser In Wisconsin: Law-Enforcement Credibility. UPDATE: Death T… (pajamasmedia.com)