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Saturday, 19 February 2011
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Witnessing the Protests

This morning I decided to head on out to Madison and witness the Teacher's Union Protests first hand. I wasn't able to spend the entire day, but did spend several hours there, both inside and outside the Capital Building. I decided to go not as a protester, nor as a political pundit, but instead as a neutral photographer.

But before I show the pictures... some observations:

  • Given the sheer numbers of people, I was amazed and heartened by how civil everyone one. Yes, everyone was loud. There was lots of chanting and yelling, but nothing coming close to violence that I saw.
  • For people interested in numbers... I can only estimate that the Union protestors outnumbers the Walker supporters by 4 or 5 to 1.
  • The Union protesters used their numbers to their advantage, and counter protested around where the Walker protesters were and tried to disrupt. The Walker folks either couldn't, or didn't attempt to do the same that I saw.
  • The Capital Police and other Law Enforcement were extremely professional and did a great job (and you don't hear me say things like that very often).

And with that, you can see all the photographs I took in this set on Flickr:

# Posted at 22:22 by Nick  |  Comment Feed Link 4 Comments  |  No Trackbacks

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Monday, 21 February 2011 08:52:35 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Good to see you stopped by. Just one thing –– I'm surprised that after being there you still referred to it as the "teacher's union protest." Though a good portion of the union workers there are teachers, it is by no means only a teacher's union event. You must have seen the firefighters, the teamsters, the steel workers, AFSCME and everybody else, right?
Monday, 21 February 2011 09:06:51 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Yes, I did see other Unions represented there... there are even pictures of them. But it started as a Teacher's Union protest, and all those unions had signs saying they were there supporting the Teacher's Union, so I stand by my statement.
Monday, 21 February 2011 11:40:33 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
You mean the specific event you were at was a teacher's union rally? Because the protests as a whole definitely did not start out as a teacher's union protest. In fact, until about Thursday, I would say AFSCME had a larger presence than WEAC or MTI.

I don't mean to nitpick, I just find the characterization bizarre.
Monday, 21 February 2011 12:30:33 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I was there Saturday, and most of the people I saw were either teachers, or were holding signs saying they were there for the teachers. And you are picking nits. The protest had no official name... so whatever you want to call it is fine. I called it what I called it, and I don't think its all that bizarre, especially given the news coverage.
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