On a cold, snowy, Saturday afternoon over 70,000 people packed the Capitol square to protest Gov. Walker’s budget repair bill. The sub-freezing temperatures couldn’t dampen the spirits of those who gathered in the square to voice their frustration and objection to the bill that would effectively end collective bargaining rights for public union employees. Representatives from every union were on display. This included members from various teachers unions, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, UAW, firefighters, police, teamsters, SEIU, UAW, and even the Screen Actors Guild.
Even Pete Yarrow, from the folk group Peter, Paul, and Mary made the trip. He was one of many musical acts that made the trip to Madison this week including, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Wayne Kramer of the MC5, and the Street Dogs, who all played a show at the Monona Terrace on Monday.
However, for all of the outpouring of protest, the legislature still remains in a stalemate after the Assembly passed the bill on Thursday night. With the 14 Democratic Senators still in Illinois no further progress can be made on the bill as their absence prevents the quorum necessary to pass a budget bill in the Senate. Gov. Walker has stated that if the bill is not passed relatively soon layoff notices for 1,500 employees will go out next week.