Thursday, 03 March 2011

"Peaceful" Wisconsin Protestors?

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As the anti-reform protests in Madison, Wisconsin, drag into their third week, much has been said about how peaceful, respectful, and well-behaved the demonstrators have been. But there are certainly some glaring exceptions which, while not adequately covered by the mainstream media, deserve some attention nonetheless.

For example, after being accidentally locked out of the Capitol building earlier this week, Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman was pursued and heckled by a group of shouting protestors estimated to be about 200 strong. Screams of “shame, shame, shame” could be heard above banging drums and blaring horns. Protestors also repeatedly shrieked obscenities at the Senator including a chant of “f*** you,” while others urged their comrades not to touch him as the situation intensified.

Watch a video of the event below:

“To be honest, I’ve walked through that crowd many times and never really had a problem until now, but some of those people looked deranged,” State Senator Grothman told Fox News for an article headlined “Screaming Union Mob Chases and Traps Wisconsin Republican in Capitol.” Eyewitnesses reportedly described the incident as “traumatic” and “scary.”

In another recent incident captured on video by an activist, more than a few protestors reveal their ignorance about the proposed reforms Gov. Scott Walker is pursuing. But more importantly, the “spokesman” for a group of demonstrators makes a series of statements that have caused security concerns.

Carrying a sign reading “Wuck Falker,” the man, when asked what would happen if the reform bill passes, said: “Somebody is going to throw the first brick into the State House.… I’ll be happy if somebody does it — it’s time for a workers revolution.”

Socialist activists at the rallies have repeatedly called for Middle East-style uprisings in Wisconsin. Many distributed literature urging protestors to seize "the wealth," implement socialism, and more.

In addition to the protestors on the scene, some of whom carried signs with gun crosshairs over pictures of Gov. Walker’s face or placards suggesting a “gang bang” rape of Tea Party activists, numerous calls for the Governor’s death have been made online, too. A compilation of just a few of those threats from the social-networking service Twitter can be seen in the video below:

Even some Democrat politicians have invoked violent rhetoric against Wisconsin reformers. The New American reported last week, for example, that Democratic U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts came under fire for an over-the-top statement at a union “solidarity” rally for government employees in Wisconsin. “Every once in a while you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” he told a cheering crowd.

And in Wisconsin, at least one Democrat fighting the proposed reforms made an even more direct threat, including an obscenity. "You are f***ing dead," Democrat state Rep. Gordon Hintz told a female Republican colleague during a legislative session last week.

Eyewitness reports from Madison have also described vandalism, intimidation, protestors banging on legislators’ locked doors and windows, and more. A picture obtained by The New American from a staffer in the Capitol shows “F*** Walker” scrawled in black marker in one of the building’s restrooms.

Over the weekend, a number of police officers, encouraged by their union leaders, decided to join the protestors as well. They reportedly refused orders to evict squatters from the Capitol so that it could be cleaned, showing up to the demonstrations with sleeping bags instead.

The state Assembly passed the reform legislation last week, which would reduce the power of government-employee unions while requiring most public-sector workers to contribute more to their pension and health benefits. The Republican-controlled Senate still has the votes to pass the proposal as well, but Democrat state Senators remain in hiding somewhere in Illinois in an effort to prevent the required 20-Senator quorum necessary to vote on fiscal matters. Gov. Walker is keeping the pressure on, however, and reports are speculating that at least some Democrats could be on the verge of returning.

As numerous analysts on both sides of the issue have explained, the stakes are high. The battle is already spreading to states like Indiana and Ohio. And rallies have been held across the country to support the protests in Wisconsin.

If Gov. Walker and Republicans win the battle, other state governments could be emboldened to pursue serious reforms to rein in their own budget deficits. However, if the government-employee unions and the socialists behind the scenes end up victorious, the ramifications could be disastrous for taxpayers nationwide, as well as for the budgets of state and local governments across America.

Photo: Angela Aldous rallies protesters during demonstrations outside of the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.: AP Images

Related articles:

Govt, Unions, and the Battle in Wisconsin

Big, International Consequences in Wisconsin Union Battle

Wisconsin Cops Refuse Orders, Join Protests

Rallies Across U.S. Back Wisconsin Protestors

Wisconsin Protests Go National

Wisconsin Assembly Passes Budget Repair Bill

Wisconsin Protests: The Reforms, the Reality

Wisconsin Teachers, Doctors Caught Lying Could Face Trouble

Tea Party Shows Support for Wis. Gov. Walker, Reforms

Wisconsin Gov. to Obama: Butt Out

National Guard May Deploy as Socialists, Unions Wreak Havoc in Wisconsin

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