Friday, 11 March 2011

Wisconsin Explodes After Passage of Union Bill

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After both houses of the Wisconsin legislature voted to approve a reform bill limiting some bargaining privileges of powerful government-sector unions, protesters exploded in a furious rage that included numerous reports of death threats to Republican lawmakers, breaking of windows at the Capitol building, mass chaos, and more.

The renewed possibility of deploying state National Guard forces to restore order has been mentioned by correspondents on the scene. Gov. Scott Walker suggested it might be necessary weeks ago as state employees walked off the job to protest.

Police and other law-enforcement officers many of whom are sympathetic to the demonstrators, as evidenced by their defiance of orders to evict squatters from the Capitol earlier this month are reportedly under increasing strain as demonstrations intensify. Video footage captured by the Associated Press shows officers moving defiant protesters from the state Assembly spaces of the Capitol Building to another part of the building, in order to allow the state Assembly to meet.

A correspondent at the Capitol in Madison for the conservative news service detailed a chaotic scene about to spin out of control. Democrat Senators are opening windows and letting protesters in. Doors have been ripped off their hinges, the reporter said, noting that government-teacher unions were using automated phone calls urging members to show up immediately. Law enforcement are leaking legislators['] whereabouts to protesters. No one is safe.

The correspondent also reported that quasi-military forces were the only option left to retake control of the building, and that they were about to be deployed as the government had lost control of large areas of the Capitol. National Guard may be called in, the report also stated. We are running out of options.

CNN reported on the hysteria as well, with a correspondent for the news service relating that he sensed that violence could break out. The tension escalated quickly and for a moment it felt like the situation was going to erupt into [a] fist-flying brawl between the officers and protesters, the reporter at the Capitol noted in an update. We were caught in the middle of the large swarm trying to barrel its way past police officers barricading one of many doors into the Capitol. A handful of livid protesters tried to rip the door open. One protester screamed in my ear, keep pushing forward, let's get in there."

Police are also investigating a series of terroristic e-mails sent to the 18 GOP state senators who voted in favor of the reforms while Democrat Senators were hiding in Illinois trying to block the measure. One of the most serious threats urged the legislators to put their things in order because they would be killed along with their families because of their actions in recent weeks.

We want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we've had enough, read the warning. We feel that you and the people that support the dictator have to die.

The suspected terrorist also noted in the message that he or she was working with fellow conspirators who planned to shoot the state Senators in the head. We have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent, the e-mail said, mentioning homes, cars, and the Capitol building as examples. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!

The state Department of Justice is reportedly investigating the threats.

State Senators were rushed out of the Capitol building under police protection as soon as the vote was taken on the afternoon of March 9. Meanwhile, screaming protesters were rushing past overwhelmed police into the State House chanting a variety of slogans. Others crawled in through windows.

We left the Capitol about 15 minutes after the vote under police protection because there was an angry mob and we were told to get out of Madison as quickly as possible, Wisconsin Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman told Fox News. Another Fox report said a mob including thousands of union protesters shattered windows and barricaded themselves in the Capitol in what can only be called a freak out.

The state Assembly passed the union-related reforms the next day despite getting off to a late start because of demonstrators. Unions tried to disrupt the vote but were unsuccessful. After the bill passed, protesters erupted yet again.  

Numerous other media outlets also reported that windows in the Capitol building had been broken in the aftermath. At least some of the locking mechanisms were reportedly disabled to allow protesters in from outside. State officials, however, could not confirm whether any had been shattered.

"Some doors were damaged, knobs and handles broken off," a spokesman for the state Department of Administration told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Some windows were either opened or broken. We can't confirm whether any window glass was broken." Inspections were not complete and potential damage was still being assessed, however.

Security concerns have been growing as the demonstrations, which have continued for over three weeks now, become increasingly intense. Among the most alarming discoveries was a cache of ammunition found outside of the Capitol recently. In an unrelated problem, a Republican state Senator was surrounded by a shrieking mob yelling obscenities. And some of the signs and Internet messages posted by anti-reform activists have called for the death of Gov. Scott Walker and others, prompting even more security concerns. Filmmaker Michael Moore called for a class war after the Senate vote.

But even as media personalities such as Fox News Bill OReilly were proclaiming victory for Gov. Walker and his budget-repair plan, union bosses and national leftist groups were plotting a counterattack on several fronts. First of all, the legislation is expected to be taken to court. And recall efforts against various State senators are gaining traction, too, which could eventually lead to a repeal if enough Republicans can be unseated. The same number of Democrats, however, are also being targeted in recall campaigns.

Union bosses and their allies are also plotting a massive demonstration on March 12, socialist news services reported, urging government employees from around the state and even the nation to show up in solidarity. National leftist groups including MoveOn.Org and People For the American Way, as well as a coalition of socialist and communist groups, are also helping to orchestrate the attack on Gov. Walker and the reforms.

Those organizations have also been involved in spreading the protests across America. Communist groups, members of the Obama regime, and various unions bosses are planning and promoting a national mobilization day on April 4 to maintain their grip on government treasuries across America.

President Barack Obama whose Labor Secretary has become increasingly vocal in favor of the government unions also spoke out about the measure again, even after being rebuffed last month by Gov. Walker. The Governor urged the administration to sort out its own budget problems before becoming involved in states solutions. According to the Associated Press, Obamas spokesman told reporters that the President still considered the reforms an assault on government employees and that it was wrong to use budget crises "to denigrate or vilify public sector employees."

Several Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin have also accused the Presidents political machine of direct involvement in recall efforts and protests, possibly in an attempt to influence the 2012 presidential election in favor of Obama. The White House denied those claims. But the Democratic National Committee, which depends heavily on union contributions, has played an active role through its Organizing for America campaign.

But despite frequent media references to polls purporting to show that Americans do not support reining in government-unions, a new Gallup poll points to the opposite. According to the survey, 49 percent favor changing state laws to limit the government-provided collective bargaining powers of public-sector unions. Only 45 percent of people oppose the idea, while six percent remain undecided.

Gov. Walker said he intends to sign the union legislation quickly as he attempts to solve the states multi-billion dollar budget deficit. But at least according to protesters, the fight in Wisconsin is far from over.

Photo: Police remove a protester from an area of the Capitol Building, March 10, 2011, in Madison, Wis.: AP Images

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