Wisconsin Republicans Force Through Bill, Protesters Retake Capitol

From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7039/breaking_wisconsin_republicans_force_through_bill_to_eliminate_collect/

By Joe Macare
Mar 9, 2011  8:37 pm

The Uptake’s summary beneath their live video coverage is explosive in its brevity: “Wisconsin Republicans pass a bill to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights. There is a call for a general strike. People are occupying the capitol.”

The Wisconsin GOP have gone ahead with what Dave Wiegel of Slate calls “the nuclear option.”

Or as Mother Jones’ ongoing Wisconsin Explained put it: “The Republicans have taken the pieces of Walker’s legislation that affect unions—including eliminating bargaining rights for most public-sector unions—and made them into a separate bill which they claim they can pass without Democrats being present.”

Why do Republicans hate unions quite so much, anyway? At Daily Kos, Laura Clawson reported today on the candor shown by Wisconsin State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald when he admitted to Fox News that a big part of their motivation is about winning elections and ensuring President Obama has a “much more difficult time getting elected.”

Working In These Times’ Mike Elk is providing updates via Twitter. In his words, “Gov. Walker just broke the glass on the fire alarm for the class war.” Elsewhere on Twitter, WORT News has reported that the University of Wisconsin Police Department “has delivered hundreds of plastic handcuffs to Capitol.”

Others worth following for on-the-ground updates via Twitter include journalist David Douglas and protest leader Thomas Bird. Shortly after 8.30pm CST Bird reported “We took back the capitol. Breached every door,” and has since announced “We are going to maintain peace, attempt to block assembly chamber.”

Complete article with updates at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/7039/breaking_wisconsin_republicans_force_through_bill_to_eliminate_collect/

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