Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wisconsin Point:Counterpoint

Democracy requires the hearing of all voices. For most of the week here in Madison, the protest has been the voice of those protesting Gov. Walker's bill. The protest existed, of course, because those voices had NOT been heard, and the Governor's bill seeks to silence those voices pretty effectively by ending the tradition of collective bargaining. Nevertheless, the conservative voices wanted to back their man, and support the proposed bill, and Saturday was their opportunity.

Tea Party Responds To The Protest

There were about 5,000 counter-protesters in support of the Gov. and the bill. They were ringed in by 45,000 protesters circling the square and rallying on the opposite side of the Capitol. In general, things were peaceful. There were some heated conversations, but no altercations and Madison police issued a statement praising the peaceful demonstration.

Tea Party Responds To The Protest

Most of the Tea Party signs focused on the budget - about which I have already spoken, but I'll reiterate that while the Gov. claims we have a budget deficit, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that the fiscal year ended with a modest surplus. Any shortfall is the doing of this Governor. Many of the signs voiced opinions against labor unions. The speakers at the noon rally railed against unions in general, and teachers in particular. The crowd cheered.

While I generally avoided taking pics of crazy signs on both sides (comparisons of Gov. Walker with ousted Egyptian President Mubarak, for example), I was compelled to snap this shot because the talking heads on the Right insist that this sign never appears at Tea Party Rallies. It's condition says otherwise.

Tea Party Responds To The Protest

To the loonies on both sides: Hyperbole hurts your case and makes you look idiotic.

There are more pics from Saturday's rally in a SLIDE SHOW, primarily of the Tea Party group, but it was hard to ignore the other 45,000. The most recent photos are up front.

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