Chicagoans join protests in Madison

By Cristina Aguirre

Tens of thousands of people braved the snow and freezing rain, packed inside the Wisconsin state capitol building, surrounding Gov. Scott Walker’s office, banging drums and shouting chants like, “Talk to us” and “We are Wisconsin” over potential union rights changes.

The protests, which have been ongoing for more than two weeks, began when Walker introduced his budget repair bill that would limit unions’ collective bargaining rights and increase the amount of money workers would have to contribute to their pension and health insurance benefits, but despite protests the bill was passed.

On Feb. 25, the Wisconsin House of Representatives passed Walker’s controversial bill. The bill now moves to the state Senate floor but might not pass as quickly as it did in the House. When protests began, 14 Democratic senators fled the state—and were missing as of press time—preventing the Senate from having enough members present to pass any legislation.