The protests in Madison may have reached a climax Saturday afternoon as an estimated 85-to-100,000 people crowded around the Capitol building. A chilly wind whipped down State Street but the masses were undeterred.
The protests continued over Gov. Scott Walker’s bill wiping out collective bargaining rights for public workers, and what’s been described as an “austerity budget” that slashes funding for public education and other programs.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca called the turnout “absolutely extraordinary,” as a he shook hands and gave hugs to the demonstrators. “I hope Governor Walker is taking note because these people are not going away,” said Barca, adding they’ll continue the fight in the legislature, in the courts and at the ballot box.
For his part, Gov. Walker said over the weekend he “has no doubt” the public will eventually support his plans when they see government is operating more efficiently.