Sunday, March 13, 2011

Madison's "Tractorcade" protest refocuses WI outrage

Clogging the Wisconsin Capitol grounds and screaming angry chants, tens of thousands of undaunted pro-labor protesters descended on Madison again Saturday and vowed to focus on future elections now that contentious cuts to public worker union rights have become law.

"This is so not the end," said protester Judy Gump, a 45-year-old English teacher at Madison Memorial High School. "This is what makes people more determined and makes them dig in."

The day began with a morning "Farmer Labor Tractorcade" that circled (Wisconsin's Capitol) Square with antique tractors and farmers who led the chants of "Show me what democracy looks like!" and “Recall Walker!"

Early afternoon saw "Art Workers March Together", aka "The Blue Tape Brigade". Lavishly decorated in the type of tape used to affix posters to the Capitol’s wall, around 100 actors, painters, musicians and others marched from the Overture Center to the gathering on the Square, beating drums and carrying possibly the largest and most elaborately constructed palm tree yet.

Of course, the highlight of the day was unquestionably the return of the 14 Senate Democrats. An overflow crowd that packed the Square and several State Street blocks greeted the returning senators like celebrities, chanting: "Thank you! Thank you!" and "Welcome home!"

Update: Tractorcade, the video.

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