Day 2 of rally at Capitol against budget repair bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Day 2 of rally at Capitol against budget repair bill


By Lysée Mitri - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

State workers rallied at the Capitol for a second day Wednesday to fight against Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill.

The Department of Administration estimates there were about 10,000 people demonstrating. Unions are saying there were as many as 30,000 people. An even larger protest is expected Thursday morning.

Thousands marched to the Capitol, gearing up for the massive rally against Governor Scott Walker's proposal.

The crowd stretched so far around the Capitol at one point, you couldn't see where it ended.

"This is not about taxes and budget cuts," said Kim Peterson in a speech during the rally. "It is about busting unions."

Firefighters aren't affected by Walker's proposal to take away public employee rights to collective bargaining, but even they are speaking out on behalf of unions.

"When police and firefighters see an emergency, we respond," said Joe Conway, President of Fire Fighters Local 311.

People of all ages rallied at the Capitol to show their support.

Seven-year-old Owen Howe made a sign for the event. He wrote, "Fight for teachers," on one side and, "Scott Walker is mister ‘baloney'" on the other.

His mother, Jennifer Howe, says she already planned to take her son out of school before it was canceled.

"I felt it was really important for him to understand how important his education is and what his teachers do for him," Howe said. 

Her son wasn't the only student rallying.

Inside the Capitol, students lined the steps chanting things like, "Scott Walker's got to go." Many crowded outside Walker's office to make their voices heard.

Gloria Nathan came to support her daughter.

"I believe in negotiation, but there is no negotiation this time," Nathan said. "[Walker] is just saying no. That's it, and I just think that is unfair."

Unfair, too extreme and too fast—that's what demonstrators are saying about the proposal.

"I'm taking my precious personal days," said Mike Lowrey, a state worker since 1975. "I could be spending them with my wife and my child. I'm here instead for my wife and my child." 

Demonstrators reminded everyone again on Wednesday that these past few days of rallies are just the beginning.

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