Union members from California supporting protesters - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Union members from California supporting protesters

Union members arriving from California Union members arriving from California
Firefighters parading around Capitol square Firefighters parading around Capitol square

MADISON (WKOW) -- The ninth day of protests at the Capitol over Governor Walker's budget proposal has union members coming into town from across the country.

Wednesday they were coming in by the busload.

Blanca Gomez flew in on a charter flight from Los Angeles, with 161 other union members from the Los Angeles area.

Blanca Gomez, a social worker in California, said, "It's important. It's everybody's fight in Wisconsin. We're all here to support Wisconsin."

Arriving in downtown Madison, the group planned to join the protests Wednesday evening at the state Capitol. They'll stay through Thursday.

While the majority of protesters remain largely from Wisconsin, it's not hard to find hundreds of people from other states at the Capitol.

Rich Harkins drove nine and a half hours from Detroit. He said, "I believe if workers rights aren't protected here, this will steamroll across America."

Inside the Capitol Wednesday, security remained tight. A crowd estimated at 5,000 by the Department of Administration rallied inside.

The crowd picked up after work hours, when teachers and others from across Wisconsin came back to the Capitol to participate.

Brad Glidden drove in from Illinois. He said, "This is where the battleground is. This is a fight for every union... any blue collar worker working by the hour needs to fight this battle."

Governor Walker himself addressed the out-of-towners coming to the Capitol, saying he welcomed those who would participate in friendly debate and discussion.

He said in his fireside chat on Tuesday though, "As more and more protesters come in from Nevada, Chicago and elsewhere, I am not going to allow their voices to overwhelm the voices of the millions of taxpayers from across the state who think we're doing the right thing. This is a decision that Wisconsin will make."

Protests just as loud are set for Thursday, and into the weekend.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Protests continue at the Capitol with roughly 5,000 people inside Wednesday, according to the Department of Administration.

161 Union members from California arrived in Madison Wednesday afternoon on a charter flight, in support of Wisconsin union members.

The rallies began on Saturday following Gov. Walker's Friday announcement of his budget repair bill.

SMWIA National President Mike Sullivan and former Green Bay Packer Gilbert Brown marched to the Capitol Rotunda accompanied by the IAFF with their bagpipes and SMWIA and UFCW members.

The Capitol Square was closed for about five minutes while protesters paraded in the street.

Powered by Frankly