Walkerville Tent City approved - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Walkerville Tent City approved

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Protesters will be allowed to camp outside the Capitol for more than two weeks starting Saturday.

The streets of downtown Madison will soon be taken over by Walkerville tent city.

Walkerville organizer David Boetcher says, "The idea behind Walkerville is to tie it to the original Hooverville of the 1930's."

There's been opposition from business owners and even some downtown business leaders. Madison's Central Business Improvement District Executive Director Mary Carbine says, "When you move it from the Capitol to the business district it's not impacting Capitol, it's impacting business."

residents were also upset with the permit proposal. One says, "We've patiently endured horn blowing, drumming, it seems incomprehensible to allow people to camp out outside a residence."

The city of Madison Street Commission went ahead approving that tents can be put up along four blocks of the Capitol square, but there will be some restrictions. Tents have to be 20 feet from buildings to allow people to walk through and access businesses.

Most tents will have to be taken down during the day between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. except for three set locations where tents can be left up at all times as long as they're attended.

Boetcher says, "They're coming to make their voices heard by legislature while they're voting on the budget, they didn't come to disappear during the day."

Those three spots are in front of Grace Episcopal Church on North Carroll Street, in front of Flavor of India on West Mifflin and Manchester place on East Mifflin.

For the organizers and supporters of Walkerville having the ability to camp out 24 hours straight is important to the message they want to send to the Walker administration inside the Capitol.

Walkerville organizer Peter Rickman says, "What we're talking about here is no matter the hour of the day, we're going to be bearing witness to everything they do and say. No, we're rejecting this. That constant that is part of the message itself."

Organizers don't know how many people will take part in Walkerville but they said people were going to show up with or without a permit, a permit just allow structure for a movement in Madison that has no end in sight.

The Walkerville permit starts Saturday night at 7 p.m. and is good through June 20th. Organizers had to apply for an additional special events campsite permit and that has been approved for the first seven days.

Their hope is to get another campsite permit at a later time, but will continue to work with the city on that. If there is a pre-scheduled event, like the farmers market, the Walkerville tents will need to come down to accommodate those events.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Streets Use Commission has voted to allow tents and camping on downtown streets for a "Walkerville" protest.

Organizers are planning protests as lawmakers debate the budget at the Capitol.

Friday morning the commission approved the motion, allowing tents between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday through Thursday and 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Friday overnights on Carroll Street. But most tents would need to be taken down during daylight hours.

Click here to see the final permit from the City of Madison.

 

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