The legislature has been occupied for days by thousands of protesters. Opposition members are in hiding. Massive rallies are taking place every day in the capital and across the country to defend basic rights and freedoms.
Opponents of the pro-democracy crowds have been few in number. So far, at least, they have not engaged in violence. And, while armed state security are on alert, they too have not, as yet, attacked. But that could change: yet another rally is taking place today, and pro-government demonstrators have pledged to attend in force.
Welcome to Madison, Wisconsin.
A state that could have ended 2011 with a surplus has been driven into penury by the Republican governor, Scott Walker. By giving tax breaks to the rich, he gouged an enormous hole in the state’s revenues, creating a significant deficit. This he now wants to repair by sticking it to public sector workers, effectively smashing their unions and imposing major rollbacks.
The people aren’t standing for it.
No, Wisconsin isn’t Egypt, and Egypt isn’t Libya. But exactly the same democratic impulse is at work. Push folks far enough and hard enough, and they will rise up together in anger.
There is no call here, though, for “Second Amendment remedies” and “watering the Tree of Liberty.” Where are all those anti-government Teabaggers, anyway?
Well, solidarity with most of the people.
[H/t fern hill]