Madison, Wis. – The “occupation” of the state capitol by labor activists will soon come to an end, at least for one evening. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, state police will force protesters to leave the marble halls by 4 p.m. Sunday. The building will reopen Monday morning. “We are closing the capitol for a short period of time for public health reasons, as well as for general building maintenance,” said the capitol police chief in a statement.
For nearly two weeks, the capitol has been a poster-covered commune for graybeard professors, college students, and government workers. Many visitors have slept under the rotunda, toting sleeping bags and blankets along with anti-Walker signs. Near the stairwells, empty pizza boxes, grungy pillows, and snack boxes have piled up; hand drums and winter coats dot the ground floor.
Here are some snapshots from the center of the storm:
The protests continued today. Below, NRO video captures Madison-area educators exchanging high fives on a Friday afternoon. One holds a Gandhi sign; another blasts a horn. Their chant: “We are the mighty teachers!”
Some camping students are not happy about the Sunday toss:
Harriet Rowan, a 22-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison senior, one of the protest organizers, said she had not heard about the closing. She called it “sad” and said she can’t believe people will be willing to leave.
“I’m pretty sure there will be people unwilling to leave the building on their own two feet,” Rowan said.