Hundreds of protesters opposing Gov. Scott Walker's plan to bust public employee unions remain in the State Capitol in Madison tonight, after the Walker administration backed off its plans to eject them Sunday afternoon.

It is hard, even in this day of 24-hour news cycles, to get a straight story on what happened or what the future holds.

But this much is clear:  The protesters are staying tonight, no arrests were made, and the people have won a round in the battle for Wisconsin. 

When the 4 p.m. deadline came to clear the Capitol, reports said 600 to 700 people remained, not planning to leave on their own.  About two hours later, hundreds of police officers repportedly joined the protesters to show their support and solidarity.  If true, that is missing from news stories on the event.

It is not clear whether this is a one-day decision or a continuing policy, although the New York Times story suggests that it may be ongoing:

In a victory — at least a symbolic one — for Wisconsin’s public employee unions, the Capitol authorities announced on Sunday that demonstrators could continue their all-night sleepovers in the building and would not be forcibly ejected or arrested.

“Cooler heads prevailed,” said Jim Palmer, the executive director of the 11,000-member Wisconsin Professional Police Association. “They had said they were going to clear the place out, and then they thought the better of it. Now it’s clear that law enforcement professionals are running the show.”

But all of the online stories are sketchy. [UPDATE: Wis. State Journal story says the decision on overnight stays will be re-eveluated on a daily basis, which could lead to high drama every 24 hours.]

So for now, at least, it is People 1, Walker 0.

The chant of the last two weeks, "Whose house"  "OUR house!" has been upheld.

Now on to the bigger challenge, making the main chant come true:

Kill The Bill!

Submitted by xoff on