Monday, 6 June 2011

100-tent protest camp in Wisconsin

PROTESTERS in Wisconsin, USA, have set up a tent city inspired by the Spanish and Greek revolts.

Reports The Huffington Post: "In February and March, thousands of protesters flooded the Wisconsin Capitol, sleeping in the building overnight and filling the dome with their chants to bring attention to Gov. Scott Walker's attempt to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights.

"Now, some of those same individuals are taking the fight to the grounds around the Capitol, erecting a tent city to pay witness to the legislature's budget negotiations."

Peter Rickman, a University of Wisconsin-Madison law student and Teaching Assistants' Association member who is helping to organize the event was quoted as saying: "It is a galvanizing, symbolic action of working folks standing up and saying enough is enough."

Rickman told The Huffington Post there were around 100 tents set up Saturday night around the Capitol in downtown Madison. The tent city is being called "Walkerville," reminiscent of the "Hooverville" shanty towns set up by homeless Americans during the Great Depression.

Organizers have a permit to stay there until June 20. The intent, however, is to remain as long as as the budget negotiations are going on inside the Capitol.

Each day will highlight a particular group of individuals organizers argue will be most affected by cuts in the budget.

Sunday is about K-12 education; Monday will focus on public services; and Tuesday will be about health care. So on Sunday night, for example, there will be a public forum about the cuts in the budget to education, and on Monday, organizers are expecting a heavy turnout from sanitation workers, firefighters and other public employees.