Police carry protesters out of Wisconsin capitol

posted at 12:45 pm on March 10, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, a debate erupted on Twitter about whether police in Madison would stand aside and let demonstrators overrun the capitol in sympathy with the public-employee unions that planned another massive protest after last night’s vote in the state Senate.  So far, it appears that police have instead acted professionally, as they have begun to clear the capitol building of protesters that broke in last night:

Demonstrators were carried out of the Assembly by police Thursday as a new standoff shaped up at the Capitol as Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has again closed the building to the public.

As protesters said they were willing to risk arrest to block an Assembly vote on Walker’s bill on union bargaining, police began escorting or dragging some of them out. There is still a sizable group inside, however.

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” demonstrators shouting.

Taylor Tengwall, 21, of Duluth, Minn., said, “They grabbed me by the shoulders and took me out.”

Law enforcement gave early indications that they would play it down the middle.  First they decided to keep the building closed instead of opening it on time.  When “hundreds” of demonstrators demanded that the police step aside, they held their positions instead. Shortly after that demand, Madison police shut down the roads around the capitol building to cut off traffic.

As I argued on Twitter earlier, the police in Wisconsin have signaled their sympathy to the unions, but have conducted themselves professionally during the three weeks of the crisis.  At least thus far, they continue to do so. The demonstrators have a right to assemble on the Capitol grounds and protest, and the police are going to allow that, but they appear ready to secure the building and allow the legislature to meet.

It’s a good thing, too, because death threats have begun pouring into the state capitol, aimed at Republicans. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald released the text of one through spokesman Andrew Wellhouse that threatened to “assault” several elected Republican officials at their homes:

“We have received several more threats over the past few weeks as well, and protesters have actually gone so far as to go up to (Fitzgerald’s) house and bang on the windows at 6 a.m. demanding that he come out,” Welhouse said.

Tim Donovan, a spokesman for the Department of Administration and Capitol Police, had no immediate comment Thursday morning.

Here’s an excerpt of the email provided by Welhouse:

“This is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records. We have all planned to assault (sic) you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, this isn’t enough. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message. So we have built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent…”

The Assembly convened late, as its Majority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald was asked by the Capitol Police to hold off until they could secure the chamber. According to the live feed, which cuts in and out, they came into session a short while ago.

Update: Actually, it appears that the Assembly still has not come into session.  Several Democratic lawmakers in orange T-shirts had been milling around, but the Republicans want to wait until the police secure the building.  They are still milling around as of now (12:15), but appear to be taking seats.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Thanks

Brat4life on March 10, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Now on to Walker for signature…run it down the hallway…gang way, gang way, coming on thru….

PatriotRider on March 10, 2011 at 4:49 PM

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Good job!!!!

Knucklehead on March 10, 2011 at 4:50 PM

And nary a peep from the liberal MSM concerning death threats and threats of violence being made by liberals against conservatives.

Carl on March 10, 2011 at 4:51 PM

With all the death threats aimed at public officials and the use of the internet to deliver them, how come the feds aren’t involved?

Blake on March 10, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Apparently DOJ is looking into the thretening email.

Wethal on March 10, 2011 at 1:40 PM

But you know they’d rather not have to do it.

silvernana on March 10, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Yahoo!

cmsinaz on March 10, 2011 at 4:55 PM

The Wisconsin Legislative clerks are far faster with the rolls than the Congressional ones.

The roll on concurrence is now up.

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Where are those guys trying to get into?

Brat4life on March 10, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Where are those guys trying to get into?

Brat4life on March 10, 2011 at 4:58 PM

The Assembly Speaker’s office.

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Five Republican voted no, and 1 Independent voted yes.

sandee on March 10, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Apparently DOJ is looking into the thretening email.

Wethal on March 10, 2011 at 1:40 PM

how does that effect his people?

unseen on March 10, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Looks like MMoore and Obamma and all the MSM are at fault. We need to pass a law that if you keep quite about something ,your just as guilty and can be tried as an accomplice.

BruceB on March 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

The one thing they did not do and they should of, was voted on the budget while they were there, so it could go to the Senate.

WoosterOh on March 10, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Who is this idiot speaking??? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Odie1941 on March 10, 2011 at 5:17 PM

I guess I dont get it. Did they pass the Budget or pass a bill? Seems like a budget would need a quorum, that is why they would strip the money and leave the rest.

The story seems to change by the minute as to what is really going on.

WoosterOh on March 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM

The one thing they did not do and they should of, was voted on the budget while they were there, so it could go to the Senate.

WoosterOh on March 10, 2011 at 5:13 PM

They weren’t ready to do that.

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I guess I dont get it. Did they pass the Budget or pass a bill? Seems like a budget would need a quorum, that is why they would strip the money and leave the rest.

The story seems to change by the minute as to what is really going on.

WoosterOh on March 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM

This was a budget repair bill, made necessary because the very same Democrats who in the Assembly made orange-coated asses of themselves and in the Senate took a Flatlander powder, screwed up the FY2010-FY2011 budget to the tune of needing to come up with $140 million in savings prior to the close of the FY2011 year on June 30. Despite the fact there were no direct state-level appropriations, this bill managed to close that gap.

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 5:26 PM

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I know, I was asking for too much. Hard to sit there and say, we removed page 3-10, so lets vote on the rest, because that is likely not what happened. They removed lines, and the whole thing would have to be typed up again, maybe even need time to be read. I was just thinking it would of been good to get that out of the way.

WoosterOh on March 10, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I know, I was asking for too much. Hard to sit there and say, we removed page 3-10, so lets vote on the rest, because that is likely not what happened. They removed lines, and the whole thing would have to be typed up again, maybe even need time to be read. I was just thinking it would of been good to get that out of the way.

WoosterOh on March 10, 2011 at 5:29 PM

What came out of the conference committee last night was in the form of a substitute amendment, so the full retyping was already done. My very-quick read was that, on the items that were in both the version that came out of the Joint Finance Committee last month and in the conference committee version, there were no significant changes, and that there wasn’t anything in the conference committee version that wasn’t already debated by the Legislature. The gang at WisPolitics also said the case.

steveegg on March 10, 2011 at 5:41 PM

If one single Republican is even injured, it’s over for the left for decades. I hope for their sake that their not dumb enough to follow through on these threats. But with the left, you never know. No exactly your independent thinking rocket scientists.

JeffB. on March 10, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I got an easy way to disband them each and every time they start.

Send someone over to drop a few of the curly lightbulbs. That ought to scatter them fast.

lonestar1 on March 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4