Arrests Starting in Wisconsin

I’ve gotten messages but don’t see any news items yet (you can apparently find confirmation on Twitter, @AndrewKroll, @ddayen, and PRNewswatch for instance) that the police in Wisconsin have announced they will begin arrests to clear the capitol building. It’s to start at 4:00 PM Central, so it is now in process.

Hundreds have said they are willing to be arrested. Human chains were formed around the capitol.

Wonder what happens when they run out of local jail space. Will they just haul protestors to the police station, arraign them, and release them? The first wave will presumably be incarcerated, but how far can they go with this, given the numbers involved?

Update 5:40 PM Live feed, hat tip a kind anon.

Update 6:50 PM: Rather curious absence of MSM coverage, apparently only a couple of minutes on CNN.

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  1. Ina Deaver

    Thanks, anon. You can see the police setting up in the lower floors, the protestors above. This could get interesting.

  2. anon

    Yes the live feed, which is courtesy of the AFL-CIO, is now off air. Some rumors that it was cut, but who knows.

    The FOX online feed seems to be off, too, although it was running for quite a while after the union feed went dead. For those with no FOX on TV, the feed was here:

    Some interesting observations from the blogger Digby:

    Apparently, no one has been arrested yet.

  3. walker is an evil retard

    how far can they go with this, given the numbers involved?

    The ratio is about 35 teachers to 1 bad cop, so all it takes is one retarded cop to go too far, and then a civil war starts.

    1. Mike

      Wow, do you have issues with people with special needs? What’s with throwing around the word retard? Makes you look like a total tool.

  4. bob goodwin

    There is precedence for this sort of thing. I vaguely remember people being kept in gymnasiums over night. Civil disobedience is part of our national fabric. So is the part about being arrested for civil disobedience.

    Democracy is on the side of the labor busters in Wisconsin, just as it was on the side of Obamacare. I expect the outraged opposition to show what they are made of on both of those issues.

    1. RalphR

      Nonsense. In light of US apathy, the numbers who’ve rallied in the winter, when protests tend to attract fewer people, say otherwise. And Walker never said when campaigning that he was going to break unions.

  5. GYSC

    Ugh. I have stayed clear of this tooic but I still think the lawmakers that skipped the state should be expelled from the government. Cheap trick to stop a losing vote for them. Still, maybe our whole Congress will copy them and leave the country for good. One can dream.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Newt Gingrich lead Congress did not skip out of work, they just shut the whole operation down, that would be a general strike.

  6. gs_runsthiscountry

    I saw the headline and then got excited. When I read there were arrests…I thought, no can it finally be?

    Here, I thought maybe Mark Furlong, and the rest of the members of M&I boards were arrested, mi-bad.

    Citizens being arrested and Bankers still roaming free.

    Nothing to see here, I shall move along.

    Here is to sharing the pain everyone *salutes*

  7. Paul Tioxon

    The tea party is as fraudulent as the banking system that collapsed upon itself. Here is CNN promoting the tea party on its 2nd anniversary while nationwide 50 state protests roll through the Republic:

    Thousands of Union Members rally in Philly on Municipal Property in the heart of the biz district. The following day MoveOn mobilizes a 50 state distributed rally.

    Let see if this gets the glam coverage of people’s movement the astro turfers got.

  8. Paul Tioxon

    For Channel3000, click on News tab.

    Wisconsin Health care is funded solely by public employees. It is deferred wages as stipulated in their contract. By taking it as a health benefit, it is not taxed as a W-2. If they had a higher wage, and then bought a health plan, they would pay more in federal income tax.

  9. PQS

    WI Governor on David Gregory today, after being pressed by Gregory to accept the compromises the unions are offering, if fixing the budget crisis is truly what he cares about:

    “I need to do what no other governor is doing across the country.”

    Guy apparently has now developed an even larger ego than he had before, as he seems to harbor a messiah complex.

    Must be all that Koch money that does it.

  10. umormaybenot

    Arrests are about to happen, live feed is about to go down, cops are moving in, vast right wing conspiracy is about to move into action!

    Um, or maybe not.

  11. Mikhail Kropotkin

    It appears the police have agreed to allow the protesters to stay in the building overnight and will allow food to be delivered.

    Why is it that the police are “allowing” this?

    It needs to be protesters refuse police access to building to attempt arrests.

  12. Rex

    “Guy apparently has now developed an even larger ego than he had before, as he seems to harbor a messiah complex.”

    Or he’s just a self-righteous dick. That couldn’t happen with a politician, could it?

    Or maybe, like GWB, and in line with what you said, he thinks God has sent him on a mission.

  13. bobo

    Unions across the state are scurrying to ink new contracts before Walker’s law is passed. Haven’t seen of one contract that contains the benefit reductions the Democrats say the public unions have agreed to, and in Janesville salaries were actually raised. Despite rhetoric that they agree to the cut backs, it looks like they will get what they can while they can still get it. That’s reality, and Walker would be a fool to negotiate with a snake.

    1. YankeeFrank

      First of all, links to this great “information” on the “snakes”? Second, why the hell shouldn’t teachers and other middle class workers get wage hikes? Wall Street and other fatcats are paying themselves obscene bonuses with taxpayer money and they are causing massive destruction and misery in our economy and the world. I guess we “little” people should be serfs to the great and god-appointed lords at the top huh? What’s happening in Wisconsin is Americans are keeping the American dream alive — you know, the one where we don’t have a class of lords and a class of miserable wretched peasants. This is what the losers up top seem to have forgotten about the American people — we do not like being told someone is better than us, because we know it ain’t so.

    2. Unsympathetic

      Bobo, please provide a non-FoxNews link to these accusations. I don’t think any of the things asserted in your post actually occurred.

  14. Psychoanalystus

    >> Wonder what happens when they run out of local jail space. Will they just haul protestors to the police station, arraign them, and release them? The first wave will presumably be incarcerated, but how far can they go with this, given the numbers involved? <<

    No problem there. This country builds two new prisons per month (mostly private, NASDAQ-traded). The Land of the Free, the Proud, and the Brave already incarcerates 3 million people, by far more than any other nation on the face of the Earth. I am sure they could make room for a few thousand more.


  15. Banchan

    Stop the flow of Pizza, duh!

    And turn off the electricity…they are squandering the resources, while skipping out of work, and making a public place unusable, not just a public place, the home of the state Government.

    1. YankeeFrank

      So I guess public spaces are just there to look pleasant and anodyne with no actual democracy taking place in them huh? Democracy is disruptive and sometimes messy – if you don’t like it there’s a gulag somewhere I’m sure you’d be welcome.

  16. stevelaudig

    smart law enforcement would leave all the exit doors unlocked. Walk in and just start talking to people. There’s nothing sacred about having citizens in government buildings. Arrests would be a waste of time, energy and oh, money. But Walker is a nut so anything is possible.

  17. CaitlinO

    Looks like the Chief of Police has politely declined to arrest the protestors although, if they leave, they can’t come back tonight:

    Late Sunday night, Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said no demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continue to obey the law.
    Story: Walker shows no sign of conceding in Wisconsin battle

    “People here have acted lawfully and responsibly,” Tubbs said. “There’s no reason to consider arrests.”

  18. Brick

    Paul krugman has picked up on the sketchy reporting in wisconsin.
    European news media have been commenting on this as well.
    We also have accusations of bad reporting.
    I cannot help feeling that the MRC report has stirred a lot of this up, so the accussers might have alterior motives as well.
    Concerning signs for me are that the union officials are not really getting much airtime compared to government officials. This suggests a bit of bias.
    My take would be that the US news media is a bit afraid of legal action if they build up the protests to much. Its not a case of don’t want to report, but cannot because their hands are tied, either through ownership bias, legal restrictions or government embargoes.
    At the end of the day everybody wants unbiased news not fluff and its a sure way to invite competion from foreign news media.

    1. Ina Deaver

      There is no news in truth, no truth in news. We’re apparently going retro in our Third Estate in this country.

  19. Jack

    The previous governor, Doyle (D), changed the rules that closed the capitol building every night to allow for cleaning. For all those partisian, out-of-state people who think that they have a clear understanding of the issues, Walker (R), suspended that rule for the past 2 weeks to allow the people their right to protest. However, now the whole capitol smells like urine and body odor, and they would like to clean it. You know, all those out-of-state rent-a-protestors really aren’t interested in decorum during their paid-for protests. What a better way to come in and make a stink than by peeing in a corner in the Capitol building, especially if you live in Illinois. Obvoiusly, if you align with the D’s, though, then (evil)Walker is subverting Democracy by unsuspending the rule to close the Capitol building every night for cleaning, put in place by the D’s last term.

  20. amateur Socialist

    I think it’s kind of naive to ask where is the MSM without asking first “Where is the administration?” The white house’s silence re this assault on worker’s rights should be a national scandal for the union members who worked to elect Mr. Obama.

    1. JTFaraday

      “The white house’s silence re this assault on worker’s rights should be a national scandal for the union members who worked to elect Mr. Obama.”

      According to the so-called liberal media throughout the 2008 campaign, the unions–especially in the mid-west swing states– are filled with working class racists who would never vote for Obama.

      So, maybe Obama feels no sense of obligation to union struggles in mid-west swing states.

  21. Jack

    amateur Socialist,

    The silence from the White House really shouldn’t be surprising. This article in the WSJ
    correctly notes that Obama does not grant federal workers collective bargaining rights. Therefore, for him to criticize Walker for trying to take away collective bargaining rights on the State level is hypocritical. If it was so important, then why not give federal employees collective bargaining rights too?


  22. lambert strether

    The White House hasn’t been silent. The reason they’re not supporting labor in WI is — and I know this will surprise you — that they don’t support labor:

    “He made his viewpoints known on the situation in Wisconsin the need for people to come together,” [White House spokeshole Carney] added later. “He takes very seriously the fiscal situation that the states find themselves in… and understands it because he understands it at the federal level. But he encourages the parties involved to come together and sacrifice together [haw].”

    Except what the unions are being asked to sacrifice is collective bargaining, after they already sacrficed on wages and working conditions, and “coming together” for practical purposes means submitting to Shock Doctrine, which is what Walker is seeking to impose.

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