In Madison, Wisconsin — the Berkeley of the Midwest — deadlines don’t mean diddly-squat. Rules don’t apply. And the People’s House belongs not to hard-working taxpayers, but to Big Labor squatters who have grimed and slimed up the Capitol for almost two weeks.
The Capitol police had set a deadline this afternoon for the grievance mob to clear out their sleeping bags, crock pots, and other makeshift camp paraphernalia. The occupiers ignored them. The Capitol police then promptly…capitulated. Rest assured, rewarding the breakdown of civil order will lead to more civil disorder. Way to go, Madison:
The occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol by protesters fighting efforts to strip public workers of union bargaining rights carried on Sunday after police decided not to forcibly remove demonstrators and end a nearly two-week-long sit-in.
Roughly three hours after a deadline to vacate the building had passed and as police officers continued to look on quietly, protest coordinator Erika Wolf took to a microphone and announced: “There’s really awesomely good news — that we’re going to be able to stay here tonight.”
A cheer went up from the several hundred protesters who had ignored a request from the state agency that oversees the Capitol to leave by 4 p.m. so that the normally immaculate building could get a thorough cleaning.
“If you want to leave — it’s totally cool, because the doors will be open around 8 a.m.” on Monday, said Wolf, 25, who works with the United Council of University of Wisconsin Students.
But many said they would stay and again sleep inside the Capitol, which protesters have filled with chants, catcalls and song since their demonstration began on Feb. 15.
When rules are lobbed, mobs rule.
On a related note: University of Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse and her husband Laurence Meade have been providing excellent on-the-ground coverage in Madison. In case you missed it, see: Protesters at the Wisconsin Capitol disrespectfully have taped signs on and piled junk against the Veterans Memorial.
And: New Media Meade catches protesters leaving the Capitol and the scene outside — including the scoop from police that anyone who wants to stay will be allowed. (“Dane County Sheriff’s deputies tell Meade that no one will be arrested and, in fact, anyone who doesn’t leave will be allowed to stay. They’ll just have to get out of the way when the floor scrubbers come through.”)