Police Shut Down WI Capitol as Walker Proposes Massive Upward Redistribution of State’s Wealth

UPDATE from Fight Back! News: Occupation continued March 2--60 pople inside as 1,000 marched downtown; Walker takes injunction opening building to mean "one-to-one swap"; large protests scheduled today March 3.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unveiled billions of dollars worth of cuts to social programs and further tax cuts to the rich today in front of a small crowd of supportive citizens and lawmakers. In Walker’s budget proposal, schools would be prohibited from raising taxes to make up for the $900 million loss of state funding. Medicaid users will pay higher co-pays and deductibles to cover $500 million in cuts to the federal health care program for low-income people. Walker’s proposal will eliminate the rules that allow non-violent prisoners to earn time off of their sentences through good behavior, as well as in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants. Cities and counties will lose, respectively, $60 million and $34 million in state funding. Citizens in the audience were both admiring and respectful.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the capitol lawn, banging on noisemakers and shouting “Recall Walker!” and “Kill the Bill!” Protestors swarmed the capitol entrance on State Street demanding access to their locked capitol building during the budget address. Next, they marched towards the King St. entrance in order to find the media crews who, protest leaders said, were busy filming a much smaller demonstration. Demonstrators have been demanding entrance to the building ever since 4 p.m. on Sunday when the police first locked the doors. But according to the state’s Department of Administration (DOA) the capitol is open to the public.

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