Republican Scott Walker took office as governor in Wisconsin in January 2011. His legislative agenda was aggressive. One of his first legislative priorities was called
Act 10, which he introduced on Feb. 14, 2011. The pictures in this gallery were taken between Feb. 18, 2011, and Mar. 12, 2011. The Act 10 protests in Madison continued for several months. On the weekends, there were more than 100,000 people in attendance on the Capitol Square.
Immediately after the introduction of Act 10, all 14 Democratic members of the State Senate fled Wisconsin to Illinois to delay passage of the bill. The 19 remaining Republicans did not have the required 20 members for a quorum. The “Fab 14” or “Dem 14” remained out-of-state for several weeks despite threats of arrest from Republicans.
Despite the public outcry and Democratic legislators’ attempts to block the bill, Scott Walker signed the bill on Mar. 11, 2011. Scott Walker won but at a fairly high cost. He was the subject of a statewide recall vote after enough signatures were collected to force a recall vote. He notably survived the recall. Subsequently, the Republicans were much less public, forthcoming, and transparent about legislation, which continues to this day.
All photos on this page are unretouched images taken with a point-and-shoot camera.
Click on an image to view in full-screen slideshow. Jesse Jackson addresses the crow in the capitol rotunda in Madison, Wis., at noon on Friday, February 18, 2011. “Detroit is here with u!” “Baltimore is here with you!” Capitol rotunda “Solidarity” Speeches began at noon on the Capitol Square. Hundreds of TAs, college students and high school students marched around the capitol square. Teaching Assistants, college students and high school students marched around the square. Friday, February 18, 2011, was the third day of no school in Madison. “Support Teachers and State Workers” The massive crowd of people marching around the Capitol Square. “Out With Walker” People marching around the Capitol Square in Madison on Saturday, February 19, 2011. This man demonstrates what he feels are similarities between George W. Bush and Scott Walker. The floor of the capitol rotunda. Republicans on the fence “Scott Walker is OFF his rocker!” Kids at the capitol in Madison were combining two of Wisconsin’s favorite activities: sledding and protesting. We got some snow and sleet on Sunday, and the hill at the capitol was slick. Protest signs made good sleds, and the kids looked like they were having a lot of fun! “Dump the Dictator” This firefighter had tape over his mouth and a sign that read “This is What Walker REALLY WANTS.” The firefighters union was one of five public employee unions that supported Scott Walker in the election. Four of those five unions were also completely protected from the cuts in Walker’s budget repair bill. But the firefighters know better than to stay silent because they know they could be next in line for cuts. Their parade was huge. Firefighters from all over the state have shown up in Madison to protest. A firefighter wearing a kilt and hiking boots while playing the bagpipes. More firefighters and police protesting. “Firefighters for Labor” This sign is held by a Ph.D. student I know who will soon become a faculty member himself. Gov. Scott Walker AKA The Imperial Walker (that is, an AT-AT from Star Wars) AKA The Koch Brothers’ Lap Dog takes a drink from the Koch brothers’ toilet. Capitalism at work. This man sells buttons to the protesters. It was a snowy February day in Madison, Wis., but today had the largest crowds yet. Fair Trade Coffee House and Michelangelo’s were offering free coffee to everyone … unless your name happens to be Scott Walker. A protest sign and protesters by the capitol. This woman had a mouthful of delicious Ian’s pizza. There has been a grassroots movement to help feed the protesters. Ian’s Pizza nearby on State St. has been ground zero for people calling in orders of pizza. Orders have come in from all 50 states, D.C. and from over 50 countries total now. “Solidarity All Workers!” This “hobo in a suit” gets interviewed on camera. Nice yellow tie, dude! Abide! One of the funny stories to come out of the past week was the phone call between Gov. Scott Walker and his master, billionaire David Koch. Except it was a prank call. “David Koch” thought Walker should “plant some troublemakers,” and Scott thought that was a lovely idea. Here is one little troublemaker who lost her two front teeth … in a fight! “Teachers did not cause the problem. We should not be the sole fix.” Billionaires “Charles” (l) and “David” (r) Koch are dressed to the nines as they rally the crowd with the big head of Gov. Scott Walker. Many young people participated in the protests. Megaphones abounded as people voiced their dissent of Gov. Scott Walker’s policies. Social work students protesting. There were many information tables scattered around the capitol square on Saturday. Popular topics were recalls of state legislators and of Gov. Walker himself. This fellow is a big Star Wars fan. Megaphones, recalls, and protesters. The people made their voices heard. “Behold the people awake!” This young man creates a large chalk drawing that reads “What Democracy Looks Like.” A Vietnam vet is interviewed on camera. A man making his voice heard. This girl was with her parents, and they all had well drawn signs. The reverse side of the girl’s sign from the previous photo. A final message.