Staffer Inside Wisconsin Capitol Details What Happened
Well now, the restroom windows, as of today, have all (including the first floor, which is one level up) have been secured shut with screws on either side of the windows, rendering them impossible to open, the screw heads lopped off. I witnessed the maintenance dudes who were told to do this.
It sickens me to see this happen at our capitol. I love this building and all that it stands for.
UPDATE (h/t: Symbolman), via Shamane Mills at Wisconsin Public Radio, who has much more:
The Department of Adminstration says protestors are being allowed into the capitol. Crowd size will be managed to accommodate cleaning crews and preparation for Governor Scott Walker's budget address on Tuesday.
If this is true, someone is in a heap-o'-trouble, and it looks as if it is, indeed, true. Via AFL-CIO Political Communications Director Eddie Vale who’s on the ground in Madison, Wis.:
As we speak, Gov. Scott Walker & the Senate R’s are literally having the windows of the capital welded shut to keep people from passing food into the building to the people inside. [...]
We will be filing for a TRO [temporary restraining order] to open the Capitol.
Their attorneys are getting affidavits from witnesses. However, one correction: The windows are being bolted, not welded (see below).
The people are being locked out of their own capitol, or as the protesters chanted yesterday, "our house." This is an effort to "silence the debate", or as I like to call it, a power grab. In other words, this is political, it's about taking away citizens' rights, not about the budget.
According to his Twitter bio, Eric Ming is a St. Norbert College graduate and a progressive, organizer from the great state of Wisconsin. He is was in the capitol building and has posted some photos, including this one:
Via the grassroots organization TheWayForwardWI:
- windows are not welded but bolted shut. Tops of the bolts were removed to prevent them from being removed.
- confirmed by capitol staff: Republican leadership have deactivated copy machine codes for Dems
- capitol staffers confirm that lobbyists were let into building and firefighters and public denied access.
David Dayen has this and more over at Firedoglake, including:
Senate Republicans have stepped up their pressure to try to get the Democrats to return. Now the Senate Majority Leader is basically holding their staff hostage:
Madison — Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is clamping down on absent Democrats by seeking to take control of whether or not their staffers get paid.
Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) would have to review and approve timesheets for Democratic staffers, under a proposal put before a legislative committee Monday morning. Previously, Democratic lawmakers had signed off on their staff’s hours.
Defend Wisconsin reports that there are now metal detectors (that’s brand new) for access into the building, and bags are being searched. People are being let in via one entrance with three lines: one for constituents with appointments, one for protesters, and one for public hearings. Some Assembly Democrats are making appointments with people to help them obtain access.
I suppose we owe Walker a thank you for energizing the labor movement.