Union supporters hold rally at Rock County Courthouse
Wisconsin budget protests
JANESVILLE Dora McGill stood at the curb along Court Street with a sign stating, "Walker, you've silenced my voice, now read my recall."
"We don't feel it is right the way Walker leads," McGill said, as drivers honked at her sign. "We won't give up. We're going to keep fighting."
McGill was one of about 250 union supporters rallying at the Rock County Courthouse on Sunday, chanting, displaying signs and speaking out against Gov. Scott Walker and the budget repair legislation.
Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden and Janesville City Council member Yuri Rashkin were among the speakers at the rally. Other politicians, union leaders and concerned residents also spoke.
They said people must vote in future elections and work to recall Walker now that the bill cutting public worker union rights has become law.
The rally was held in the rear parking lot of the courthouse. Several people also stood along neighboring streets displaying their signs for motorists.
The rally lasted about 90 minutes. People chanted, "This is what democracy looks like," "recall Walker" and "shame." One person screamed, "We're mad as heck, and we're not going to take it anymore."
When Cullen grabbed a microphone, the crowd burst into a sustained chant of "thank you." Cullen smiled and pointed to the crowd, thanking them in return. Cullen was one of 14 Democratic senators who fled to Illinois in protest of the budget repair bill.
"I want to tell you about this time we're in and about what we're doing … the question in front of us is as old as democracy," Cullen told the crowd. "The question is: Who is going to rule us? Are the people going to rule us or is the money going to rule us? It's people or money."
Spoden told the crowd they exercised their rights in a democratic and peaceful fashion when they marched at the Capitol.
"You have all honored our state. You all stand for the best things that Wisconsin is, and that is democracy, a strong voice, a clear mind and a direction to move forward," Spoden said.
"Remember these days. These are historic days. But all of you have to continue to push forward."
Rashkin told the crowd not to stop applying pressure on Republicans. He encouraged the crowd to vote in future elections, including any recalls of Republicans.
"I'm going to vote. You're going to vote, and we're going to make the difference," Rashkin said.
People later chanted, "Vote, vote, vote."
After the rally, Elizabeth said she is worried about the state's future. She wouldn't give her last name because the budget issue has become so divisive that she is worried she might be harassed if people knew she attended the event.
"We have to stand together," Elizabeth said. "I don't support what Walker does. I have friends and relatives who are teachers."
SIGNS AT SUNDAY RALLY
"Walker: Your pink slip is coming"
"Thank you WI 14"
"UAW Local 95 supports workers rights"
"Cops for Labor"
"Lies and Tea and Koch Oh My"
"We aren't slobs. We're voters"
"Shame. Stop corporate welfare. Recall Walker and his minions."
"Walker, you've silenced my voice, now read my recall."
"Stop the attack on Wisconsin families"
"Stop the war on workers"
"Thank you Fab 14 our heroes"