Hundreds of thousands of protestors have descended on the Capitol in Madison, WI in the last year. Tens of thousands of volunteers have mobilized petition drives, meetings, and rallies in their own communities. Numerous reports in the media cite “dislike” of Gov. Walker or single issue reasons such as the collective bargaining roll back as driving factors fueling the recall. Although these reasons would be legally sufficient under Wisconsin’s constitutional right to recall, I have found public discontent to be much more multifaceted than these often used examples. After 8 months of collecting interviews and posting reports from people around the state, I have found the issues to be as diverse as the people themselves. Continue reading
These bagpipers from the firefighter’s union have not missed a single Madison rally. In the crowd of 40,000, I was fortunate enough to make my way right up next to them as they circled the Capitol. I captured this inspiring bagpipe audio. As you listen, it feels like you are right in the crowd, eavesdropping on side conversations and struggling to hear over the cheers of bystanders. The crowd followed, sang, and played makeshift instruments along with them at times.
I randomly interviewed people in the crowd. I was surprised by the number of people who were at the rally primarily supporting other people. Being minimally affected themselves by recent public policy changes, some people were advocating for the preservation of the legacy of Wisconsin.
Here are 2 of those stories.
On November 19, 2011, I traveled to Madison, WI to attend the rally to begin the recall of Gov. Walker. The weather was a warm, near 50 degrees for mid-November. The crowd was lively with the regular songs, rousing speeches, local music, and the wave of protestors circling the Capitol. I randomly approached strangers in the crowd of approximately 40,000 to interview. I wanted to know why they came and what was important to them. This is the first in a three part series of short interviews from that day. There was a request from one of the people – that there would be no retribution for their beliefs. As Wisconsinites, I think we can handle that.
Here are 3 of their stories.