As the Wisconsin protests saw their biggest day yet yesterday, doctors handed out sick notes to workers who needed them to explain absences. Men and women wearing lab coats and claiming to be doctors “were handing out excuses to people who were feeling sick due to emotional, mental, or financial distress,” one witness tells the MacIver Institute; he and others say that no exam was performed before a note was handed out. Meanwhile, protesters were met for the first time by an organized group of people from the opposing side who are for the controversial budget-repair bill, and Gov. Scott Walker refused a proposed compromise.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators converged inside and outside the Capitol yesterday, the fifth day of protests, as Democratic senators remained out of the state, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. One Democratic state senator, with backing from public employee unions, said the unions would submit to the financial sacrifices the bill contains as long as they kept their collective bargaining rights, but Walker, through a spokesperson, refused to negotiate. And as protesters yelled slogans like “Kill the bill,” pro-Walker demonstrators responded with slogans including “Pass the bill”—but the protests remained peaceful and no arrests were made. Protests continued today, as Walker reiterated his refusal to compromise, the AP adds, noting that 68,000 people turned out yesterday. Click for more on the Tea Party’s face-off with anti-bill protesters.