Wisconsin Democrats Return, Join Mass Protest

Tens of thousands march in Madison again

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 12, 2011 5:41 PM CST

(Newser) – The 14 Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin nearly a month ago returned from Illinois today, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. They were given a heroes' welcome by tens of thousands of pro-union protesters who again converged on the state Capitol in Madison. "It is so good to be here, Wisconsin!" Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller told the crowd. He was met by chants of "Welcome home!"

Foes of the new law curbing union rights vow to keep up such protests, fight the law in court, and try to recall Republicans who pushed it through. GOP Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald isn't scared, notes the LA Times: Democratic senators "are going to pat themselves on the back and smile for the cameras," he said. "They're going to pretend they're heroes for taking a three-week vacation. It is an absolute insult to the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who are struggling to find a job, much less one they can run away from and go down to Illinois—with pay."

Wisconsin Senate Democrat leader Mark Miller is flanked by Sen. Fred Risser, left, and Sen. Robert Jauch.
Wisconsin Senate Democrat leader Mark Miller is flanked by Sen. Fred Risser, left, and Sen. Robert Jauch.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Thousands of pro-labor protesters rallied at the Wisconsin Capitol Saturday.
Thousands of pro-labor protesters rallied at the Wisconsin Capitol Saturday.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Wisconsin Senate Democrat leader Mark Miller speaks at a rally outside the state Capitol Saturday in Madison, Wis.
Wisconsin Senate Democrat leader Mark Miller speaks at a rally outside the state Capitol Saturday in Madison, Wis.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Thousands of pro-labor protesters rallied at the Wisconsin Capitol Saturday.
Thousands of pro-labor protesters rallied at the Wisconsin Capitol Saturday.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Wisconsin State Sen. Dave Hansen speaks at a rally outside the state Capitol Saturday.
Wisconsin State Sen. Dave Hansen speaks at a rally outside the state Capitol Saturday.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Wisconsin Senate Democrat leader Mark Miller, right, and Sen. Dave Hansen yell back to supporters.
Wisconsin Senate Democrat leader Mark Miller, right, and Sen. Dave Hansen yell back to supporters.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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