Protestors Sleeping At Wisconsin Capitol
The protests continue in Wisconsin and police seem to be getting more lenient on protesters.
MADISON, Wis. -- Dozens of protesters camped overnight in the Wisconsin Capitol and vowed to be back in full force Monday after police backed away from threats to close the building, where demonstrators have held steady for two weeks to oppose Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening unions.
Police decided not to forcibly remove protesters after thousands ignored a 4 p.m. Sunday deadline to leave so the normally immaculate building could get a thorough cleaning. Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said no demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continued to obey the law.
"People here have acted lawfully and responsibly," Tubbs said. "There's no reason to consider arrests."
The floors where several hundred protesters had slept previous nights looked unusually bare late Sunday as the smaller crowd of people walked around in socks, lounged on blankets and curled up under jackets.
But organizers said they were confident that demonstrators who were persuaded to leave Sunday would return to continue fighting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to strip nearly all public workers from their collective bargaining rights. Protesters have staged a sit-in that began Feb. 15 and hit its peak Saturday, when more than 70,000 people descended on the Capitol grounds for a rally.