Yesterday afternoon, hundreds of cops marched into the Wisconsin Capitol Building, where Wisconsinites have spent more than a week protesting their governor's plan to eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees. They were there to join the protest. Musician Ryan Harvey posted this report to Facebook:
"Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside."
"Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: 'We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what's right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!' Unreal."
My friend Chris Hayden, one of the people running the protest's volunteer first-aid station, also told me that, despite an order to remove the station, he was able to negotiate a compromise with on-site law enforcement (when I was there on Thursday, state troopers were standing guard at the capital, rather than police) that allowed the service to continue.
If I understand correctly, police are one of the groups that would be exempt from an elimination of collective bargaining rights. They don't personally stand to lose anything. But they came anyway, to support the people who do have something to lose. Protect and serve!
Via Chris Hayden and The Understory
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.