MILWAUKEE (WSAU) Several hundred protestors closed a bridge over I-43 in Milwaukee for two hours late yesterday. Four people were arrested. But Police Chief Ed Flynn said he refused to break up the crowd because he didn’t want to fulfill their quote, “martyrdom fantasies.” They then declared victory.
The protest demanded economic equality, and was among numerous demonstrations around the country exactly two months after the first Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. Milwaukee’s event began in a nearby park, with signs reading “Tax the Rich Now” and “Jobs, Not War.” The group eventually marched onto Milwaukee’s North Avenue bridge.
Janet Veum of Wisconsin Jobs Now said the local protest tried to highlight a bridge that could be repaired if Congress would approve President Obama’s latest effort to stimulate the economy and provide jobs. Iron-workers’ union official Randy Bryce said Republicans are keeping a million people out of work to get one guy out of a job. He was referring to the G-O-P’s effort to defeat President Obama in next year’s elections.
Meanwhile, students at U-W Whitewater staged an Occupy protest that began yesterday afternoon and continued overnight. Members of the College Democrats on campus said they were upset over corporate greed and Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to cut taxes on large businesses.
State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca told the crowd that Wisconsin is moving in the wrong direction and people are angry about it. Whitewater’s College Republicans put on a counter-demonstration, saying the Republican Walker cut the state’s deficit, and is making the state more business-friendly.