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Alliance seeks to get permit to protest state budget, promote GOP recalls


MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Community groups and labor unions want to set up a camp in Madison this month to protest the state budget, and support the recalls of Republican senators.

The alliance is called “We Are Wisconsin.”

They’ve asked the city for a permit to set up shop on parts of two streets connected to the Capitol Square. A city panel will hold a special meeting Friday to decide whether to issue the permit.

If it’s granted, organizer David Boetcher said there would be an information station, plus spots for people to camp overnight. They’re hoping to get thousands of protesting campers on the weekends, until the camp is due to end on June 20th.

It would be reminiscent of February, when thousands showed up to protest the GOP’s plan to virtually eliminate collective bargaining by most public employee unions. That’s not an issue now – but Republicans say they might put it in the state budget if the courts don’t uphold the union limits soon.

The alliance also wants to show people what’s wrong with the proposed budget – which critics say would help the wealthy at the expense of the poor and the middle class.

Some business people are concerned about the effects of the crowds on their operations. But Boetcher said his organizers want to work with the city, to prevent any negative impacts on business.

The state budget is due to be completed by the Joint Finance Committee this weekend. Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald hopes to get it through both houses by mid-June.