Live BEAST Report: Wisconsin Capitol in Lockdown
I left the Capitol at about 6:30 am CST, and I was assured by a Wisconsin state trooper that I’d be let back in at 8 am — regular business hours. Some 40 people remained in the building. As thousands descend on the Capitol, there are reports trickling out that the people who occupied the building overnight have been hauled out through underground tunnels (not confirmed). No one is being let in. Not Jesse Jackson. Not State Assembly Dem Joe Parisi. They both tried.
The ever growing crowd is determined to gain entry. They’re getting frustrated, but calm, peace and respect for the cops prevails. “They’re just doing their jobs,” Jesse Jackson told the crowd in front of the main entrance. Yes, they are doing their job. Keeping the gate.
The crowd keeps growing and it’s cold. I had to get some coffee. John Nichols from The Nation is sitting behind me, tapping on a netbook and sipping a cup. He’s a celebrity in Madison. As our Union cabbie told us the other night, “It’s a good lefty town.”
Right now about 3,000 students have walked out of class and they’re marching toward the Capitol…with cop car escorts. Maybe they truly are doing their jobs. Madtown is mad about last night.
Just in: cops are unloading crowd control gear in front of the building. Shit.
We’ve received reports that approximately 150 people are still inside the Capitol. No riots in progress; and even less riot control. The cops are being cool, though they won’t let us in the media entrance. The one flatfoot blocking the door claims to have never heard of this “Buffalo Beast” or “prank calls” or “Governor Walker.” Stonewalled. The freedom of the press, without laminated junk dangling from their necks, is being abridged! I demand unfettered access. “I am David Gregory’s favorite liberal blogger,” I howled. Stone. Fucking. Walled.
Oh, and the assembly is ramming through this bullshit bill as I type. People are truly angry. The Capitol is surrounded, and yet the people are impotent. We’re just walking around in the cold while decency dies inside. But recall efforts are underway. The people remain positive, for the most part.
Trotsky’s hitting the “medicine” pretty hard, and he’s starting to scare people. I think. I have no other way to account for the overwhelming distrust of the media present here today. No one wants to be Brietbarted, O’Keefed or out-Foxed. Names are held close to the chest, placards even closer. I find it odd, but I can’t blame them.
One jackass Tea Party guy tried to rile a ruckus, but we refused to feed the troll real meat. He melted and evaporated before our eyes.
I’ve not slept in some time. And I likely won’t sleep anytime soon. “You can sleep when you’re dead,” say the natives.
UPDATE (4:45 pm CST):
The State Assembly passed the bill, as expected. Inside the Capitol, Madtown was mad. I don’t know what else to say.