It looked like 100,000 people to me. Widely reported crowd estimates of 70,000 came out at noon -- three hours before the scheduled start of the rally around the Capitol building in Madison.
Clearly it was much much bigger than the previous Saturday's 70,000 march.
It was also, despite Scott Walker's Mubarak-like invocations of 'people from out of state,' a very indigenous group.
Like an enormous Badger tailgate party, the crowd rocked to Big Red fight songs played by an unofficial UW alumniarching band.
Firefighters from towns across the state marched with bagpipes.
City buses were full to capacity on the way downtown, and so full on the way home I gave up and walked. I got caught up in some spontaneous rallies on street corners as cars streaming past honked at the protesters walking East from the Capitol and they obligingly beat drums and waved signs.
Some of my favorites: 'Where have all the teabaggers gone?' There were none in evidence all day.
'I'm middle class cuz I busted my ---'
'EBay : Gov for sale. Current bid: $4.3 million'. The man holding the sign yelled 'Get him out out of here!'
And, hearteningly, 'The cheese does not stand alone.'
It sure doesn't. Rallies in sympathy with Wisconsin around the country were a welcome sight.
Protesters supported by members of the police union plan to resist removal from the Capitol Sunday.
Stay tuned ...
If you liked this article by Ruth Conniff, the political editor of The Progressive, check out her story "Walker Tells Wisconsinites: Nobody Should Get Decent Benefits."
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