Protesters camping outside the Capitol building in Madison, WI in support of the protesters who remain inside the building. Just after midnight on March 1, 2011.
The public was kept out of the building on February 28, in contradiction to official statements made the day previous. The only way in was if you had a specific appointment.
The call went out on Twitter and Facebook for food, blankets, hats, gloves, etc., and people immediately responded. (I met a trio of nurses who showed up from New Jersey with sleeping bags.)
As of today, on March 1st, the Department of Administration has agreed to let people in for a public hearing, but only to seating capacity. Other individuals will be allowed in, one at a time, as other people leave. (For one person to enter, another has to leave.)
This morning, a Wisconsin Circuit Court ordered that the building be re-opened to the public.
The protests are centered around Gov. Walker's budget repair bill SB11. Walker will be presenting his budget this afternoon.
Edit, 3/3: Should add that I was not one of the hardy souls that inhabit what is now known as Walkerville. Just brought some hats and gloves.
Edit, 3/7: As of today, the Department of Administration will no longer allow camping on the grounds of the Capitol. From what I understand, Walkerville will either move across the street, to the southeast corner of Capitol Square, or people will remain at the King St. entrance to the building, sitting or standing and not sleeping.
You can follow them on twitter using: #walkerville
You can follow news about the protests using: #wiunion
The Capitol itself remains somewhat open, as it was on Friday and over the weekend. However, the court order (as it came out of the court hearings last week) ordered that as of 8 AM today, access to the building was to be as it was on January 28, 2011. So far, this has not been the case.
Another large rally is planned for Saturday, March 12.
Edit, 3/8: Walkerville remained at the King St. exit last night.