WI Will Not Go Silently Into the Night!

The granite statehouse in Madison is the only one of its kind. Rising up between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, it is the only State Capitol built on an isthmus – a narrow piece of land that separates two bodies of water. Over the past several weeks, thousands of people have flocked to Wisconsin’s Capitol building in protest, against a proposed budget bill set forth by the state Governor, Scott Walker. The budget bill, meant to address a deficit, also includes language that would strip public-union employees of most bargaining rights. This additional language is perceived by a many to be an attack on unions and the middle class, not just in Wisconsin, but across the entire nation.

With many other states in a similar situation, a close eye is being kept on Wisconsin to see how everything will play out. Now the epicenter of attention, the State Capitol in Madison is being coined as “Ground Zero” in the fight for workers rights. The passion and determination of the people is quite a sight, and if you live in the area, regardless of political party, it’s definitely worth a trip down there for the experience. Political opinions aside, it seems that the outcome of all this will have a ripple effect across the nation.

For the past month, every day people have been making their way down to the Capitol Square. At one point, hundreds were even camping overnight inside the Capitol building itself! The highlight for me thus far in this on-going battle was on February 26th. On this Saturday, the weather was approximately 20 degrees and it was snowing. What would deter most people from even just leaving their homes, seemed only something to scoff at on this day, as there were a reported over 100,000 people protesting the bill. I’ll tell you, being in the middle of tens of thousands of people, both young and old, feeling their energy and fervency along with the chanting- it was riveting, and really no words can do the experience justice.

I wish I only to have had more time off from my job, to get down to the Capitol Square and document the protest. The following images a were taken over the course of the five or so days I was able to make it out to the rallies.

There are more images to be seen in the slideshow at the end of this post, and I’ll continue to add more images to the slides over the next couple of days. Enjoy!

Madison, WI Budget Bill Protests 2011 – Images by B Jordan Munsayac

2 Responses to “WI Will Not Go Silently Into the Night!”

  1. Wesley says:

    That is very ballsy on your part to take on crowds of that size. I hope you didn’t go alone, “Peter Parker”. But I guess it’s okay since everyone, if I’m correct, is on the same side. But still, wow. I guess there weren’t any police in riot gear ready to take on the people of WI. Was there any chants? I didn’t see that many “colored” people to be honest also. Were you like the only “asian” representing? j/k…
    … speaking of, you think because it’s the “middle class” that there wasn’t wild chaos breaking out; or even the representation of different cultural backgrounds? What percentage of WI is made up of the middle class, and of whom are derived from it? If it affected people below the poverty line, what do you think the scene would have looked like? I’m just saying.
    … the pictures you posted are very interesting. It’s moving. Years ago when I watched the news, it was Queens Park in Toronto, I think it was, where protesters would gather, but I would see some mayhem.
    … sorry, after re-reading your blog, it’s not just the “middle class”, and you mentioned the chants. You mentioned the passion and determination. To add, I saw some sophistication; though some of the signs and the images of children were sort of to the contrary…
    The building is beautiful. Maybe that environment had some affect, or altered the crowds’ actions once they got there or even inside. But camping out inside the building seems so ghetto.
    Anyway, I just wanted to leave a comment because I enjoyed the photos.

  2. Aryll says:

    Beautiful and moving images…one day people will look back at your work and not only see what courage and unity looks like, but they will feel the emotion too. Great captures of history in the making. Keep it up…

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