Capitol Chaos: Unions Claim Historic Protests

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MADISON - As protests at the State Capitol continue for an 11th day, one Republican sent a message to the thousands protesting.

“We’re not going to get upset if a bunch of childish academic staff and teaching assistants walk a mile up to State Street,” said Republican Senator Glenn Grothman of West Bend.

Union leaders are calling Thursday’s protests in Madison and throughout the state, the largest in Wisconsin history.

Grothman is calling it something else, a waste of time.

“Let’s not forget this is a small number of people and it’s less amount every day,” he said.

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But protesters claim they’re stronger than ever.

"I’m not ready to give up; I got too much on the line,” said public employee Joe Rox.

“I am so proud to be a part of this. This is something I have to do, I have to do this,” said teacher Sarah Oberneder.

Oberneder says the crowds in the rotunda have been huge.

“I came out to get some air. The rotunda is packed,” she said.

Several law enforcement agencies, including Milwaukee Police, are making sure the crowds stay in line.

“When you have this large group, getting them to cooperate is usually an issue, but we haven’t found that to be the case so far,” said Captain Steve Basting of the Milwaukee Police Department.

Basting says they haven't had any major problems with protesters.

So while the rallies may not be as big as in days past, protesters claim their resolve has never been stronger.

“I’m not ready to give up, I got too much on the line,” said Rox.