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Act 10 protests were peaceful -- Susan Holmes
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Act 10 protests were peaceful -- Susan Holmes

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As someone who participated over 20 times in 2011’s protests against Act 10, I saw no violence, no guns, no flags other than United States or Wisconsin flags, and protesting was peaceful.

We all made clever sayings on signs. And if fastened to sticks, our signs had to be left outside of the state Capitol in Madison. Peaceful compliance was all around.

The police and crowd were respectful to one another, and you heard the words “excuse me,” “please” and “thanks” throughout the day as we were packed like sardines in the streets and in the Capitol. Friendly dogs, babies in strollers and whole families were there with no fear whatsoever. Pizza flowed in from donors from around the world.

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz covered it, as did Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, John Nichols of the Capital Times, and Matt Rothschild of The Progressive. We marched with Tammy Baldwin and Mark Pocan, among others, and our legislators offered all a chance to comment on the record, and we did. Fox News ran fake coverage showing palm trees and was resoundingly called out.

When the administration locked down the Capitol, our legislator not only opened his window but brought his desk outside. That was what democracy looked like.

Susan Holmes, Baraboo

The only Republican senator to vote against Act 10 a decade ago is our guest on today's political podcast, "Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands." Find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

See the whole series: The Great Divide: 10 years since Act 10

A decade later, the Wisconsin State Journal looks back at the historic debate and protests over the controversial anti-union law known as Act 10.

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Video highlights of the fallout over the introduction and passage of what would become Wisconsin 2011 Act 10 in February and March, 2011. 

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