On Wednesday, the busses that brought in waves of union demonstrators for the past week halted. The Starbucks across the street from the capital no longer has lines out the door. Ian’s Pizza will probably have to start charging by the slice again.
After nearly eight straight days of protests in Madison, the demonstrations are running out of steam. This is likely the result of a weekend blizzard, a drop in public opinion, and the ensuing stalemate between a stalwart Governor Walker and the fourteen missing Democrat Senators hiding out in Illinois. But world events have put the protests in Madison on the back burner. Attention has shifted to turmoil in Libya, earthquakes in New Zealand, and Somali pirates. The round-the-clock media coverage has diminished and that might be the final dagger in the heart of the pro-union demonstration.
Yes, the college students remain camped out in the Capital rotunda. The campus communists, socialists, and anarchists strive to remain relevant, but the movement that galvanized public employees to flock to Madison all last week is faltering. The teachers balked on Monday when WEAC president Mary Bell ordered teachers back to work this week.
AFSCME claims they halted the busses because ”action is spreading out across the state.” Sure sounds like they just can’t fill busses anymore.
Events could change very quickly and the crowds could be back in the street, but on this brisk Wednesday morning, Madison is pretty quiet.