With some restrictions, the city of Madison's street use committee has granted protesters permission to set up a "protest village" near the state capitol building. The organizers, We Are Wisconsin, have dubbed their planned tent city "Walkerville" and plan to stay until at least June 20th. Walkerville residents will "provide information about Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposals and efforts to recall Republican legislators who voted to eliminate bargaining rights for most public employees," according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The village will house overnight campers and be a staging area for large protests expected in the next couple weeks as the legislature's Joint Finance Committee completes the new budget.
Here is an example of what the organizers plan to do, from Solidarity Wisconsin:
Starting Saturday, June 4th, 4pm., there will be a protest of the Joint Finance Committee approving the Governor's budget with some amendments. We will be doing this by setting up tents by the capital square. As part of setting up Walkerville tent city, for the first week there will be a specific budget issue being discussed with teach-ins at 12pm and 5pm.
The organizers face at least one more procedural obstacle before they can set up camp. From the Wisconsin State Journal:
Organizers must now get cleared for a special event campground permit from the state, which county health services supervisor Beth Cleary said she would help facilitate Friday afternoon.
The city of Madison committee is requiring that most of the tents be taken down during the day, a stipulation that some organizers predict will be ignored. I can't wait to see the video of the Wisconsin State Police dismantling tents while the world's most congenial protesters offer them 'smores and lemonade.