MILWAUKEE - During the past year in Wisconsin you often could not pick up prescriptions or do shopping without being asked to sign a petition to remove former Marquette student Governor Walker as Governor, and before that legislators could not get to their offices due to Capitol Police not clearing thousands of protestors from hallways. Sports fans are not immune either, as many of the 19,093 filling the sold out BMO Bradley Center to see Notre Dame at Marquette also saw protestors complaining that a local pizza company had refused to unionize.
Many fans were coming to see the final game for Marquette seniors Junior Cadougan and Trent Lockett, while others were there seeing perhaps the last of a long rivalry between the two schools. The protests occurred in the pathway of where Al McGuire once dashed across the street with Digger Phelps from a bar, just in time to coach a game between his contenders for the national title in the 1970s and the Irish.
The protestors were also next to thousands of students who lined up hours before the game to rush in and get the best seats available in the student section.
Protestors chanted, "no justice, no pizza," and "boycott Palmero's" and carried banners and signs with the same messages. Most attendees ignored them to rush out of the sub-freezing temperatures or to find a ticket scalper for the sold out game. However, when approached the organizers had their message ready.
"Some Palmero's workers tried to organize a union, and they were fired," said an organizer who did not wish to give his name. Supporters of Governor Scott Walker have charged that most of the protestors in the last couple of years have been from out-of-state. "Palmero's is based right here in Milwaukee, so we want to send the message here."
When Walker became the first Governor in Wisconsin to survive a recall despite the tens of thousands of protestors, it gave Republicans hope that they could take the state in last year's Presidential election with Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, but President Obama won the state. When President Bush came within a few thousands votes of winning the state in 2000, it was revealed that a voting precinct on Marquette's campus, near downtown Milwaukee, was left unmanned for hours while voters filled out ballots and deposited them in a box. Wisconsin historically has allowed same day registration and has only required an envelope addressed to a person from one of several sources to walk up and vote. Republicans passed a Photo ID requirement this year, but the law was held up by an Appeals court in Madison, Wisconsin.