Thursday, April 07, 2011

It's the Cuts, Stupid

The wave of protest continues across the nation...

More news from Protest City: After the arrest of 17 people today for unruly protests at the Governor's Office over budget cuts and state funding, the State Patrol and Department of General Administration just locked the Legislative Building.

GA spokesman Steve Valandra said the building could remain closed until its regular 7 a.m. opening Friday. But Capitol staffers with keycards can get in, and others who get an escort into the building can be allowed in while lawmakers are in session this evening.

The lockdown comes on the third day of a four-day wave of protests that included an overnight protest last night and the action by the Service Employees International Union activists today. SEIU representatives were to meet with Gov. Chris Gregoire around 5, union spokeswoman Linnae Riesen said.

The already militant protests – against budget cuts hitting education and health care, and in favor of closing tax exemptions for banks and other industries to raise money – should crescendo at noon Friday when as many as 5,000 people are expected on the Capitol steps.

Interesting thing about this budget protest in Washington state? Democratic governor, Democratic majority in both chambers of the Legislature.

It's not a partisan thing. It's a policy thing. And get this - one of the Wisconsin 14, Sen. Spenser Coggs, is going to speak at the rally there tomorrow.

I don't know the details behind the budget battle in Washington - but it is rather intriguing to see that things are the same all over.

UPDATE: This diary at Kos explains the WA situation. View from the boots on the ground.