Police: 70,000 descend on Wis. Capitol for protest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Police: 70,000 descend on Wis. Capitol for protest

MADISON (AP) -- Police say nearly 70,000 people have converged on the Wisconsin Capitol to join in protests over a Republican bill that would strip public workers of most of their collective bargaining rights.

According to the Madison Police Department, 60,000 people gathered outside the building with another 8,000 inside on Saturday -- easily the largest crowd yet as the protest stretched through its fifth day. The demonstration was far more intense on Saturday, though, as hundreds of tea party supporters staged a counter rally outside the Capitol.

Police spokesman Joel DeSpain says there have been no arrests. He refused to say how large the tea party contingent was, but union supporters clearly outnumbered them.

The crowd will likely be smaller on Sunday. A snowstorm is expected to hit the state overnight.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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