Wisc. union protester claims Capitol staffer attacked her balloon

By Kase Wickman
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 13:53 EDT
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Though the pro-union protesters in Wisconsin are no longer making front page news daily around the country, their resistance continues — most recently, in a bizarre direction involving a trail of blood and a popped balloon.

Activists have taken to holding red heart-shaped balloons in the Capitol rotunda in Madison, silently protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union policies and actions. Leslie Peterson was holding her balloon and singing “Solidarity Forever” with her fellow protesters, and posed for a picture, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Suddenly, a staffer began stabbing the balloon with a knife, popping it.

“He was stabbing the balloon,” she said. “It was disconcerting.”

She asked the man his name while she went to collect the balloon’s remains, intending to file a complaint, and reportedly threw her into a door. Somewhere along the way, protesters said, he apparently stabbed himself with the knife, spraying drops of blood all over the floor. The man claimed to have slipped on the stairs and cut his hand prior to the balloon incident.

“We’re treating this as a crime scene,” Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said.

Hovering over the crime scene were more than 50 red heart balloons, crowded on the ceiling of the rotunda, released by that day’s protesters.

Creative Commons image via flickr user friedmanlynn

(h/t: Politico)

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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