Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) probably felt right at home in Chicago Thursday after protesters from the Occupy movement interrupted his speech on budget reforms.
The governor was about to speak at the Union League Club of Chicago when about 50 protesters disguised in suits temporarily delayed him from taking the podium.
“We are the 99 percent!” they chanted.
“Please, sit down,” an emcee from the Union League urged the protesters. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is what free expression is all about. And sometimes it’s very messy!”
After about 10 minutes the demonstrators peacefully left the room, chanting, “Union busting, it’s disgusting!”
The remaining audience gave Walker a standing ovation as he finally stepped up to the microphone.
“I think if I needed to make the case earlier this year that a lot of people in the state Capitol of Madison were from [Illinois], point made,” the governor joked. “The bottom line is no matter how loud you shout, the facts are the facts. That our reforms have worked and they continue to work in the state of Wisconsin.”
WBEZ’s Jennifer Brandel reported that about 30 demonstrators remained outside the building as Walker continued his speech.
Earlier on Thursday, Occupy Chicago had promised to protest Walker’s visit.
As many as 100,000 protesters flooded into Madison, Wisconsin in early 2011 after the governor pushed through a bill to end the collective bargaining rights of many public employees.
Public employee unions are now leading an effort to recall the the Wisconsin Republican.
Watch this video from WBEZ, broadcast Nov. 3, 2011.
WBEZ’s Jennifer Brandel captured this audio on her phone.