Police estimated that more than 100,000 people flooded the streets around the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison Saturday, making the turnout larger than any of the fledgling Tea Party’s rallies. The largest turnout for a Tea Party rally is the estimated crowd of 60,000 to 70,000 people who marked in Washington, D.C. during the group’s September 12, 2009 demonstration.
The 2009 Tea Party rally’s crowd size is also notable for the controversy that surrounded it. ABC News published a piece claiming conservative activists had told them that 1 million to 1.5 million people turned out at the rally, when the corrected number was only a fraction of that size.
According to ThinkProgress, the protests in Wisconsin have inspired demonstrations in seven other states, with some protesters even wearing “Cheesehead” hats as a nod to their Madison counterparts. Wisconsin Democrats have also vowed to make virtually every upcoming election a referendum on Gov. Walker’s anti-union administration, which they say has made Wisconsin akin to “a dictatorship.”
“You can go to a dictatorship and get things done in 10 or 15 minutes. You can come to Wisconsin and get things done in 10 or 15 minutes. It’s not a good situation,” State Sen. Tim Cullen said in a press conference yesterday.
YouTube user stumptownfilms put together a time-lapse video from footage of one day of protests in Madison last week that shows the impressive crowd sizes. Watch below.