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Tent City Near Capitol Dubbed “Walkerville”

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June 8, 2011

MADISON, Wis. - A tent city near the State Capitol designed to draw attention to the state budget has been dubbed "Walkerville" by protestors opposed to Gov. Scott Walker's plans.

The Walkerville organizers say the governor's budget hurts working people and the poor while rewarding corporations with tax breaks. Walkerville volunteer Harriet Rowan says the purpose of the tent city is more than just a protest.

"It's not just a negative, it's not just we're against this budget. We're for a fair and just budget."

The budget is expected to be debated by the full Legislature soon, and the tent city occupants expect their numbers to swell into the thousands this weekend.

Republicans supporting Walker's budget say it will eliminate the state deficit and create jobs. Opponents say it gives tax breaks to corporations while eliminating them for the poor, guts education and ends workers' collective-bargaining rights.

Those sleeping on the sidewalks in the tent city want to send a message to lawmakers about the kind of budget they believe Wisconsin residents deserve, Rowan says.

"That treats people well, doesn't cut services for those that are disadvantaged and give tax breaks to corporations."

Walkerville's temporary residents say they plan to stay in the tent city through June 20.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI