Police would don riot gear and “absolutely” use force on protesters in Wisconsin, according to a state law enforcement representative, further stoking fears that the ongoing union demonstrations against a plan by Governor Scott Walker to eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public employees could end in violence.
Despite the fact that the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (WLEA) has vocally condemned Walker’s move to raise the level of pension and health contributions public workers would be forced to pay, WLEA executive board president Tracy Fuller said that troopers would still obey orders, don riot gear and “absolutely” use force against protesters to crush dissent if they were told to do so.
“I have worked with the University of Wisconsin police officers that are there, along with the capitol police officers, and certainly I’ve worked with the state patrol officers because I’m a state patrol inspector. I’m not able to even fathom that any of those police officers would not carry out whatever orders were given to do their job,” Fuller told Raw Story.
“I guess that’s the one ironic thing about this,” he continued. “Last night my wife asked me to make a sign for her to take down there to protest. On that day, I thought to myself I could be making a protest sign for my wife to take down there … Then I could be down there confronting my wife with the protest sign that I made. God, you see … That’s … That’s my job.”
While adding that “It would not look like the United States, if we did that,” Fuller noted that it was “possible” agent provocateurs could be used to infiltrate the protesters and cause a violent flash point. As we reported last week, following Governor Scott Walker’s revelation that he had put the Wisconsin National Guard on alert, a move deemed to be a “threat” designed to intimidate protesters according to some, 300 Guardsmen returned to the state from battling insurgents in Iraq.
The returning unit comprises roughly half of Wisconsin’s National Guard soldiers that are currently on active duty. The last time violence was used in the state to break a workers’ rally was in 1886, when the Guard, then the State Militia, fired upon Milwaukee workers advocating an 8-hour work day, killing at least five people. The Republican-controlled Assembly plans to debate and possibly vote on Walker’s bill today, but Democrat lawmakers, who fled the capitol last week to delay the process, plan to introduce more than 100 amendments in an effort to drag out the fight until concessions are made.
Police Would "Absolutely" Use Force On Wisconsin Protesters