More protests in Madison at state capitol and at news conferenceWisconsin News
-- Over 100 protestors interrupted a news conference in Madison today. The Center for Equal Opportunity held the briefing to explain its data showing that UW-Madison admits larger percentages of blacks and Hispanics – and they average lower test scores and class ranks than whites.
MADISON - Over 100 protestors interrupted a news conference in Madison today. The Center for Equal Opportunity held the briefing to explain its data showing that UW-Madison admits larger percentages of blacks and Hispanics – and they average lower test scores and class ranks than whites.
Center president Roger Clegg was about 45 minutes into his presentation at a hotel near the Madison campus, when at least one protestor found a back door and busted in. Until then, the group was kept outside. A hotel worker tackled the first protestor, but others managed to get in. Once inside, the racially-mixed group chanted “Power to the People” and “We’re more than our scores.” At that point, Clegg ended his talk and left. Madison Police were called, but they took no action. The hotel’s manager later said protestors had tossed some of his workers to the ground during their entry. The manager said the protestors wanted the police called because they wanted to be arrested.
UW-Madison officials said was it’s being “attacked” by a conservative think tank for the school’s efforts to create ethnic-and-racial diversity. The Center for Equal Opportunity in Virginia said black and Hispanic applicants are more likely than whites to get admitted to the UW’s flagship campus in Madison – and minorities get admitted over whites who have higher test scores and class rankings. The group opposes affirmative action, and its director says they’ve never seen such racial disparities in the 15 years they’ve been studying admissions data at schools around the country. But in a statement, interim Chancellor David Ward said no one is admitted solely because of race or ethnicity – and any student who’s accepted at Madison is there quote, “because he or she has the potential and capacity to succeed.” The university says it has not analyzed the Equal Opportunity Center’s figures.
The Wisconsin State Assembly got some business done this afternoon, after a few protestors were removed from the chamber for recording the proceedings in violation of house rules. Two demonstrators were carried from the Assembly gallery when they refused to stop shooting photos or video from their seats. Assembly rules prohibit activities like that while the Assembly is at work. The two were asked to stop and they declined, so they were removed by Capitol police. In spite of the lack of business, partisan spectators on both sides created a high energy level. Conservative Tea Party members hung banners reading “Don’t Tread on Me” during the daily sing-along by pro-union activists who oppose the state’s new limits on public union bargaining. Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs looked on as both sides argued following the songs. The crowds dissipated, and there were no arrests.
In the most notable vote, the house voted 65-32 to move the state’s presidential primary back to early April from mid-February – where it was moved in 2004. The Senate okayed the measure earlier, so it now goes to Governor Scott Walker for his signature. Both national parties wanted the state to move back its vote. It will be in about the middle-of-the-pack during next year’s primary season.