WI Capitol Police Chief: Protesters Can Stay Tonight

February 27, 2011 3:49 p.m.

Madison, WI — In a major victory for the protesters at the Wisconsin state Capitol — who were supposed to clear out at 4 p.m. CT today, but have remained inside in the hundreds — Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs has announced that those protesters still in the building will be able to stay the night.

Protesters will be able to sleep on the ground floor, as cleaning is done of the upper floors. Tubbs said there had been no decisions made yet on what the policy would be for successive nights.

“There will be no arrests, as we said before, there will be no use of force,” Tubbs said. “We want the people to continue to cooperate and work within the guidelines and the laws of the state of Wisconsin. So there’ll be no one asked to leave the Capitol tonight.”Tubbs said that various rules will remain in force: People who leave the building at night will not be able to get back in; sleeping bags and backpacks cannot be brought in during regular hours tomorrow; and food will only be brought in through an arrangement with representatives of union groups and other organizers to deliver it to the entrances.

Tubbs also commended the behavior and cooperation of protesters, saying that there had been no arrests made today. At the last time he checked, on Friday, Tubbs said there had only been about a dozen minor arrests in total over the past two weeks.

During that period, many tens of thousands of protesters have come to the Capitol, in order to oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill and its anti-public employee union provisions.

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