MADISON -- It's been a year of political turmoil, with protests and policy fights, recounts and recalls, and now protesters are planning demonstrations all week against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, to mark the anniversary of the first big protests at the Capitol last year. Meanwhile, Walker continues to defend his record and raise money for a potential recall election against him.
It's been one year since the "Wisconsin uprising" -- the massive protests in Madison that became an angry and protracted confrontation between the labor movement and Republican Governor Scott Walker.
"A year ago, I think a really great thing happened. This collective bargaining thing made a lot of people extremely upset, and it's not something they're going to give up on," Alice Ogden-Nussbaum said.
As Walker now faces a recall effort against him, he is defending his record. He says his policies led to a balanced budget, and helped improve the state's economic outlook, despite union protests. "Collective bargaining is not a right. In the public sector, collective bargaining is an expensive entitlement," Walker said.
Walker spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. on Friday. "There's something bigger at stake here. What's at stake here is fundamentally about courage," Walker said.
Walker also addressed the prospect of a recall election. "Lord help us if we fail. I believe fundamentally if we look at this, if we fail, this sets back any courageous act in American politics for at least a decade," Walker said.
Protesters marked the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the unrest with demonstrations at the Capitol and Walker's private residence. Organizers say demonstrations show the movement is still alive, one year later. "This is ongoing and will continue because the people are awake. They're aroused. 'Occupy' showed that," Martina Rippon said. "I think (demonstrations) should continue until (Walker's) out of office," Greg Diedrich said.
Organizers are planning similar events all week.
Walker introduced his collective bargaining legislation on February 11th, 2011, and it was Valentine's Day when we saw the first huge protest at the Capitol.