Video: Union Members Meltdown at Wisconsin Townhall Meeting

Posted: Mar 09, 2011 10:09 AM
This video comes from my friend Kyle Maichle, who shot the footage himself at a rowdy meeting Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.  The key players are Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, the moderator, Republican State Senator Leah Vukmir, and a pack of angry union members. 

Two clips:  First, an angry gentleman speaking out of turn, berating both Republicans for "shutting down debate" and calling them "unamerican" -- to cheers from the crowd.

"Power to the people!"

The second, longer video shows a female union activist reading a statement from the microphone (so much for "shutting down debate").  After she concludes, Senator Vukmir attempts to respond, but is repeatedly shouted down by members of the audience.  Rep. Sensenbrenner warns the crowd that if they continue to disrupt the meeting, he'll be forced to adjourn it.  Despite these admonitions, the behavior continues, and Sensenbrenner ultimately follows through on his threat -- right around the 4:55 mark.  The room explodes in chants of "shame!" and a melee ensues:

"If she lies, we interrupt!"

In some ways, this scene reminds me of the turbulent townhall meetings hosted by Democrats in the summer of 2009.  There were occasional instances of angry citizens shouting at representatives at those; they were impassioned and often heated -- just like this one.  That being said, I cannot recall a single meeting that degenerated into this sort of chaos, leading to adjournment.  Lefty commenters are welcome to refresh my memory.

Back then, incidentally, the Democratic Party ran ads attacking the "angry mob" of citizen activists.  By contrast, they've actively supported the large union protests in Madison over the last few weeks.