Republican Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman was chased around the state Capitol on Tuesday evening by dozens of pro-union protesters yelling “Shame! Shame! Shame!” as the two-week-long protests turned ugly amid attempts to clear the area.
Grothman tried in vain to enter the locked Capitol and was eventually rescued from the 200-person crowd by Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey, The Cap Times reported.
“The most important thing about this whole event is that it has been peaceful and respectful,” Husley told protesters. “Glenn Grothman and I probably could not disagree on more things, but he is my friend. We need to keep this peaceful and respectful.”
Angry protesters shouted back, saying, “You have no respect for us!” and “This is our house!”
Grothman and members of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration have been in a tense standoff with protesters since Walker announced plans to eliminate most public-sector workers’ collective bargaining rights as part of a budget-balancing plan. Authorities had been trying to get protesters – many of whom have been sleeping overnight at the Capitol – to leave the premises.
"We've worked hard with over 200,000 people to keep it civil," Husley told the Times. "It's been a very peaceful gathering up until now, but this is a very passionate crowd and they are very frustrated to be locked out of their Capitol building."
After an estimated five to 10 minutes of being blockaded, Grothman was escorted by firefighters to an underground entrance on a different side of the Capitol.
Grothman went 'On The Record' with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night and appeared to be unfazed by the ambush.
"There were many friendly people in that crowd," he said. "I don’t really feel I ever felt threatened."
Tony Castaneda, a musician and middle school coach, told the paper that several people got “squashed” and “pushed” against the Capitol doors. Another protester said it was the first time in two weeks he worried things could have turned ugly.
Grothman said he thinks the protests will fizzle.
"I love Madison," he said to the Times. "I went to school here. I love the Sushi restaurants, but people in Madison think differently. Back home, people are not on their side."