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Law enforcement officers and public officials present during the 2011 pro-union protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison have described them as largely peaceful. This contrasts with the characterization of the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the U.S. Capitol. Numerous authorities, both Democratic and Republican, have characterized Jan. 6 as violent.
During the Madison protests, while 16 people were arrested, none of the arrests were linked to violence or weapons. Madison Police characterized the protesters as assembling “peacefully” and “without violence.” Wisconsin politicians from both parties were harassed and received threats but were not physically harmed. An uncovered email and a secretly taped phone call showed Gov. Scott Walker had been advised to stage a violent “false flag” event to discredit the protests and considered it, but said he decided against the action.
Meanwhile, 964 people involved in the Jan. 6 riot have been arrested and charged with crimes. About 100 officers were assaulted, and at least seven deaths of officers and protesters were linked to the violent clash.
City of Madison: City of Madison Police Department: Capitol Square protests
Wisconsin Watch: Email to Walker suggested faking violence
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (archive): Caller posing as major GOP contributor dupes Walker