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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


The Wisconsin State Capitol building is not open all day and night, seven days a week. The facilities are open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

In 2011, thousands of people flocked to the Capitol to protest a bill, later signed by then- Gov. Scott Walker, that limited collective bargaining for a majority of public sector workers. Amid the intense protests, police ceded control of the building to protesters, who remained there “around the clock” for weeks, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

During the peak of the protests in mid-February to March, there were fewer than 20 arrests, none related to weapons. In the aftermath of the protests, many citations were dismissed by the Dane County district attorney’s office.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wisconsin Legislature Visit the Capitol

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel The day Scott Walker ‘dropped the bomb’: 10 years later, Act 10 maintains a firm grip on Wisconsin government

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Some are comparing the U.S. Capitol riot to Wisconsin’s Act 10 protests in 2011. Here are the key differences.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Archives: Many citations against Capitol protesters dismissed

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Erin Gretzinger / Wisconsin WatchReporting Intern

Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.