This protest is NOT about poor people. It's about people with good jobs, wanting to preserve the high quality of what they've been able to acquire for themselves. Now, I do think those who are sleeping on the floor of the Capitol rotunda and outside on the frozen ground are young people who don't themselves have good jobs. It's interesting what these kids are putting themselves through for others, who are, presumably, better off than they are. I took this picture, yesterday, of the outdoor sleeping setup:
It had gone down to 11° the night before. Note the underlayer of Ian's Pizza boxes. There is a lot of free food. Ian's, by the way, is doing some kickass branding (without losing any money):
On Monday afternoon, [store manager Staci] Fritz guesstimated that Ian's had delivered upwards of 35,000 slices of pizzas in the last week, all paid for by donations...Keeping it honest... which is good for branding too, of course. They're not just raking in donations without accounting for it all with free pizza delivered to protesters.
Fritz says that while Ian's is still making deliveries and taking donations, it has been very careful to cut off the amount of money it takes in one day. "What if somebody gives a load of money and then suddenly this whole thing is over and we can't deliver anymore? We can't let anyone pay for what we can't promise to deliver."
Madison has a long tradition of its bars and restaurants being sucked into the fervent political activity of the times, such as the Nitty Gritty restaurant and bar's role as the meeting place for the activists who bombed the university's Sterling Hall in 1970.Well, hell... why bring that up? Things have been really peaceful, by and large — to an amazing degree, considering the difficulty of keeping a large, diverse crowd energized enough to look like a good demonstration without tipping any individual over the edge into something ugly, even as the days wear on and on.