A statewide effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker gets under way Tuesday, and at least one organization plans to start the effort off with a bang: By holding a recall rally in front of the governor's Wauwatosa home.
Planning for the rally has been under the radar. No press releases have been sent to the media and there isn't much information about it online.
But organizers said Thursday that the rally is a go, with local, regional and national groups behind it.
We Are Milwaukee, an "alliance of community-based organizations, unions, faith communities and local leaders," is planning to meet at 4:30 p.m. at the Juneau High School, 6415 W. Mount Vernon Ave. in Milwaukee, and march four blocks north to Walker's residence at 520 N. 68th St.
There, the group says on its Facebook page, the marchers will collect signatures "in the front yard of Walker's own neighbors who have volunteered their space to help us start off the recall right."
Nobody knows how large the rally will be, but a group affiliated with the state teachers union is offering bus rides to the rally from Oshkosh and Beaver Dam.
Wauwatosa police aren't sure what to expect, but they're ready nonetheless, said Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber.
Weber said Thursday he was aware that some kind of event would be taking place at Walker's home and that police were beginning to lay plans for it. No one had provided any estimate of how large a crowd might be expected.
Debbie Brent, president of the Wauwatosa Education Association, the union representing Wauwatosa public schools teachers, said Thursday that her group was part of the We Are Milwaukee effort. "The date has been set, and I'll be informing members," she said. "I'll be calling people tonight.
"We are joining forces. It's pretty grassroots."
A canvasser for the AFL-CIO working a Wauwatosa neighborhood said that organization also was promoting the rally.
Tuesday is the kickoff day for signature-gathering in an effort to recall the governor that has been talked about since he announced his budget-repair bill in February, which repealed most collective bargaining rights for unionized public employees.
The principal organization promoting the statewide recall, Wisconsin United, also posted We Are Milwaukee's notice but has not further publicized it. Wisconsin United and other groups have been promoting their main own kickoff rally in Madison on Nov. 19.
Attempts to reach organizers at We Are Milwaukee for comment were not immediately successful. Wauwatosa Patch was told through an intermediary that the organizers were still biding their time to alert the media to their plans.
The executive officer of the Southeast Region headquarters of the Wisconsin State Patrol, Lt. James M. Kicmol, said Thursday he was not aware of any planned rally at Walker's house. The State Patrol has been providing security surveillance of Walker's home since protests exploded in Madison and around the state, including what were perceived as threats to Walker.
Meanwhile, Winnebagoland UniServ, a group affiliated with the Wisconsin Education Association Council and the National Education Association, was offered two free bus rides to Wauwatosa on Tuesday.
A registration calendar advertised the "Recall Walker Bus" from Beaver Dam to Wauwatosa with pickup at 4 p.m. in the Shopko parking lot, 822 Park Ave., for travel to Wauwatosa for the rally and petition signing, and a bus picking up in Oshkosh at 3:45 p.m. at Oshkosh Aviation Plaza, 2175 S. Koeller St.
The rally will take place nine months to the day that about 1,000 people gathered at Walker's home to protest his efforts to eliminate collective bargaining rights from public employees.
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