SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hundreds of union workers rallied on the steps of the California Capitol on Saturday to show their support to Wisconsin unions as nearby counter-protesters called for an end to unions, creating a sometimes-tense scene.
The pro-union rally, one of many spearheaded Saturday by the political group MoveOn.org, sharply denounced the drive by Wisconsin’s Republican Governor, Scott Walker, to end collective bargaining rights for state workers.
A group of anti-union demonstrators rallied across the street from the California Capitol, holding signs saying government and working families can’t afford unions any more.
The Sacramento Police Department said a counter-protester was assaulted by a pro-union supporter at about 1:45 p.m.
The alleged victim told police the suspect hit him on the hand with a bullhorn and choked him around the neck. The suspect was placed under citizen’s arrest, cited and released at the scene, according to police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong.
Approximately 70,000 people gathered in Madison, Wisconsin for the biggest protest yet since the political firestorm erupted two weeks ago. Wisconsin Republican lawmakers say they have the votes to pass the bill, which would also force state employees to pay for more of their pension and health care costs, but all 14 Democrat state senators left the state to prevent the vote altogether.