For more photos, click gallery, above.
Walkerville: Since Sunday, the Walker administration has increasingly restricted access to the Capitol. But some protesters have refused to cave in, sleeping on the grounds despite the harsh temperatures. Blankets, mats and sleeping bags are piled against the building for anyone to use, and a tarp is laid on the ground to keep sleepers dry. But the protesters have been denied the use of tents. (Joe Tarr)
Cop-a-Palooza: For a state that, according to Gov. Scott Walker, is "broke," Wisconsin seems to have a remarkable tolerance for spending vast sums of money on police protection. I just counted 166 cops in the Capitol and 10 outside, with about 60 demonstrators in the Rotunda. (Bill Lueders)
Vacating the Capitol: The protesters' decision about staying or leaving was swayed because of what they felt Scott Walker wanted. About halfway through an hour-long discussion among the throng of protesters gathered inside the Capitol, a young man took his turn at addressing the group. "Think about Scott Walker," he said. "What would he want us to do - stay and be arrested or walk out in solidarity?" (B.L.)
Mourning Wisconsin: Thursday night's "funeral march" up State Street featured the world's friendliest group of angry protesters. The latest demonstration against Gov. Walker's budget bill - a mock wake for the state of Wisconsin - overflowed with Mardi Gras energy, including extravagant costumes, a ragged brass band and pallbearers carrying Styrofoam coffins. (Dean Robbins)
Snooze and lose: It's great news for opponents of the budget repair bill that a judge ordered people sleeping in the Capitol to leave. The 100 or so stubborn snoozers were playing right into Gov. Walker's Nixonian strategy to paint the protests as a giant party for petulant hippies and radicals. (Jack Craver)
Suing the governor: Isthmus and the Wisconsin Associated Press filed a lawsuit against Gov. Walker over his failure to respond to open records requests regarding emails received by his office. "The governor said he had gotten more than 8,000 emails as of Feb. 17, with 'the majority' urging him to 'stay firm' on his budget repair bill," says Isthmus news editor Bill Lueders. "We're just trying to see these largely supportive responses."
Invoking Dr. King: Jesse Jackson spoke to city employees on the steps of the City County Building, invoking Martin Luther King Jr.'s crusade for Memphis workers just before his 1968 assassination. If Wisconsin labor leaders were looking for moral authority to bolster their fight against the Republicans, they couldn't have done much better than this. (D.R.)
Control freak: Mike Huebsch, secretary of the Department of Administration, defended the lockdown of the Capitol: "We needed to regain control of a building that had become occupied." Huebsch also revised the estimate for the damage that signs taped around the Capitol have caused, from $7.5 million to as low as $350,000. (J.T.)
Michael Moore's pep talk: By now, it's unlikely that anyone besides Scott Walker would dispute that the protests have energized the labor movement, as well as citizens throughout the state and nation. What became clear during raconteur Michael Moore's 30-minute talk at today's Capitol rally is that these events have also radicalized the public, in ways no one anticipated and those in power should perhaps fear. (B.L.)
Before you break our hearts: Michelle Shocked asked the Capitol demonstrators to sing along to the Supremes' "Stop in the Name of Love," demanding that the Republican Party "think it o-o-ver." (D.R.)
We love Scott: A total of 120,000 people have signed a petition backing Gov. Walker, either online or in person. (David Blaska)
For the children: At the pro-Walker rally in the Alliant Energy Center, there was a lot of talk about securing our children's future. I asked Verona's Pam Grundman how cutting $800 million from the state's education budget helps children. She says, "I think there are ways schools can make cuts." (J.T.)
Miller gets the blame: At a press conference, Fox News' Mike Tobin asked Walker whether the decision by Senate Republicans to find their missing Democratic colleagues in contempt and issue warrants for their arrest might have contributed to the Democrats' reluctance to reach a deal. No, Walker insisted, what happened was that the labor bosses in Washington "got on the phone" and told Sen. Mark Miller, "You cannot budge." (B.L.)
All together now: Eleven of the 14 Democratic Senators have issued statements calling on Walker to compromise and expressing unity of purpose (12 if you count Sen. Jauch speaking on behalf of Sen. Cullen). One joint statement from the group, stating their goals and plans, would go a long way toward dispelling the sense of uncertainty Walker is trying to create. (Emily Mills)
Walker resists email release: During a three-hour hearing on the lawsuit brought by Isthmus and the Wisconsin Associated Press over emails received by the office of Gov. Scott Walker regarding his "budget repair bill," Dane County Judge Patrick Fiedler rejected claims that the lawsuit's filing was premature. Walker's side is claiming it must review "each and every email" - an estimated 125,000 in all - before they can be released, although Fiedler held out hope that the two sides might yet reach some sort of deal. (B.L.)