"If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world," Governor Walker said.
Protesters demanded that Walker apologize for the comment.
The activists were also protesting “right to work” legislation that would ban the requirement of private sector workers to pay union dues. Unions and labor activists have said that legislation would effectively destroy unions in the state and give Republicans another advantage in fundraising.
The Wisconsin Republican-led state Senate voted 17–15 to advance the bill earlier this week. Critics have said it would limit the ability of employees to negotiate better wages and job benefits as well as on-the-job safety. The bill would thereby harm working families, they argue.
This weekend’s rally occurred almost exactly four years after massive demonstrations at the state capitol against anti-labor legislation being considered. The resulting movement forced Walker into a recall election which he barely survived.