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The gathering storm

by Brian Zylstra | November 28th, 2011

During the holiday season, the Capitol Campus usually is as quiet as a college library during finals.

Not this year, and especially not this week.

At least 3,000 protesters were expected to assemble on campus to hold rallies as the Legislature convened Monday for a special session to try to fix a $2 billion state budget gap.

Most of the protesters are worried about proposed cuts to state programs and services, including social and health services, public schools and higher education.

By 9 a.m. (photo above), about 100 demonstrators had gathered on the sandstone steps to the north entrance of the “Lege” Building.  By 11 o’clock (photo below), several hundred people were holding forth. Others circled the Capitol waving signs. Everyone tried out their lungs, shouting chants – hoping legislators inside could hear their message.

More protesters were expected as the day wore on. The special session, called by Gov. Chris Gregoire to deal with the budget emergency, can last up to 30 days.

One Response to “The gathering storm”

  1. Just wanted to advise that those pictured with the SOS signs here did not feel we were “the gathering storm”. We were here to respectfully let our voices be heard and to meet with our legislators individually. We believe the proposed cuts will result in the loss of lives and additional dollars if put in place. We believe that cuts to vital services must be avoided- waste must be cut, priorities checked, AND if necesary broad based Revenue implemented and designated for health and human services programs for the developmentally disabled, chronically mentally ill, and seniors.

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