Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Red Balloon Story, Part 2, by Leslie Peterson.

Here's a story I didn't think much of at first, but has since blown completely up in the face of the Walker administration. So we saw "union thuggery" during the winter protests at the Capitol? Pure projection from the conservative critics, that think winning elections give them a free pass to do anything they want, like push people around with a small knife.  

Here's a slightly shortened version of WTDY's Sly in the Morning's interview of Leslie Peterson, the woman accosted by a Walker thug at the Capitol for carrying a red balloon.

The Progressive: Outside the doors of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Leslie Peterson was reaching down into her shopping bag to remove a heart-shaped balloon so that her friend could take a photo of her with it. As soon as she pulled it out, someone came up behind her and repeatedly stabbed the balloon with a blade. “I’m sick of fishing these off the ceiling,” said the man with the round glasses and handlebar moustache as he walked away.

Shaken up by the sneak attack on her property, Leslie asked the man for hisname and identification. He did not respond to her so she asked him again, saying that she was going to file an incident report with the Capitol Police. At that point, he allegedly grabbed her and slammed her up against the door of a women’s bathroom. “I saw blood all over him and me. I didn’t know if he still had the knife, or whether or not I had been stabbed,” said Leslie.

WSJ: Protesters began bringing red heart balloons to the Capitol early this year, and one from February had hovered atop the dome for months. The heart balloon became a symbol of sorts, complete with its own "Capitol Balloon" Facebook page and "The Heart Balloon" Twitter account.

That balloon vanished from the dome in late June, but protesters have been releasing others in its absence. More than a dozen balloons were released in the rotunda Friday, but all of those had been removed by Monday morning. Dozens more were released after the incident and were hanging in bunches Monday night at the top of the dome.


  1. Hi there. I am an independant artist living in Northern Wisconsin whom created a graphic for the rallies based on heart shaped balloons. I started making shirts a few months ago. Some people are wearing them around, you might see once in a while. Leslie's story further galvanized my sentiment and the validity of the graphic. I would like to send her a free shirt! She deserves one. Please help me get in contact with her. Thanks! A people, united, will never be defeated. -Benjamin

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