Gun rights advocates, counter-protesters set for competing Capitol protests Saturday

Thousands of pro-gun control protesters march up State Street for the March for Our Lives rally in March, part of a nationwide protest organized by the young survivors of February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead. The right and the left are set to collide Saturday at dueling protests at the state Capitol. The conservative group Wisconsin Patriots Alliance announced last month plans to rally for gun rights at the Capitol Saturday at noon, and soon after a coalition of liberal groups led by the Madison chapter of the International Socialist Organization announced their intention to gather for a " Unite Against Fascism " rally starting a half-hour earlier at 11:30 a.m. The “ We the People Rally ” is being hosted by the Wisconsin Patriots Alliance. It will take place on the northwest steps of the state Capitol, while the left-wing counter-protesters obtained a street permit to gather at the top of State Street, right across the street. Frank Emspak, a spokesman for the liberal coalition, said he expects several hundred, maybe 1,000, participants to show up on what promises to be a chilly day, with light snow predicted. “We want to show that the vast majority of our fellow Wisconsinites support a society where all are respected and condemn those who preach hate and division,” he said. He said the rally was prompted by the proliferation of proposals in the U.S. to enact so-called "red flag" laws, […]

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