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Thursday, July 10, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 55.0° F  Fair
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Wisconsin Capitol protester files: Mike Dickman is first to arrive, last to leave

Mike Dickman: "Anybody in Wisconsin who has not come to see what’s going on here is missing out on history"
Mike Dickman: "Anybody in Wisconsin who has not come to see what’s going on here is missing out on history"
Credit:Joe Tarr
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Mike Dickman learned how to protest when he was just nine and his father took him to a massive Vietnam War protest on State Street.

Dickman, 49, isn't involved with any political groups, but when he heard about protests against Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to end collective bargaining, he showed up at the Capitol to join the cause. "I was expecting for someone to hear our voices," he said.

But unsatisfied that that has happened, Dickman has been coming back every day. "I get here before the first rally and I leave after the last rally," he said, adding that he planned to sleep inside the Capitol Sunday night.

He called the protests bigger than the ones against the Vietnam War, framing them broadly as "an attack on freedom. Once the unions go, what's next? Are we going to bring back child labor? Will you have the right to go to your church of choice? Will you have a right to assemble?"

Dickman worried that if Wisconsin should cave into to Walker's agenda, other states would follow. "This is about human rights and civil rights. And the whole world is watching," he said. "Anybody in Wisconsin who has not come to see what's going on here is missing out on history."

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