Protesters greet Pence during Janesville visit
JANESVILLE, Wis. — About 85 protesters lined Wright Road in Janesville on Friday morning, coming out against Vice President Mike Pence as he visited Blain Supply for a listening session , tour and speech, police said.
The Janesville Police Department said in a news release said protests were peaceful and no arrests or injures were reported.
Protesters said they were motivated by several issues, including the new administration’s positions on immigration, health care, the economy and women’s rights.
Some held signs referencing newly reported information regarding Pence’s personal email use while serving as Governor of Indiana, as well as signs referencing concerns over the White House’s alleged ties to Russia .
Protesters outside Blain’s Farm & Fleet in Janesville where VP Mike Pence is coming to visit.
Posted by WISC-TV / Channel 3000 on Friday, March 3, 2017
“There are so many things that I worry about that I think are under assault and I worry about that, so this is a way that I can come and put that out,” Karen Greenler, a protester from Edgerton, said. “(Pence) is part of the administration that is undermining a great deal of our social fabric at the moment.”
Derek Barselau of Fort Atkinson said he went to Friday’s protest for his 1-year-old daughter Olivia, in tow because Barselau said he’s worried about her future.
“I’m just really fearful we’re not going to make it the next few years,” Barselau said. “She needs to know how our country works so when she grows up she can keep it safe.”
Pence was joined by Janesville native House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Besides Pence and President Donald Trump, Ryan drew the ire of some of protesters in the speaker’s hometown Friday. They chanted “we’re not buyin’ Lyin’ Ryan” and held signs criticizing the speaker for his political positions, particularly on the Affordable Care Act.
Cindy Oest said she came to protest specifically against Ryan rather than the vice president.
“I call Paul Ryan every single day, ask him, plead (with) him to leave in pre-existing conditions because so many people would be left out for life,” Oest, a protester from Illinois, said.
The protesters largely dispersed after Pence and his motorcade entered Blain Supply.
A few counter-protesters showed up to demonstrate support for Pence and the Trump administration.
Janesville police said more than 160 law-enforcement officers and fire personnel were present during Pence’s visit. Besides JPD, the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, police from the cities of Beloit, Clinton, Evansville, Madison and Milton provided security; as well as officers from the UW-Madison and State Capitol police departments.
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