Protesters leave Capitol after 17 days of protests

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgeral, R-Juneau, walks orders to the clerk finding the 14 missing Democrats in contempt, at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Thursday, March 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Manis

March 3, 2011 7:24:18 PM PST
Pro-union protesters have vacated the Wisconsin Capitol on the 17th day of round-the-clock demonstrations after a judge ordered the building closed at night.

About 50 protesters left the building peacefully Thursday night about two hours after a judge ruled the state had unconstitutionally restricted building to the access. But the ruling also said the protesters had to leave Thursday night.

That led to a sometimes tense two hours as police and the attorney who represented the unions who fought the policy to restrict access to the building urged them to leave peacefully.

The protesters are part of demonstrations against a bill pushed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that would strip most public employees of most of their collective bargaining rights.

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