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Two opposing rallies take to downtown Madison

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Rainbow over the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison, Sept. 30, 2020.

MADISON (WKOW) -- On two sides of the state Capitol in Madison, two very different rallies took place Saturday.

On one side, some Republican candidates for State Assembly rallied for their campaigns, but also stood opposed to various liberal causes.

"It's important that people see in public that there are people who support the dissenting view over what's going on, not so much with just the protestors but with the rioting and the violence," Phil Anderson, candidate for Assembly District 47, said.

On the other side, the group Impact Demand pushed for legislation that would create a 15-year minimum sentence for police officers who kill unarmed civilians.

What the group is calling the Hands Up Act hasn't been brought up in Congress or the state Legislature, but a national petition for it has gathered 2.7 million signatures on change.org.

"In this way it's the Hands Up Act is taking power back and saying we put our hands up and now you can be held accountable and now my life means something," Ayomi Obuseh, one of the organizers, said.

Organizers with the Republican event said they acknowledged the problem protestors want addressed, but they're against the vandalism that accompanied some of the protests over the summer.

"We've already seen many businesses on State Street, especially in downtown Madison, say that they're going to close their doors for good and without intervention the trend will definitely continue and we can't let that happen. The path to justice for the victims of police brutality does not include tearing down our city and other cities like ours," Sam Anderson, Candidate for Assembly District 48, said.

Impact Demand was concerned the campaign event was held at the same time as theirs to take the attention off their event.

They also took issue with the name.

"The title was Take Back Our Communities," Obuseh said. "We are the community, that means they're trying to take our power away. They're trying to silence us."

While originally scheduled at the same time, Impact Demand waited until the other event was over before starting so there was no overlap.

At the end of the day, participants stuck to their own events without interfering with each other.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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