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Protesters Thank Democrats At Wisconsin Capitol

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Protesters outside the Wisconsin Assembly are thanking Democrats as they emerge from the chamber after passage of an explosive bill taking away public workers' collective bargaining rights.

The Democrats voted against the bill, which passed 53-42 Thursday. Four Republicans joined the Democrats to oppose it.

The protesters are exchanging high-fives with the Democrats and chanting "thank you" as they wind through the crowd.

Right after the vote, the protesters yelled "Shame!" as Republicans left the Assembly under heavy guard.

Dozens of state troopers, state special agents and local police had formed multiple lines to block the protesters if they tried to rush the chamber, but no one made a move toward the officers, and all the lawmakers left the chamber safely.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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