Thousands of teachers, union members and students packed the Wisconsin state house on Wednesday, vowing to remain for the rest of the week, in a heightening face-off with the new Republican governor over collective bargaining rights and pensions.

In a day-long rally that extended into the evening, as the state’s Joint Finance Committee met to consider the legislation designed to greatly curb public employees from union-led contract negotiating, protesters chanted slogans such as, “Union busting is disgusting,” and “Kill the bill.”

Filling several floors of the ornate, domed building, the protesters also toted signs showing their personal ire for Gov. Scott Walker himself, including “Suck it Walker” and “Show your face, coward!”

Mike Graff, a biology teacher, was holding the latter, and joined plumbing, electrical and garbage collection union members in calls for preserving union rights and upholding pension agreements.

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