Photo by Sue Peacock CC licenseThey are the unlikeliest of folk heroes. But these once-obscure lawmakers — a dairy farmer, a former truck driver and a woman who is seven months pregnant, among others — who fled this capital nearly a month ago, returned Saturday to the cheers of 100,000 protesters gathered in support.

Many in the crowd wore buttons or held signs bearing admiring nicknames for the group: the “Fighting 14,” the “Fab 14” or, simply, “the Wisconsin 14.” They chanted, “Thank you” and “Welcome home.”

Farmers driving tractors in a procession around the capital building in Madison honked in support of Democratic efforts to save collective bargaining for union teachers, janitors, nurses and librarians who are employed by the state.

(READ the story w/ photo gallery in the NY Times)

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