It began on a Monday morning with high school students, then spread to the state university. The next day, 10,000 people rallied at the state capitol in Madison. In this video, John Nichols traces the remarkable trajectory of the Wisconsin protests against Governor Scott Walker’s measures to cut pay and benefits for public employees, from its humble origins in February 2011 to the impact felt nationwide with the birth and growth of the Occupy movement and more.

Read more about the Wisconsin protests in John Nichols’s new book, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, or his recent article, “America’s Youth Uprising.”

—Elizabeth Whitman