Feeding the Revolution

You may have gleaned, if you read us regularly, that Cassandra and I are from Madison, WI - currently a hotbed of protesters, counter-protesters, and spotlight seekers (I'm looking at you, Jesse Jackson.) Our usually low-key, small city is in a state of relative chaos, with tens of thousands of people descending on our capitol building every day for the last week.

I say "relative chaos" because, really, the week has been pretty peaceful and civil. The chaos comes from having to feed all these people. Fortunately, our capitol is in the middle of downtown on a square littered with amazing restaurants. Each of the eight streets leading away from the square also have restaurants on them with State Street (our "high" street) being the most rich with choice. From pizza to Tibetan food, you can pretty much find anything you want within a 1/2 mile walk.

Regardless of the tempting food choices, the die-hard protesters and, I suppose, some of the counter-protesters are loathe to leave the immediate area of the building. Hell, some are loathe to leave the building entirely - sleeping on air mattresses and make-shift bedrolls. What to do with them? Can't really leave them to starve...

Free Brats for Union Supporters
Cooking brats for the protesters
I don't remember what day it was - protests started in earnest on Tuesday so maybe it was Wednesday - somebody showed up and started handing out bratwurst (the official wurst of the great state of Wisconsin.) Then there were cookies, and pizza, and more brats. Individuals and organizations took it upon themselves to support democracy by feeding the revolution.

Then, on Friday, Ian's Pizza, a popular local pizzeria that specializes in odd pizza combos (its best-seller is a Mac-n-Cheese Pizza and it is exactly what you think) announced that it was closing its State Street location to normal business so it could focus exclusively on fulfilling the hundreds of donated pizza orders called in FROM AROUND THE WORLD. I swear to god, you can't make this stuff up.
Mac-n-Cheese Pizza from Ian's

Somehow, and I'm guessing it was via social media, Ian's phone number* got out to the world and people started ordering pizzas to be delivered to the capitol. Ian's remained closed for regular business on Saturday as well - continuing to fulfill the steady stream of orders.

I heard online that Ian's had taken orders from over 30 states and 5 countries - but their website doesn't say one way or the other. Today, a read a tweet that reported a pizza order called in from Egypt.

It's important to note that Ian's - or, for that matter, any of the food suppliers - doesn't discriminate in regards to who they'll feed. If you're hungry and you're participating in this amazing show of democracy in action, you, too, can have a slice. Or a cookie. In Wisconsin, we're nice like that.

Viva la revolucion-ary food!

- Alex

*If you would like to contact Ian's and help feed democracy in action, please call 608-257-9248 or visit http://www.ianspizza.com/

UPDATE: Ian's Pizza has a Facebook page with a bunch of info on how to contact them as well as great photos - including a couple of the chalkboard where they've been trying to keep track of where all the calls are coming from. http://on.fb.me/gr5yO9

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