Why we should be like the man who got dragged out of Wisconsin’s Capitol

Police drag a protester out of the Wisconsin Assembly chamber. (Carolos Javier Ortiz / EPA / March 10, 2011)

Please note: I advocate non-violent civil disobedience and only as a last resort.

My boyfriend laughed when he saw this. I didn’t.

I’ve never really identified with letting yourself get dragged out of somewhere, breaking rules, and even risking arrest until this photo came along. But then, I’ve never lived through something like these last 3 weeks in Wisconsin.

When I see this image, I know some people just won’t get this guy.

I do get it. I feel anger, sorrow — and I feel a sense of determination. I think this guy did the right thing and I want to be more like him.

Obviously he’s peaceful.  But breaking the rules. Right now the rules are being rewritten by Walker rapidly to break the public. And when the Wisconsin GOP can not rewrite the rules fast enough, they break ’em.

Just in case you have been watching FOX news up until now I will elaborate. Walker’s administration has violated  the  public and the state and federal constitutions by

  • restricting use of recording and audio devices to include cell phones in the meeting chambers of Wisconsin’s Capitol
  • closing the Capitol building to its public or applying arbitrary rules to accept some and restrict others
  • attempting to require a permit on Capitol grounds when law states that an unlimited number of citizens may assemble there without permit
  • conduct government meetings without even the 2 hour warning required under emergency conditions

Wisconsin’s Capitol building is the public’s. It is where we send people to serve the public, and where now they try to dismantle our public unions and even our public services.

I don’t know that we should all get dragged out by state troopers.  But if  enough of us do not feel so moved to take some additional risks right now, we will be singled out, picked off, and our movement is done.

“Risk” or “rule breaking” may mean breaking social norms by speaking up about politics. Stepping up to a leadership position. Risking confrontation.

Finally, the current  governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, will be gone in 2012. He will either be deposed by a recall or on an express bus to D.C. For all I know, he could be serving time in prison. When he’s gone, I am resolved to be in my Capitol once again drumming with thousands of other regular citizens. And this dragged out protester?

He will stay just as long as he fucking likes.

2 thoughts on “Why we should be like the man who got dragged out of Wisconsin’s Capitol

  1. You are right. Governor Walker and his GOP cronies have turned our great state into their personal kingdom and have chosen to preside over it as if it were a dictatorship. In fact, that is what it is becoming. That said, with rallies, recalls, boycotts and general strikes at our disposal, our arsenal remains full. Though they have won the initial battles by cheating, we will prevail in the end and we will show them and the world what true democracy looks like.

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