Day 8 of mass arrests in Wisconsin capitol: 15 arrests, Vets for Peace, more.

Photo Credit: Jim Murray

My archived streamed video from today is at the end of this post.

Today, August 7, 2013, the number of singers arrested in the capitol rotunda was 15 . This was the 8th day of mass arrests since July 24th.

Many vets from around the nation are visiting Madison this week for the Veterans For Peace 28th Annual Convention “POWER TO THE PEACEFUL” and a contingent took part in today’s sing.
(Side note: Check out the event. Films, workshops, panels, music, and a Saturday 4PM parade August 7 – 11)

A vet from the Janesville area visited with the intention of videotaping some of the singing from the 1st floor for a piece he’s pulling together for a local cable show back home. He was approached by police and told that if he stayed where he was he risked arrest. He walked away without getting video.

Officers also around the same time warned another visiting man, Mike, that he had to leave when he was standing within 20 feet of Wisconsin Senator Jon Erpenbach who was speaking with another gaggle of press. (So maybe WI legislator Sondy Pope could have gotten away with observing the other day if only the press were present?) Mike asked the police where he could stand in the building without risking arrest and they replied somewhere where he would not be viewing singers.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Walker administration was writing an email contradicting police.
From Channel3000 : Department of Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said in an email Wednesday that, “Observers will not receive citations.””

Bruce getting arrested by 5 cops.
Photo Credit: Jenna Pope

As usual, the arrests and police warnings occurred in multiples and I did not witness them all. A few things I noticed:
– Tori L. had noticeable trouble explaining to an officer that she needed to have her wrists kept to the front of her body due to a bad shoulder. I learned later that a 2nd officer intervened and allowed for front-wrist-cuffing.

– Carlos and Melida Arredondo were present today to view the protests. Carlos is a Veteran for Peace who became famous for rushing to help a Boston bombing victim. Perhaps you remember this photo?


Carlos and Melida spoke a few words on video to express solidarity:

– A Veteran for Peace who had been gently waving a VFP flag on occasion to the beat of the singing was arrested and had his flag taken by police at about 12:45PM. Often arrested singers are allowed to hand off signs and belongings to fellow singers, so the flag grab was met with intense and angry yelling. I heard later that the vet was taken to the Dane County jail.
For video see Vietnam War Veteran Arrested in Wisconsin Capitol While Standing Up for Free Speech

– Carl Sack got arrested 2 times.

– Despite having a bad fall on marble stairs while arrested on a previous day, Will Williams was back to participate. I did not see police approach Will and I heard that police are sticking to using the elevators now to transport people to the basement.

Two final thoughts on the arrests:
1) Can we agree that because singers are being ticketed and are not receiving a ‘criminal’ charge that the arrests are over the top? Arrests involve cuffing, removal to the basement, and some degree of processing that ranges anywhere from a few questions to a mug shot.

My assertion is reinforced by the fact that at times the capitol police identify singers by video and then simply mail citations out to those charged.

2) I have heard mention that officers have emptied pockets of singers and searched belongings. What would you think of an officer stopping you for a speeding ticket and subsequently taking your belongings, emptying your pockets, and cuffing you in a basement somewhere? 4th amendment? Hello?


License plate by Michael Martin.

Here’s my archived video I streamed from today.
It’s in segments because my connection cut out a couple of times.

Video streaming by Ustream

Video streaming by Ustream

Video streaming by Ustream


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