A tense Solidarity Sing Along for a Friday: 1 arrest, 1 photographer shoved by cop, 1 new permit filed, 2 singing groups

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Today there was joy as usual at the Solidarity Sing Along but also tension and conflict. The usual outdoor sing was paired with an unusual indoor sing where officers delayed conducting their LRAD warning to disperse until around 12:35PM after which they stared at singers from the shadows of the hallway just beyond the rotunda’s interior columns.

I left the sing thinking that nobody got arrested only to learn later that 1 man had been.

The stats:
*1 arrest
*2 shoves at photographer Leslie Amsterdam by Officer Syphard
* [Note: Since I wrote this I got several notes that my estimates on the inside sing are too high and it’s closer to 25 people on ground floor. I’ll review my video in the car – I’m on a road trip today.] About 65 assembled on the rotunda’s ground floor and 50-60 observers surrounded the first floor railing.
*About 200 assembled singers outside on the lawn

*1 display of the UNINTIMIDATED letters marched through the Capitol building

*1 mysterious permit for “Solidarity Singerz” was filed with the WI Department of Administration according to an AP story.

“The permit granted Friday takes effect for three days the week of Sept. 9, according to a copy released by the Department of Administration. The Capitol Police declined to issue it for two days that week, saying other groups already had permission to use the rotunda then.

The applicant, Tom Kasper of Madison, had requested a permit that would be in effect “every weekday until notice.” It’s unclear if he requested the permit on his own behalf or for a larger group of people, including those participating in the Solidarity Singalong.”
– from Man gets permit for noon singing at the Capitol

The permit has Solidarity Sing Along regulars perplexed, but one longtime attendee of sing alongs is a neighbor to Tom Kasper (and on very friendly terms) and hopes to soon discuss with him what’s up with the permit.

Arrest:
Rick Evans was arrested just after he left the Capitol building. In a video recorded by Mike Crute of the radio show Devil’s Advocate, his wife, Marsha, says that he was cited and arrested by 5 officers after he erased “un” from “unlawful” on a dry erase board that police set in the middle of the rotunda floor. Here’s the Devil’s Advocate facebook video.

Shoves by Syphard:
This is again on video from Devil’s Advocate’s facebook wall. Notice that the shorter officer points to Leslie and then Officer Syphard body checks her. I’ve been told that Officer Syphard has been increasingly rough and particularly toward Leslie – I presume because she is taking compelling photos of arrests in the Capitol building and somebody does not like that. Oh – and probably also because Officer Syphard needs help with his ‘issues’.

Footnote on my tech troubles:
I have great video from today but my media computer has some issues that prevent me from getting that to you, most important being it won’t turn on. This is after I had some tech problems with an audio codec. Arghhhh.

Hopefully somebody else’s video of the majestic UNINTIMIDATED letters marching throughout the Capitol building will soon emerge and I can add it later. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “A tense Solidarity Sing Along for a Friday: 1 arrest, 1 photographer shoved by cop, 1 new permit filed, 2 singing groups

  1. I’m married to Mr. Evans, who was arrested today. Let me make it clear that Mr. Evans did NOT denigrate anyone or make unseemly remarks toward or about anyone. There was one singer who baited the police, but it was not my husband. Mr. Evans was indeed arrested for changing the SCPD’s sign that declared the assemblage “unlawful” to the correct “lawful” (he being a teacher of social studies).

  2. I was an inside observer today and my counts of singers and observers for the inside demonstration were far lower than you report for today. After the singing ended, I felt some demonstrators were trying to denigrate and provoke the police in a unseemly and emotional manner. It was not a surprise to find out later that the cops found a lame reason to cite someone. We may have avoided this citation and had a day of where the police were inconsistent in their enforcement. Can we create a consensus of how SSA participants should behave before and after the sings?

    • A consensus among the participants in the Sing Along? LOL!

      My count was 24 participants at the time that the cops made the LRAD announcement, swelling to about 30 at the height.

      There was ONE PERSON taunting the cops. The same person who does it virtually every day. I don’t know any other Sing Along participants who join in that behavior.

      And the arrest, while lame, was not a response to the taunting. As soon as the dangerous criminal erased the “un” from “unlawful” on the cops’ sandwich board, we knew that crime would not go unpunished, just as it didn’t when someone else did the same thing last week.

      • Hmm. Your count is too low to me, “Wisconsinite”. I am citing a number of people ‘assembled’ and not necessarily singing ‘participants’. For example, when Representative Melissa Sargent was there hanging back by the column, she was there to observe on the floor and would be considered one of the assembled though she was not singing. In any case, thanks for the comment. I will review my video and see if I can’t get a more firm count by that.

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