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.

Insulting Letter to Dem. Senator Mark Miller from Scott Fitzgerald

Scott Not-Afraid-To-Be-A-Royal-Prick Fitzgerald: Republican Majority Leader, Wisconsin State Senate


March 7, 2011

Sen. Mark Miller

Parts Unknown, IL

Dear Senator Miller,

Thank you for your hand-delivered letter with an offer to meet, in Illinois, about the business and future direction of Wisconsin.   Let’s set aside how bizarre that is for a moment.

As you know Continue reading

Democratic Senator Kathleen Vinehout says she’ll “talk turkey” with the Gov.

“Senator Miller and Senate Democrats have offered Governor Walker numerous compromises.  Labor leaders have provided financial concessions the Governor requested.  Hundreds of thousands of people have voiced opposition to the “budget repair bill.”  The people of Wisconsin want our leaders to work together.  My colleagues and I want to make this happen.  If the Governor doesn’t want to meet with Senator Miller, I am ready to meet with him and reach a compromise that moves us forward.”

This came to me via Steve Hanson. (Thanks Steve.)

Questions on this should go to:

Linda Kleinschmidt
Chief of Staff

Office of State Senator Kathleen Vinehout
3 South State Capitol – PO Box 7882
Madison, WI  53707-7882
608-266-8546
1-877-763-6636


Senator Vinehout’s wikipedia page

Kathleen Vinehout’s Official Page

Scott Walker’s Nightmare: Explosion of Solidarity Weekend Events

Saturday March 5th, Noon to 4PM, Capitol King Street Entrance: Madison’s We are Wisconsin Rally

MUSICAL GUESTS:
MICHELLE SHOCKED and JON LANGFORD of the MEKONS and RYAN BINGHAM
SPEAKERS: Continue reading

The Republican sneak vote mapped.

From the Acceity web journal

Here’s the vote from last Friday February 25 mapped out by Josh Wachuta at Aceity.

I’m assuming the grey non-voting areas are matched with the Democrats who were too slow on the uptake. As you recall, this was a sneak voice vote that occured in seconds. It was orchestrated by Republicans to deliberately exclude Democrats.  It passed the Assembly version of Walker’s “Budget Repair Bill” at 1AM after a 60+ hour marathon session.

Here’s the vote roll. If you’re still not sure which of these men and ladies represent you in your district, plug your address into Who Are My Legislators?

If you’re not happy with how your Assembly Representative voted, give ’em a piece of your mind. Godspeed.

Here’s Josh’s twitter home.

Feb 24: Noon Vote, Firefighters, Koch Brothers, Amy Goodman

Forgive me for this is a post dashed off quickly. But I want to make sure people know about these events of note for today:

11:30-ish A much-rumored huge gathering of fire fighters will occur at Wisconsin’s capitol. I did call a local firehouse to be told only that it was fairly spontaneous and will be large. Firemen will met at Station Number 1 – 316 W. Dayton St. – 11:30am & following, march two short blocks to the Capitol.

12 Noon- The projected time of an Assembly vote on their version of the earlier Senate version of the Budget Repair [or “Disrepair”] Bill that was the cause of an earlier departure of our 14 Democrat Senators for Illinois.  You can watch events unfold live at Wisconsin Eye – a non-profit “CSPAN” for Wisconsin. Continue reading

Independent Egyptian Unions Express Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers

Please read this—

TRANSLATION: (The poster in the background shows photographs of some of the recent young victims of the Mubarak government. The writing says they are among the martyrs of the 25 January Revolution.)

KAMAL ABBAS: “I am speaking to you from a place very close to Tahrir Square in Cairo, “Liberation Square”, which was the heart of the Revolution in Egypt. This is the place were many of our youth paid with their lives and blood in the struggle for our just rights.

From this place, I want you to know that we stand with you as you stood with us.

I want you to know that no power can challenge the will of the people when they believe in their rights. When they raise their voices loud and clear and struggle against exploitation. Continue reading

Where there is Andrew Breitbart, there are lies.

Not pigpen. I recall that Charles Shultz is a conservative. Instead, I present a dirty pig.

Some people leave a wake of garbage in their path. Reminds me of Pigpen from Charlie Brown .

Andrew Breitbart spoke at Madison, Wisconsin yesterday to approximately 3,500 Tea Party and Pro-Walker people. They were there to do their darndest to match the numbers of Progressives, workers, and students that have rallied since last week February 14 against Scott Walker’s union-busting “Budget Repair Bill”.

Now there are rumors left behind to dispel. Picking up garbage is something we thought we’d have to do after receiving 60,000 visitors. But this?: A doctored video Continue reading

I woke up ready for this.

Just a quick note-

A twitter friend has offered high speed access just off the square of the Capitol. I’m hauling a lot of gear over and hope to at minimum do audio from there.  If I find some tech-savvy youth-maybe some video too. You’ll get updates on this via facebook/twitter/here.

At 5pm last night there was a big ruckus in the Assembly. Repubs. said the vote was at 5. Showed up early. Voted by voice. Dems ran in at 5 yelling to stop the vote. Continue reading

I woke up ready for this.

Just a quick note-

A twitter friend has offered high speed access just off the square of the Capitol. I’m hauling a lot of gear over and hope to at minimum do audio from there.  If I find some tech-savvy youth-maybe some video too. You’ll get updates on this via facebook/twitter/here.

At 5pm last night there was a big ruckus in the Assembly. Repubs. said the vote was at 5. Showed up early. Voted by voice. Dems ran in at 5 yelling to stop the vote. Continue reading

Wisconsin Breaking: Workers rush to Capitol, UW to Stage Walk-out, Senators to Try to Sneek In & Out, Rally Noon

A UW Madison student and teacher assistant walk out is planned today for 9:15AM behind Lincoln’s statue on Bascom, with 10:30AM rally in Library Mall, and an 11AM Capitol Square rally to follow. Rumors circulate that Wisconsin’s Senate will rush to get in the Capitol early and begin their vote on a radical “Budget Repair Bill” before an onslaught of humanity covers Madison’s city square for the fourth day in a row and fills its Capitol building with raucous chanting and drumming. Note: UW Madison has approximately 50,000 students. Continue reading