Pics from Madison: Stop the Wars March, Occupy site, and the Rally

Here’s my recollections of yesterday, worts ‘n’ all.

The day started out with a Stop the Wars march organized by MAPC:

I hung out at the Occupy Madison site after. I initially announced I’d do some livestreaming when we were informed there was in fact some net, a password, etc to use with our camera/laptop combo. The camera/laptop combo was only there as long as its owner [and that wasn’t me] wanted to be there…like 30 minutes maximum. I was not policing the whole get-livestreaming-going thing. While I chatted merrily with folks, as it turns out, much of the 30 minutes was used to look up an ordinance that pertains to exactly why an officer had the right and/or duty to remove red balloons from Lady Forward’s hand three times. (You can learn more about that on Michael Matheson’s facebook profile where he uses 20 photos to tell the tale.)

I made my way to the “The MoveOn Rally” as it wound up being called.

There was a lot of spirited discussion among Occupy Madison participants going into this rally held officially in “solidarity” with them. The rally was organized and promoted almost entirely and independently by  I think what happened was that MoveOn moved rapidly enough to pull together a rally to occur on October 15th that would coincide with what Occupy sites around the world agreed should be a “day of action”. But this rapid move was TOO rapid and neglectful of  the deliberate process that all occupy sites seem to use which is a series of daily General Assembly meetings.

What wound up happening is that MoveOn did their rally without any jeering from naysayers and with inclusion of 3 speeches from Occupy Madison members  (a couple of whom may want to remain somewhat anonymous [?] I don’t see their names in the description on this video or their tweets) – Occupy Madison speakers at the Capitol, 10/15/11

We also heard from a leader with the Madison Area Peace Coalition who called out Obama for various sins while also managing to extend solidarity and/or forgiveness to those Democrats who expect to hold their nose and vote for Obama despite it all. We also saw two individuals that I don’t think would want to be in the same room together: Miles Kristan and Bret Hulsey. Many know Miles Kristan as the man who poured beer on Robin Vos [but of course he’s a whole lot more than that]. And many lefties in Madison know Bret Hulsey as the man who asserted protesters should leave the Capitol on their 2nd invasion of the place [was that March 9th?]. But Bret Hulsey is, I’m sure he would argue, also more than that one incident.

We also heard from politicians Senator Jon Erpenbach, Rep Kelda Helen Roys, a man arrested in D.C. for protesting the XL Keystone pipeline, and others.

I’ll get the video and audio up here as time permits this afternoon – taking my sweet time as it is a fairly beautiful day out and I will also need to pay attention to a Packers game.  We may also see some typed-up speeches landing here if speakers email them to me [as was gently requested].

I have over 100 photos here on my facebook page if you’d like to see more.

Resources: Occupy Madison’s facebook page 

Occupy Madison’s web site where you can find a schedule, a donation spot, and more.

Occupy Madison’s twitter

Occupy Movement 10/01/11-Protesters Overtake Brooklyn Bridge, Halted, Arrested-Recorded call to Arthur on Bridge

blue cheddar: Here’s a conversation I just recorded with Arthur while he was standing on the bridge, on the pedestrian walkway, watching people get cuffed/removed:

spare link – CALL TO ARTHUR on Brooklyn Bridge 10 01 11

Below are tweets and facebook updates from Arthur and Jenna (Wisconsinites on Wall Street) as well as the tweeter @jeffrae

Arthur of SSWIDTMS:
-Marching over the Brooklyn bridge. Some marchers are trying to take the street.
-They took the street!
-This is the coolest thing ever!
-They are arresting everyone on the bridge. This will take a while.-minutes ago
-They are removing everyone from the pedestrian walkway of the bridge.

Added 10/02/11
And from Jenna Pope A.K.A. @BatmanWI on twitter.

More from Jenna: When I decided to come go to #occupywallstreet, I decided that I was going to actively avoid getting arrested… but I also decided I was going to do whatever I had to do to tell the story as best I could. Little did I realize that getting the story I wanted would mean putting myself in an arrestable position.
We had a planned mach across the Brooklyn Bridge, but when we got there, some people started to march on the actual street and not on the pedestrian walkway. The police did NOTHING to stop them, so the protestors continued to march. I had been directed by other protestors to get onto the walkway, and after doing so, I realized there were people on the street level. I then threw my backpack and sign over the fence that separated me from the street level, climbed onto the fence, and jumped down about 10 feet to join the other protestors who were down there.
I realized that by doing this, I was putting myself in a position to get arrested. But, like I said, I came here to tell the story, and what better way to do that then to be IN the story?

Instead of typing out what happened, I included some audio posts, videos, and pictures that tell the entire story

Here’s audio from an interview after I was released:

Here are a couple of videos I got from the street level from facebook:


Jenna tweeting [as @BatmanWI]

People are gathering for the 3pm. I’m carrying a sign that says “solidarity from Wisconsin” #occupywallstreet #wiunion

We’re marching on the street of the brooklyn bridge! Not the walkway. Woot! #occupywallstreet #wiunion

We’re trapped. Not letting us off. ppl getting arrested. We’re asking them to let us walk off peacefully. #occupywallstreet #wiunion

Chanting “let us go”. Cops making ppl on foot bridge get off the bridge

A few photos from tweeters:

tweet and pic from @Adrianchen

Crowd is roaring! #OccupyWallSt #OccupyWallStreet on Twitpic
“Crowd is roaring!” pic from @jopauca

pic from @jeffrae. A few of his tweets:
-Police mopeds line street at front of march
-March is heading towards Brooklyn Bridge
-Police Officer just tells me “I’m for this – you know what kinda hit my 401k took.
-March has taken Brooklyn bridge

UPDATE: Two white shirts just beat someone. Someone has video... on Twitpic
-Police going to make mass arrest on Brooklyn bridge”

The Occupy Movement – Wall Street Grievances Named

This list of grievances from the protesters on Wall St. was posted to reddit last night.

1.Campaign Finance Reform
All votes are no longer equal in our Democracy. Money must be put outside of politics, or politicians will continue to pander to those who contribute the most to their campaigns, rather than their own constituencies. Specifically, we abhor the decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC. Corporations are NOT people.

2.True Shared Sacrifice
While corporate profits have been skyrocketing and the wealthy have been getting wealthier, the average worker’s income has dramatically dropped. While the cost of living has exponentially increased, wages have not followed. It has been shown time and time again that tax cuts for the wealthy are NOT effective. Taxes on those who practice greed should be raised.

3.Equality in Justice
This great nation was founded on liberty, but also, on equality. When the balance of justice is swayed in favor of those with wealth, the very fabric of this nation is torn apart. The decision of a judge should not be based upon the race, creed, or wealth of an individual, but rather, the content of the case.

4.The End of the Revolving Door
The Obama administration was supposed to bring change and hope to our country, but instead, brought us into despair and insecurity. Those working in his administration are the very people whom we are fighting against. Those who enter Washington should not be representatives of the elites, but representatives of the people. One cannot simply enter an administration, reap its benefits, and simply exit.

Mdipaola at BrooklynSentinel describes the difficult process of coming up with demands: Continued Message Woes for Wall Street Occupiers

By the way-you’ll see a link to all “Occupy Movement” posts at top left of the blue cheddar page now.

Slideshow, Video, and More from the Scott Walker Protest and Croquet Ball at the Mansion

I’ll keep on adding media as I find it. If you haven’t seen the main post yet, that’s back here at Protesting Scott Walker and the Croquet Ballers

From Arthur over at the facebook page Shit Scott Walker is Doing to My State – a flotilla video! (Wish I coulda been on that pontoon boat):

Photo from Lara

Photo from Lara

Protesting Scott Walker and The Croquet Ballers

Protests usually make me feel gleeful. This protest made me feel alternately happy and nauseous. It was because I had to actually watch Walker’s buddies play croquet on the lawn of what is known as “The Governor’s Mansion” but which is the property of the State of Wisconsin.

Despite this sign stuck in a car proclaiming the driver a “Defense Fund Baller”, the croquet players were officially raising money to rehab the mansion. From the invitation: “I am inviting fellow leading ladies like yourself to please join me in donating a purse filled with some of your favorite things. The purses will then be raffled off at the event…For example, I’ll be donating a Tignanello bag filled with some of my can’t-live-without items like my favorite shade of Bobbi Brown lipstick and an Aveda hand cream that I can’t get enough of.” – source

As you can see above, protesters brought purses containing other desirables: a living wage, public transportation, transparency in government, human decency, and veterans’ benefits-to name a few.

A few protesters wore their best hats for croquet.

We were about 30 people on the landed side of the mansion, and I heard that about 12 kayaks, a pontoon boat, and a fishing boat were on the Mendota Lake side of the mansion blasting music such as “Solidarity Forever” and “99 red balloons” – which I could hear as I approached the grounds.

Unfortunately the closer I got to the grounds I heard the music coming out of the mansion: Neil Diamond, the Grease soundtrack, but also “Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang, and some Bruce Springsteen.

We sang along and even danced along to the Beatles singing “Twist and Shout”. For “Celebrate” the lyrics changed to either “Investigate him now, come on! It’s an investigation” or “Recall him now….”

For Springsteen’s Born in the USA we switched to “Born with a Silver Spoon!”

You may remember a “Whose house? Our house!” chant from the Capitol. In this case, we chanted “Whose lawn? Our lawn!”

Remember the mythical $7 million dollar price tag for “damage” to the Capitol? We sang the tune 100 bottles of beer on the wall but substituted “7 million dollars of damage to our lawn, 7 million dollars of damage…” assuming they are messing up that state-owned lawn with their heels as much as we were messing up the Capitol. Most of the credit for these creative chants goes to Sue T., by the way.

At least 3 folks came from neighboring counties to protest, with Ellen M. coming from Walworth County, so we were not all Madisonians.

I drove away honking at the Mercedes and Lexus that we sidled by in the tight path our two cars could creep through. There must have been a lot of the Benz, because only a few minutes before one of the other protesters started singing the Mercedes Benz song by Janis Joplin when one went by where we were standing.

I yelled “You disgust me” at two croquet players getting into their car.  I was angry.  There are so many reasons to be angry. There is no reason to NOT be angry.

Before I go – a license plate from one of the ballers:

Photo courtesy of annelyttle of twitter.

Link to a photo slideshow.

Video: Wisconsin GOP Booze Cruise walks through protester gauntlet

This video is from Arthur’s YouTube channel Arthurkr222, by the way.

The people who were actually at this rally called the GOP fundraiser a booze cruise last night. Now that I’m seeing this video, I understand why. Watch!

1:41 mark – Paul Ryan coming through and Arthur saying “You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

1:35 mark – Protesters say “Wisconsin’s not for sale.” A Republican man walking through says “Yes we are!” Repeatedly.

1:45 mark – A woman spots Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and starts chanting “Recall Kleefisch” and others join in. Arthur calls out, “I just want to marry my toaster. That’s all I want to do, Ma’am. You won’t let…”

(If you don’t get the joke, back in October 2010, Kleefisch said she opposed rights for gay people to marry because it is as absurd as marrying a table or a dog:
“This is a slippery slope in addition to that — at what point are we going to OK marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous.”)

2:33 mark – Miles recognizes a sloshy Represenative Kramer and calls to him with a megaphone. Bill Kramer is from conservative Waukesha and serves the 97th Assembly district. Arthur then does a brief interview with Kramer asking.
“How do you justify the extraordinary session for the redistricting?”
“When was the last time we were in extraordinary session before the budget process?”
and lastly
“Are you drunk sir?”

Kramer’s response is “”Ebberry redistericting is done ‘strawordary sessyun.””
[That’s an excellent translation of the local dialect “Wisconsin GOP BoozeCruise” by @gnarlytrombone that I won’t try to improve on.]

Subscribe to Arthur’s YouTube channel if you like video like this.

Photo Swiped From: Teamster Nation

Devil visits Devil’s Lake State Park: Scott Walker protested by 300

Photos and video of about 300 protesters confronting Scott Walker at Devil’s Lake State Park this morning. Images are from Skillet Creek Media. It’s important to protest radical right wing authoritarians like Walker and it’s important to share the images and sounds of protest with others. Photos, videos, and accounts of protest beget yet more protest causing it to multiply. Protest is the living test of your right to assemble and right to speak. A thousand thanks to those who did this today.

Gov Walker &  Protesters

Why are these people protesting with such anger? Here’s just an abbreviated list (perhaps you’ll add more offenses in a comment or two):

We’re holding on. Wisconsin will be a People’s state again. The Capitol Building will reopen 8AM, Monday.

The videographer Matt Wisniewski has captured the elusive beauty and Solidarity that thousands have sheltered and tended here. This is a fragile fire that people across the state, the nation, and the world have watched and now call their own.

This has been the heart of Wisconsin’s Capitol building and the heart of my city. It is also the heart of a new fight to maintain Democracy in the face of a corporatist charge detonated here in November 2010. The soldiers in that charge are known by their yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and their red, white and blue WalMart shirts.

They’ve made a show of respect for “the constitution” Continue reading

“Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Speech of Doom”

“Gov. Scott Walker’s Budget

Speech of Doom: What to

Expect From the Wisconsin


Actual headline. The regular press is sounding like one of us cantankerous Wisconsin bloggers who’s been Continue reading

Seriously? Walker tried to dine 1 block from the Capitol?

The  restaurant where Walker was supposedly booed is 1 block from Madison’s Capitol building: “ground zero” for protest against Walker’s radical “Budget Repair Bill”.

I’m a little doubtful this really happened because – well – is he really so ignorant that he thinks he can relax in public anywhere on the Isthmus of Madison now? If the answer is “yes”, this man is more daft than I could have fathomed.

Lifted from a blog called “Mind Stain”: Scott Walker Asked to Leave Local Restaurant

You know you’re not well liked when you are asked to leave a local tavern because people boo-ing at you causes an upset, but this is exactly what happened to Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker on Friday the 18th of February. 

“Why don’t you like me? Sad Scott Walker is sad.”

[Name of restaurant removed-see comments]  in Madison, WI confirms that on Friday night, Patrick Sweeney (one of the owners) politely asked Scott Walker to leave the establishment when other customers began boo-ing him. A bartender at the restaurant said that, “his presence was causing a disturbance to the other customers and management asked him to leave.”