Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Nathaniel Macon
One thing that is common place in today’s society is the ability of people to have access to something and want no one else to also have that same thing. That being said, it amazes me that so many people in print media have had a problem with the Solidarity Singers. It amazes me that people who actually work for a place where they are allowed a public forum, would seek to deny that forum to others.
We don’t have a problem with someone belting out tunes in the Capitol for the most part. The problem comes when those singers cannot follow the rules that everyone else has to, then claim First Amendment protection for their actions
The “the rules” are simple. Its called the Fist Amendment to the US Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Monona’s own Sunny Schubert even had to weigh in on allowing people the right to peaceably assemble.
Federal Judge William Conley – an Obama appointee, for what it’s worth – recently ruled that the state may require a permit for groups of 20 or more to meet in the rotunda.
(A Solidarity Singer told me Monday that Judge Conley’s decision was merely a “suggestion” – sort of like the Ten Suggestions in the Bible, I suppose.)
The permits are free and easy to obtain, I’m told, but even that is apparently too onerous for the anti-Walker crowd, which sees it as yet another attack on their rights. (For the record, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled numerous times that government has the power to impose reasonable restrictions on the exercise of freedom of speech and assembly.)
Sunny did you really compare the “rule” that people get a permit to protest their Government on par with the Ten Commandments? Seriously? is Though Shalt Not Sing one of them that I have missed? Though shall get permission to protest your Government? Though Shall never question Scott Walker?
Of course comparing Judge Conley’s ruling to the Ten Commandments is more than just apples and oranges, it is more like apples and Louisville Sluggers! Judge Conley said in his ruling that the police MAY require a permit.
Before Conley’s ruling, the Walker administration’s rules had allowed for no more than three protesters without a permit inside the Capitol.
The Capitol rules lawsuit decided by Conley had been brought by protester Michael Kissick of Madison and the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin. ACLU attorney Larry Dupuis said that his side isn’t appealing Conley’s initial ruling either but will try to persuade Conley that a group of 21 people is still too small to require a permit.
“The judge didn’t order protesters to do or not do anything,” Dupuis said in a statement. “The Capitol Police may require permits, may declare large assemblies unlawful and may ticket for failure to disperse. But the preliminary injunction doesn’t require them to do any of those things.”
However there is something in the Ten Commandments about “bearing false witness” I believe.
The other right wing columnist in the local Herald Independent also could not quite stop himself from taking a potshot at the Solidarity Singers. In a rant about not knowing where a park is in town he had to end with this:
What I hope can happen as this next wave of change approaches is a different approach than what we’ve had for too long. Communication and cooperation rather than confrontation. That’s a responsibility of our government but also of us as citizens.
Example. I am really, really tired of the “Solidarity Singers.”
Confrontation for confrontation’s sake?
yes really really tired of the Solidarity singers. Apparently NOT tired of the Governor using so much excessive police presence to arrest them, or jamming up our courts trying to prosecute them. Apparently NOT tired of the perpetual crony appointments that happen almost every day in Wisconsin. Apparently NOT tired of the fact we cut $1.6 Billion dollars from education and our schools and children are suffering for it. Apparently NOT tired that we are lagging behind the rest of the country in jobs created and our economy has not recovered the way our neighbors have. However, the person who was granted a weekly column in our local paper is really really tired some people choose to exercise their First Amendment rights to peacably protest the Government.
PS for those people who say – “why dont they just get a permit”? I will let Amy Turim explain that one:
At some point during this coverage you have likely asked yourself, “So why don’t they just get a permit and be done with it?” It’s a fair question. The group that assembles on a day-to-day basis is made up of people who are not organized and do not have a leader. There is not one person who is at the Capitol all of the time and many participants come on their lunch hours, leaving shortly thereafter. The permit process specifies that any group taking the permit be liable for any building damages and costs related to the event. No damages have been claimed up to this point from the sing along, according to all records that I could find, but there is not a group to take responsibility in this case. Also, and more importantly, the idea of needing to take out a permit to protest the government that features a constitution allowing the freedom of assembly and speech simply leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the people participating in the action.
On occasion there have been permits, but none purchased by the singers themselves. One day a local TV station applied for the permit, saving the 100 or so persons gathered from arrest. On another day a local conservative group got a permit to demonstrate against the demonstration. On another day an individual from Minnesota purchased the permit for the singers in a show of support for their right to protest their government. That’s right – it appears as though a Vikings fan (presumably) cares more about our freedom to protest the government than our own government does, which is disconcerting at best.
Especially problematic is the arrest of the press member, who was also charged with obstruction and detained in a Madison jail cell with other prisoners who are innocent until proven guilty, of course. You can read his account of the arrest here. We depend on the press to inform us of the news of the day, and the happenings around the world, and to do so without interruption or retribution. In light of the social, economic, and technological progress America has made since 1791, it bewilders me that we are still talking about the freedom of the press and press shield laws as a matter of public discourse, in not only this instance, but many other recent news stories.
Now Scott Walker has realized his strong arm tactics are not working, so he decided to ramp up the violence. When you are running for President on a daily basis it does not do well for the photo ops to have people protesting him!
I wonder if the aforementioned columnists were cheering the violence against this kid?
Now that Walker, Huebsch and Erwin have decided that violence is the answer, we all know where the endgame is unless someone steps up and stops it!
H/T Dianne Hesselbein for trying:
Dear Governor Walker:
Enough is enough. Today’s horrifying escalation of violence with the arrests at the Capitol singalongs prove the current police practices must stop.
As Chief Executive Officer, it is within your authority to change the attitude and tactics of the Capitol Police force. The current arrest policies and process clearly are not changing or discouraging the noontime gatherings and, instead, has been attracting more people to the Rotunda than have been present for months. Today, my 11-year-old daughter was with me at work. Thankfully she did not witness the terrifying events between one of the observers and the police force. She would have been extremely frightened. This is my workplace. It is simply a matter of time before the increased aggression in the arrests triggers an incident which we will all regret. I have heard directly from witnesses and have viewed the video of today’s chilling events.
You have a public relations nightmare at hand. News media is calling for an end to the heavyhanded police authority. Wait until they see today’s actions. I join them in requesting you put a halt to the aggressive procedures, and allow the Capitol to return to the welcoming home of Wisconsin’s representative government.
79th Assembly District
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