The gun rights activists in the capitol today are the only ones in the last 4 months who have hurt anyone.

Today the Assembly is “debating” SB 93, the so-called concealed carry law. A small group of gun rights activists and Scott Walker supporters are in the capitol to witness the proceedings. The Assembly broke for caucus shortly before noon, just when the Solidarity Sing Along, organized by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, was getting started in the rotunda as it has done every weekday for the past 14 weeks.

Among the crowd was former Republican State Senator Dave Zien, who is wheelchair-bound as the result of a motorcycle accident in March in which his left leg was partially amputated. Zien went down to the rotunda floor and aggressively rolled his wheelchair over the singers’ belongings and some of their toes while yelling, “Scott Walker for President!” Solidarity Singers called for the police, but despite their unusually large numbers in and around the Capitol they did not immediately show up.

Meanwhile, two other men, Eugene German from Shorewood, MN, and Henry Rahr from Green Bay, unfurled a “Don’t Tread On Me” banner up on the first floor and began walking around with it, draping it over the singers’ heads as the singing group concluded with “Solidarity Forever.” They hit several of the singers in the head as they attempted to raise the banner over their backs. One of the singers grabbed the banner to toss it off of his body. The banner waver grabbed Mike Dickman in a headlock and delivered a punch to his head and his tooth was chipped, as others continued to scream for the police.

Capitol police officers finally arrived to take people’s statements. Several of those assaulted will be pressing charges.

Since February 15 there have been hundreds of thousands of people protesting the Republican legislative agenda being rammed down the throats of Wisconsinites both inside and outside of the capitol. Very few arrests have been made, and no incidents of assault have occurred.

Gun rights activists like to say that guns don’t hurt people, people hurt people. The gun rights activists in the capitol today are the only ones in the last 4 months who have hurt anyone.

Later in the afternoon, Dave Zien was watching Assembly proceedings from the Gallery, while Eugene German sat in the Assembly lobby, a space generally off-limits to the general public unless they are invited guests of Assembly Representatives. He was amongst a group of men, including NRA lobbyist Darren La Sorte, in animated discussion about the impending legislative victory. These men are not random hotheads, but rather politically-connected agents provocateur.

When asked how the Solidarity Singers would respond to the attacks, R. Chris Reeder, leader of the group said, “We come back tomorrow. And we sing, peacefully, once again, like we've been doing for 15 weeks. He added, “Tenacity. Consistency. Resolve. These are the things we've got going for us. They can't shake our resolve and we won't let them. We rise above. That's how we win. ”

If you liked this story by Rebecca Kemble, check out "A Long Day of Defeat in Wisconsin."
Rebecca Kemble is an Anthropologist who studied decolonization in Kenya. She serves on the Board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and as the President of the Dane County TimeBank.

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Trump's politics are not the problem.

The fiery Milwaukee Sheriff is on the shortlist to head the Department of Homeland Security.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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