Dubbed “Ferguson to Madison,” the rally drew striking social parallels between the two cities.
This afternoon, the Wisconsin state police arrested dozens of nonviolent singers in the capitol in Madison. Declaring an unlawful assembly, police officers handcuffed members of the Solidarity Singers -- including an 80-year-old woman. The Solidarity Singers have been at the capitol at noon everyday for the past two and a half years to protest Gov. Scott Walker's reactionary policies.
Two Democratic legislators denounced this crackdown by Scott Walker's handpicked police chief, David Erwin.
"Chief Erwin and Governor Scott Walker's militant handling of the daily peaceful singing has escalated this situation unnecessarily," said Rep. Chris Taylor. "The Capitol rotunda would have been much safer today had Governor Walker given Chief Erwin a little red rubber ball to play with in the corner instead of control of the entire police force.... This is the kind of heavy-handed police government you would expect to see in a Third World country, not here in Wisconsin. It must stop."
State Sen. Bob Jauch was equally indignant.
"It's just so unnecessary," he said. "There are more important issues in the state of Wisconsin than as to whether people are singing. Since when is that threatening? You can bring in a gun in the capitol if it's concealed but you can't come into your capitol if you're singing?"
Jauch pointed out that the singers "respectfully go outside of the building if there is someone else who is using" it.
Calling the crackdown "excessive," he added:
"It is the kind of confrontation that has been created by this ideologically driven administration who is threatened by anybody who disagrees with it. And by god that isn't the Wisconsin I live in."
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Zimmerman Verdict Reveals Racist System of Justice.
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