Update II: John Nichols on Capitol Crackdown-Blame Walker/Huebsch! I disagree with John. The following-orders defense is no defense. Chief Erwin ought to tell DOA Sec. Huebsch his policy is violative of the Wisconsin and U.S. Constitutions; call a press conference and explain to the people of Wisconsin why he as a sworn officer will not violate the rights of the Wisconsin people.
Needed now: Dane County Sheriff's Public Defense of Citizen Rights and a Court-ordered escort of Citizens Protesting Politicians.
If citizens are met with more illegal police obstruction from Scott Walker's palace guard, the Madison, Wisconsin Capitol Police, Dane County deputies ought to act to protect the rights of citizens and promote the peace against the actions of Capitol Police.The Madison, Wisconsin Capitol Police are unlawfully following the dictates of Scott Walker's Dept. of Administration Secretary, Mike Huebsch.
As writer, Ted Voth Jr., notes: this new policy has veered into fascism.
Wisconsin citizens assembling to protest the actions of politicians such as Walker and Huebsch now reportedly face hostile actions from what Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney last year termed the "palace guards" of Scott Walker—those members of the Capitol police who choose to disregard the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions' guarantees of freedom of expression, in favor of careerism and passive compliance to Walker and what can only be termed as his regime.
Walker and Huebsch have found a new ally in their unlawful crusade against lawful dissent: Dave Erwin who in late August promised a crackdown on citizens assembling to petition our government.
A petulant man, Erwin, walked out of a meeting with state legislators after being asked for the specifics of his policy and how he intends to enforce the lawful rights of Wisconsin citizens.
As Judith Davidoff reports in Isthmus:
Wisconsin state Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) blasted Capitol Police Chief David Erwin Friday afternoon for refusing to answer "basic questions" about the recent arrests at the state Capitol and for abruptly ending a meeting on the topic.Now, it is possible that Walker, Huebsch and Erwin will again turn our Capitol into what State Sen. Fred Risser said last year was an "armed fortress." (Nichols)
"I was very shocked and disappointed today when you and Department of Administrative Assistant Gwendolyn Coomer walked out of a meeting scheduled in my office," she wrote in a sharply worded letter (PDF) that was hand-delivered to Erwin's office in the state Capitol. Taylor also took the police chief to task for being unable to identify the "specific conduct you believe to be unlawful."
Erwin began enforcing permitting rules for the Capitol this week, resulting in the arrests of some 12 protesters for holding signs.
But citizens have a way of making their voice heard. See Rothschild and Kemble.
Blue Cheddar (in a piece by Worley Dervish) sounds the warning on Friday(see also Voices Newspaper Blog):
The atmosphere today was boisterous and jovial—it’s always great to see so many of our friends gathered together in the People’s House. But there was also a serious side to our signs and our singing and our presence. We highly value our right to free speech, and we’re willing to defend it when it’s threatened. The Capitol police have a duty to uphold the law, the law that guarantees that “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”
So thank you again, Chief Erwin, for providing us with this occasion to sing with our friends in the People’s House, for reminding us of how precious our rights to free speech and free assembly are. Thank you for the opportunity to remind you, Governor Walker, and the people of Wisconsin that we’re still here. We’re still exercising our right to free speech, assembly, and petition. And we’re not going away anytime soon