The reverence toward the officious is a defect to be overcome in a classical liberal democracy
by Jackie Captain
Over-reliance on officiousness is a hallmark of fascism.
"Just doing my job," won't cut it for the Capitol police.
The black-booted thugs at the Capitol who are arresting protesters -- the elderly, veterans, and journalists -- know what they are doing is wrong.
They are violating the civil rights of Wisconsin citizens -- the very people who paid for the construction and restoration of the chapel of democracy wherein their representatives do work on behalf of those same citizens. One of the great pleasures of living in Madison was the ability to walk through the Capitol and show it to visitors -- no longer.
Grabbing hold of the notion that citizens need to file a permit to assemble at their own State Capitol is a product of little minds and malicious spirits. The lockstep following of this ludicrous directive is belittling everyone involved. I am ashamed of my state government.
The right to assemble peacefully and protest political policies are central tenets in the Wisconsin State Constitution. Transparency in government had been enshrined in Wisconsin via the open meetings and open records laws. Why then has the Department of Administration declared that citizens cannot gather in their own Capitol?
What Scott Walker's police are doing is a violation of civil liberties, raising the question what recourse do we have when the police in the People's House turn against us?
Certainly not petitioning the Wisconsin Department of Justice; they stand with Walker on this and in fact are perpetrating the prosecutions of Wisconsin citizens arrested for walking, talking, and singing, or as the police say, "obstructing."
Is a class-action civil lawsuit an answer?
Can an emergency petition for injunctive relief (a judicial order to halt the police targeting and arresting citizens in this instance) be filed in federal court?
Do we call the Lawyer's Guild, the ACLU, Madison civil liberties attorney Jeff Scott Olsen?
To be candid, I don't what to do when someone in my household wants to visit our state representative in the Capitol because I can't have someone arrested and detained for watching, posing a question, or as Matt Rothschild is aware, shooting a picture or trying to report on these events, when we have domestic responsibilities that demand attention at home.
I am proud of those who have been at the Capitol and have stood up for all our rights even at great risk to their own freedom and financial stability.
So who let Scott Walker turn the Capitol into an armed camp that subverts our civil liberties?
We cannot stand complacently by and let our rights be eroded. Leaders are going to rise up out of this movement (Rep. Chris Taylor?) -- perhaps even the next governor -- but where are they now? Why aren't they standing together against these violations?
There has been much commendable social-psychological research of obedience to authority in the 1950-60s trying to come up with some ideas how the rise of twentieth-century fascism could have happened, and how do we in the United States of America prevent it from happening here.
When Capitol police began telling people that they are subject to arrest for "spectating," watching the videos online I wondered if and when someone would speak up and how far the police would go.
Where will they stop?
I have no answers, but I do know that more people of good will need to stand up and speak out against the officiousness of the weak-minded.