In gay-hostile Russia, singing citizens out-of-favor with the government (such as it is) are thrown in prison and treated like animals.
In gay-hostile Wisconsin (where the GOP holds sway), singing citizens out-of-favor with Scott Walker (wherever he is) are arrested and given $200 citations, handed out by the dozen.
It's pathetic for a GOP government to target its citizens systematically and fine them for perceived anti-Scott Walker sentiments.
Supporting this anti-American taxing requires a propaganda apparatus, which WMTV-Madison, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) supply for the authoritarian Republican Party's benefit.
Nothing is wrong with propaganda per se, but the Wisconsin State Journal, for example, should be straight with its readers and inform them: We support Scott Walker and the Republican Party and compose our newspaper accordingly, if the editors wish to be honest.
Sunday's Wisconsin State Journal features a banner headline "Experts dispute singers' defense" on the Solidarity Singalong.
The truth of the subject of the piece is quite different from the headline.
An honest headline would read, "Experts say GOP officials cannot target singers."
The piece is written by Matthew DeFour, a talented and reliably Republican writer, at least as his copy is run in the State Journal.
For some two years in Madison, meeting daily at noonish at the Capitol, some Wisconsin citizens sing civil rights anthems, among other anti-Walker expressions and miscellaneous songs.
The meeting is organic. Some folks come often, some folks drop by.
If some other group has an event the singers will move outside and sing songs, a fact DeFour ignores in his GOP propaganda piece today, repeated by omission in the State Journal's refusal to state this fact in its coverage.
This let-others-do-their-thing commitment by the singers of course puts the lie to the GOP's stated rationale for targeting the singers—that the GOP is just trying to keep the Capitol accessible for everyone—a falsehood stated as fact by DeFour this morning.
We Shall Overcome is a favorite of the singers', to the Republicans' chagrin.
Folks have been singing this anthem for decades in the civil rights movement, acclaiming the humanity of African-Americans and others who are oppressed, to the Republicans' disapproval. Singing is merely another form of exercising our first amendment right of freedom of expression. In Wisconsin, those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution are the very people who are violating it.
Republicans remain unhappy with Americans of color and their well ... breathing; in fairness breathing is okay as long as they breathe somewhere other than the Capitol building.
Madison Capitol police follow GOP orders, arresting and ticketing anyone per the GOP's David Erwin, Walker's former security guard now playing Capitol police chief (who began 'cracking down' on singing last year) and the GOP's Department of Administration (DoA) Secretary Mike Huebsch.
As usual, the State Journal spins, frames, and contorts this morning's copy to present the most GOP-friendly message to readers.
Buried on the inside (most readers don't read that far) of DeFour's piece in the State Journal are paragraphs admitting that the State through Scott Walker and DoA's Huebsch's (the Republican Party politico whom the State Journal refuses to identify as such) targeting of citizens because they are against Scott Walker is unconstitutional.
Also buried is the fact that Walker has been hostile to anti-Walker displays since he privately admitted he "dropped a bomb" on Wisconsin citizens whom he assiduously avoids today even as he pretends to run for president.
|Will Williams, longtime Madison peace activist and Noon hour |
singer at Wisconsin Capitol July, 31, 2013. Photo: Leslie Amsterdam
Citizens will insist on redressing their grievances, though I have heard young visiting families with children who are louder than the singers'.
Nothing wrong with that; we support families.
This is America; Walker, Erwin and Huebsch should grow up and realize that most people reject a Russia-like vision of government enforcing Party orthodoxy.
In the meantime, the least the GOP can do is stop arresting and handcuffing seniors in their 80s and veterans.
Failing that, the very, very least the GOP can do is: Stop handcuffing and arresting 70-year-old Vietnam combat veterans, letting them fall down marble stairs while in GOP police custody and leaving them to lie on the stairs, to the GOP's officers' apparent contempt.
This is how people get hurt.
I'm not sure what unlawful and immoral activity the Wisconsin Capitol police would refuse to commit, if ordered. I posed that question to someone identifying himself as a Lieutenant in 2011.
He refused to answer.