Please stand with PEN America, People Demanding Action, and the ACLU in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate this troubling trend of police retaliation against citizen journalists and enforce its policies on First Amendment rights.
Madison and Fitchburg, Wisconsin — The summer of 2008 was a magic time in American history.
From the near-south and north sides of Milwaukee across Wisconsin, people believed.
In Fitchburg, next to Madison, I worked as a polling worker on Election Day 2008, (and for the past some nine years), and I'll never forget the young, black man walking up to the voting rolls table where I was stationed and announcing, "I will be voting today."
Yes, sir, I replied.
The 20-something black man was intense and kind of loud as compared to the room. As likely as not he would be cited for disorderly conduct were he have to announced his intention to vote in the same manner at the Aug. 9, 2016 polling place in Fitchburg, Wisconsin five weeks ago.
We are a new state since 2011, and Republicans and racists are trying to take over the polling place.
A dark man speaking on equal terms with mostly white election inspectors in a room? Dude is just asking for trouble.
The man inspired me, and if he were reading this, I ask him to contact me because we need his voice in this hyper-segregated city of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, segregation being a fact you'll not read about the City website.
It is a fact we have a big racists-in-City Hall problem and a related racists-at-the-polling place problem. I could be wrong but I believe ignoring the defects of our city will not yield a solution.
The problem is made much worse by the fact that bureaucrats conspired to contrive a disorderly conduct charge against me for trying to vote, and sticking up for the civil liberties of others.
Local police gladly helped the bureaucrats, and I received a non-mandatory appearance complaint through First Class mail 29 days after Aug. 10 date of Citation.
This was in retaliation for my pointing out in an email racist City officials failed to place Election Day signs at the polling place on the presidential primary Election Day on April 5. I mean we don't want black and brown folks showing up to vote en masse?
This was in retaliation against me for pointing out in 2014 an armed police presence near the polling place is a very bad idea. That voters in our district's black neighborhoods needed to encounter police to vote is a bad idea.
There's more, stay tuned. To support Mal as I fight this disorderly conduct civil citation, go to Support Mal.
I've made a motion to dismiss pro se and appearing specially, as a nine-year sworn election inspector, (current to 2017), current 16-year Fitchburg resident, complainant of two public integrity investigations of Fitchburg City Hall election conduct, (filed 2013, 2016 with Dane County District Attorney), current writer indexed in Nexis and Westlaw, and current correspondent for the Fitchburg Star, (Wood Comm, Inc.).
I fully expect more harassment, intimidation attempts and abuse of process. Figure the more noise I make, the more I chronicle, the more difficult the attempt to persecute. Local civil rights workers agree.