Apr 7, 2013

Wisconsin Crackdown on Public Displays of Anti-Scott Walker Thought

Capitol Police Officers David Davis and Justin Clemens react
to the recitation of Article 1 Section 4 of the
Wisconsin State Constitution. Photo by Lisa Wells
If you live in Wisconsin, politically opposing Scott Walker at the ballot box or at the state capitol building is presumed by Republicans to be illegitimate, civilly incorrect and illegal, and possibly a criminal offence.

Scott Walker-appointed judges get defeated at the ballot box, and Walker terms this "unfortunate," causing Walker to issue the incredible public statements that he will not fill judicial vacancies in Dane County, Wisconsin unless would-be judges agree to not run for reelection. This because voters decided to vote for the wrong candidate.

Now, as Jason Huberty reports: "After a two-month lull, the Walker Administration’s crackdown on dissent in the Wisconsin State Capitol has kicked back into high gear. On Thursday April 4th, six Capitol Police officers marched down the stairs of the State Street entrance to the Capitol and handed out nine long-form complaints to three participants of the Solidarity Sing Along," a group that meets at Noon at the capitol on weekdays and sings for an hour.

Capitol Police march down the capitol stairs
to deliver new citations for singing.
Photo by Dawn Henke.
Judge after judge has thrown out of court citations issued by Walker's Department of Administration against Wisconsin citizens who sing "We Shall Overcome," and other subversive songs for this one hour at the capitol, and as Huberty notes stopping singing has resulted in "nearly seventy dismissals and zero successful prosecutions."

So now, a new tactic by Walker (who really, really wants to stop this singing) is to have "new long-form complaints (citations) ... issued from the office of the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DoJ)," as Huberty notes, working in conjunction with the state capitol police.

Not one capitol police officer has refused to go along with this ridiculous and unconstitutional crackdown on people who disagree with Scott Walker.

Wisconsin Constitution, Article One
Not one Republican officeholder has said, 'what in the hell are you doing?'

Not one Republican officeholder or Tea Partier has said, 'look at the Wisconsin Constitution (for starters): "The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged."

Not one editorial in local broadcast television has spoken out against Walker and his attempt to silence dissent.

State capitol police, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Wisconsin Department of Administration are committing 1,000s of work hours towards stopping displays that petition the Wisconsin government under Scott Walker.

Don't Scott Walker and our corrupt, Republican attorney general really have better things on which to expend Wisconsin resources than stopping singing?

Few, outside of progressive media, and civil rights groups and attorneys such as Lester Pines have spoken out in defense of fundamental constitutional rights.

Instead, we have today's Wisconsin State Journal lede editorial, headlined:  "National buzz bodes well for Wisconsin," referring to Scott Walker's efforts to be mentioned as a presidential candidate for 2016.

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