Via Facebook…

Matthew Rothschild arrested

In Rothschild’s account of his arrest he notes that he did nothing more than attempt to take photos, which apparently State Capitol Police believe constitutes Obstructing.

I interviewed Sharon Puttmann, who was holding a sign that said, “United in Purpose, United in Song,” which I took a picture of. I asked her why she was there. “I’m a teacher, and I’m a mom,” she said. “And I’m standing up for my rights.” She’s never been arrested, she told me. But she’s willing to now.

I interviewed Victoria La Chappelle, who was holding a sign saying, “You can tie my hands, but you can never silence my voice.” She’s been arrested twice. “Every time I come, I feel like I need to come back in solidarity,” she said.

I saw that the Raging Grannies were in attendance again, this group of activist elderly women who sing protest songs at various events in the state.

Then I saw some state police officers move in to arrest a couple of the Raging Grannies, including my friend Bonnie Block.

So, as I’ve done every time I’m covering the capitol, I started to take pictures of the officers making the arrest. And then I followed the officers as they took Block, handcuffed and still defiantly singing, toward the elevator.

I was hoping to get a picture of Block as she entered the elevator, the kind of picture that has been taken many times in the last couple of weeks.

But the police officers said to stand back. I said I was a journalist, the editor of The Progressive magazine.

“You can’t be here,” they said.

“I’m with the press,” I said. “I have a right to be here.”

Whereupon, without a warning that I’d be arrested, Officer S. B. Mael grabbed my hands and put them behind my back, cuffed them, and said, “Obstruction.”

I know there’s a healthy contingent of folks who’d rather see the Solidarity Sing Along go away, and while I’ve not shied away from criticizing some protestors for doing more harm than good, I simply cannot see how anyone would argue that the actions of the State Capitol Police are warranted.

The officers of the State Capitol Police have now taken to arresting veterans, grandmothers, 14 year-olds, and elected officials for doing nothing more than exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights, and that doesn’t pass the smell test.

9 Responses to Matthew Rothschild, Editor of The Progressive Magazine, arrested by Capitol Police for taking photos

  1. Duane12 says:

    I wonder if Mr. Rothschild misstated the arresting officer’s name. Should it be S.O.B. Mael?

  2. EmmaR says:

    Nothing bad ever happens to a writer; everything is material. – Garrison Keillor

    The Capitol police made Rothschild’s day, really.

  3. mal says:

    Zach,

    Thank you for this post.

    Contra Steve Carlson on your site, I would ask does anyone still believe this is not Scott Walker, GOP hack Mike Huebsch, and the other GOP hack David Erwin pushing a political agenda—specifically violating and repressing the rights of citizens?

    I can assure Walker’s project is broader in scope and more invidious than the routine denial of Constitutional rights that we have seen.

    • Mal,

      What are you talking about? You make it sound like the arrests in the capitol are just the beginning of some larger, more sinister ” project “. What are you talking about?

  4. Duane12 says:

    The questions I have are:

    Where are the formal complaints and lawsuits against the individual officers for excessive force, false imprisonment, and other abuses or unlawful actions?

    Why has Erwin not been fired by Huebsch for dereliction of command in ordering these actions or failure to supervise?

    Similarly, why has Huebsch not resigned for his cowardice and complicity in the violation of citizens’ rights under the Wisconsin and Federal Constitutions in what amounts to physical torture and intimidation of citizens by the Capitol Police?

    And why has Van Hollen and the Wisconsin DOJ failed to conduct an investigation into the actions of Chief Erwin and the Capitol Police?

    What is happening to Wisconsin justice under suppression of citizen rights by Walker?

  5. CJ McD says:

    With all the cameras rolling and photos being taken, I wonder if anyone has footage of MR arrest and “obstruction”.

    Might have to go to court if someone can offer their footage up.

  6. AJ says:

    It is important to keep the focus on the Walker Administration not the Capitol Police or State Patrol. All getting 100,000 plus people down to the Capitol in Madison again will accomplish is a reenactment of the late Winter 2011 protests. The Goal is to get 171,666 people who did not vote in the Recall to show up to the polls in support of the Democratic candidate for the November 2014 Gubernatorial election.

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