The Shift In Focus Of The Solidarity Sing Along

This is a sideways continuation of my earlier post: Some Mythology of the Solidarity Sing Along.

Governor Walker insists the Solidarity Sing Along apply for a permit, as does Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, as does the Capitol Police…and they all assure the Solidarity Sing Along that they will be issued the required permit if they would only apply. Now the participants in the Solidarity Sing Along will not apply for a permit on a number of grounds. The primary one being that they don’t need a permit because they are protected by both the US and Wisconsin Constitutions!

Now quite frankly I don’t care if the Solidarity Sing Along participants apply for a permit or not. If they want to ignore the administrative rules that require the permit…and ignore the court ruling that allows the Department of Administration and the Capitol Police to continue to arrest them…well good for them for standing their ground.

But something got lost in translation here…the Singers have allowed themselves to be sidetracked from the very reason they meet in the rotunda at noon every weekday. They are protesting Act 10, the War on Women, Voting Rights, Health Care and the other onerous positions foisted on Wisconsin by the Walker Administration…it didn’t start out being about Constitutional Rights and it isn’t about Constitutional Rights. It’s about what kind of state we all want to live in!

56 comments to The Shift In Focus Of The Solidarity Sing Along

  • Thid

    It’s funny that you think you can force your opinions about what YOU think the SSA is about onto people who actually attend the SSA.

       3 likes

    • Ed Heinzelman

      Thid…I simply stated my opinion in a blog post…I am sorry if you feel threatened by it.

         2 likes

      • Thid

        Well, you missed my point, but I could have stated it better, I know. What I meant to say is that you’re trying to tell the people who attend the SSA what it’s supposed to be about. It’s hard to deny that’s what you’re doing when the piece ends with, “But something got lost in translation here…the Singers have allowed themselves to be sidetracked from the very reason they meet in the rotunda at noon every weekday. They are protesting Act 10, the War on Women, Voting Rights, Health Care and the other onerous positions foisted on Wisconsin by the Walker Administration…it didn’t start out being about Constitutional Rights and it isn’t about Constitutional Rights. It’s about what kind of state we all want to live in!”

        No one can force their opinions on why the participants of the SSA are there, even if they want to try. Quite a few people have come up and asked me what the SSA is about and why people are there. I’ve told them that, if they were to go around to talk to other people, they’d probably get something different from everyone (even if some of them do sort of overlap). Maybe you should try that sometime, to see how “sidetracked” everyone is.

           1 likes

        • And since you and several others missed the point in my original post, I apparently didn’t make myself clear enough either…I am not saying that all of the participants themselves are distracted from their goal of protesting against the administration…but since the arrests started in the rotunda…the press and the bloggers have talked about little else than the first amendment issues…which may nor may not actually be present…we’ll see that in court…but if they even mention why the ‘singers’ are there it is only in passing.

             0 likes

  • Sue

    I want to live in a state where the first amendment means something, so that I can petition my government about the kind of state I want to live in. Not a very bright analysis.

       5 likes

  • Greg Gordon

    Ed, the Sing Along strategy is the same as it was two and a half years – show up at noon, sing songs about labor rights and social justice, and go away until the next day. Nobody has been sidetracked, despite the best efforts of the Walker Administration to make this an argument about permits. All Walker and Erwin have managed to do is attract more people to the Sing Along, including people who are offended by the attack on First Amendment rights, but the songs are the same.

    Naturally the handcuffs and the citations have drawn attention, and spurred debate among Constitutional Law experts like yourself. How could it not? But I defy you to show me how the regular participants of the Sing Along have been sidetracked by it all.

       4 likes

  • Inga Left

    It’s become evident since the early days of the Uprising that far more sinister motives are at the work. The current conflict is about silencing the voice of dissent, which is a bigger cause than the sum of the wrongs that the Walker regime has thus far perpetrated. It’s easy to judge the motives of the SSA, when one is sitting at the keyboard, doing armchair activism. When some one comes to cuff you for keying, maybe you will have an epiphany.

    I’m not about to willingly bite the bit that ALEC is attempting to stick in my mouth. Nay, nay. I will sing.

       4 likes

  • Greg,

    Is there any legal authority that currently agrees with your view that the current DOA policy , post Conley ruling, is an attack on First Amendment rights? The Wisconsin ACLU? The national ACLU? I’m under the impression that even some of the lawyers representing individual singers don’t share that view. If I’m wrong I’m open to correction.

       0 likes

    • Greg Gordon

      Hi Steve. I’m not sure which legal authority other than the judge hearing the case you would find compelling, but Judge Conley’s temporary injunction against the Walker Administration clearly supports the contention of the plaintiff and his attorneys (including the Wisconsin ACLU)that the current policy is an attack on 1st Amendment rights. The judge found two sections that he has already declared unconstitutional. I’m not going to predict what Conley will rule next year after he hears the whole case, but the fact that he issued the injunction is a significant sign that the policy as a whole is in danger of being dumped by the judge. Of course there are differences of opinion among the singers and their attorneys about what they predict the courts will do, but the overwhelming consensus that I’ve heard is that the activities of the singers SHOULD BE protected by the state and U.S. Constitutions. I have read scholarly articles from both viewpoints, but it’s not as if the singers are way out on a limb. Ed Fallone has posted some interesting analysis on the Marquette Law School blog. That might be worth a read.

         2 likes

      • Greg,

        I don’t see anything recently from Fallone on the situation since the Conley ruling. The Wisconsin ACLU hailed Conley’s ruling as a huge victory for free speech. You and the other singers disagree?

           0 likes

        • Greg Gordon

          Steve, I attended the one-day hearing in Judge Conley’s courtroom, and I have talked to the people involved in the case frequently. I think I have a pretty good understanding of where things stand, and in that context, your question makes no sense. Perhaps you’re confused about what it means when a judge issues a TEMPORARY restraining order, or even what Judge Conley’s TRO actually says. It constrains the Walker administration, but it does not order the participants of the Sing Along to do, or refrain from doing, anything. The full case hasn’t even been heard and won’t be until January. The fact that the ACLU and the other attorneys representing the plaintiff – a man who used to attend the sing alongs until the issuing of citations began – were successful in obtaining a TRO in a free speech case is very rare. Of course it’s huge, but it’s not the end of the story. Your implication that the ACLU and the participants of the Sing Along are somehow at odds is just a very bizarre claim on your part.

             3 likes

          • Greg,

            I never suggested that the judges order told the singers to do, or not to do, anything. His decision does, however, reaffirm the DOA’s authority to establish an access policy requiring a permit. Have you read the decision? He actually writes that the access policy seems to FAVOR political speech, which he finds unconstitutional! Let me repeat that: The unconstitutional content based distinction he found in the access policy FAVORS POLITICAL SPEECH!

            And while I’m not a lawyer it’s pretty hard for me to understand how you could be optimistic about the January trial, given the rest of the opinion. And I made no ” claim ” that the singers and the ACLU are at odds ( do all of you singers practice putting words in other peoples mouths?), but I’d bet money that the folks over at the ACLU quietly wish you would all just apply for a permit.

               0 likes

        • Felix Bunke

          “Statement from Madison, Wisconsin Lawyers Guild: State Distorts Court’s Ruling to Justify Dissident Arrests”
          http://www.bluecheddar.net/?p=34378

          PDF of the NLG’s press release:
          http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0725nlg.pdf

             0 likes

          • Felix,

            Neither press release denounces the updated access policy as unconstitutional. The NLG talks about singers constitutional rights but stops short of declaring the arrests unconstitutional, which is what careful lawyers do with language.

            Here’s the deal, as I understand it: the Kissick case will go to trial in January contending that the permit policy itself is unconstitutional. Given what I’ve read in the ruling, from identified experts in the press, and the fact that there are similar policies in place in statehouses across the country, it seems unlikely he will carry the day.

            In the meantime the revised policy will be in effect as the law and the singers will continue to be arrested, ticketed, and adjudicated, presumably until the trial ends and, assuming a ruling unfavorable to plaintiff, well beyond that.

            If I’m missing anything here I’d be happy to be corrected.

               0 likes

            • Felix Bunke

              “Why the Permit Policies in the U.S. Capitol Are Irrelevant” by ed Fallone
              http://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2011/12/08/why-the-permit-policies-in-the-u-s-capitol-are-irrelevant/
              (Also applies to policies in other states, states that do not have our state constitution, or a capitol/statehouse that was specifically designed and designated as a public forum.)

              Remember, too, why the preliminary injunction was issued in the first place — because the case was determined to have a likelihood of success. From the NLG statement:

              ‘An injunction was issued because the court determined that the permitting scheme was improperly content based and overly broad, and that the plaintiff Michael Kissick had shown a likelihood of success in his case against Huebsch and Erwin. One of Kissick’s attorneys, Larry Dupuis of the A.C.L.U. of Wisconsin, issued a press release condemning the misrepresentation of Judge Conley’s ruling by Secretary Huebsch and the DOA’s media handlers.

              “Rather than impose a blanket prohibition on enforcing the existing permitting scheme, however, the court will preliminarily enjoin defendants from (1) distinguishing based on the content of the speech between “rallies” and other events for permitting purposes inside the Capitol and (2) enforcing the permit requirement for gatherings expected to draw 20 or fewer persons inside the Capitol rotunda itself. Of course, nothing in this decision prohibits enforcement of existing laws and regulations that restrict disruptive noise or other disorderly conduct,” wrote Judge Conley granting the injunction against enforcement of the rules as rewritten by the DOA on an “emergency” basis in April, 2013.’

                 0 likes

              • Felix,

                Read the ruling itself, Felix, instead of press releases. It’ll clear your head. The judge has discretion to take apart each of the plaintiffs grievances. The liklihood of success part is in reference to the aspects of the policy Conley has already addressed. It doesn’t mean Kissick is likely to succeed in having the entire permit policy thrown out. At least that’s my understanding. Again, if someone with legal expertise disagrees please weigh in. I’d be happy to be corrected.

                   0 likes

  • Duane12

    Ed, I agree that some may have become confused or distracted. at least temporarily, by the freedom or permit issue.

    As for me, it is reinforcement confirming the infamy and unfairness of ACT 10 and Walker’s attempt at tyrannical rule and suppression of dissent.

    I have not forgotten why or what the singing is about.

       2 likes

  • Ben

    Greg says the SSA strategy hasn’t changed in 2 1/2 years. That’s their problem.

    Singing sheepish, kid songs in the capitol has ZERO to do with the 1st amendment. It’s never been about free speech because no one has attempted to change the lyrics of their songs.

    Secondly, “handcuffs and citations” have indeed drawn attention! Mostly among the readers of this blog and others like it.

    Third, Walker isn’t threatened in the least by geriatric hippies. Weren’t they singing when the latest budget was passed? Weren’t they singing when their Dem representatives sat on their hands and refused to participate in the budget process? Weren’t they singing when Katie M. Kloth got arraigned? Weren’t they singing when bulletproof security stepped over state licensing requirements only to achieve them later? I challenge anyone to give me one example of the SS’s stopping, blocking, or altering any of the legislative wishes of Scott Walker.

    2 1/2 years of sour grapes. Stop losing elections and the songs can cease. But between you and I?…I hope they continue as long as their vocal chords will allow. They’re drowning out legit Walker criticism and painting fellow libs as out of touch loonies. Thank you, SSA!

       0 likes

    • Paul

      Ben, apparently you haven’t read the First Amendment. It isn’t just about censorship. There is that whole “freedom to assemble” bit and then the “petitioning your government” bit. Just because these people choose to petition their government through songs you don’t appreciate, that doesn’t change the fact that what they are doing is fundamentally what the First Amendment exists to protect. Political speech, as a group, by citizens who disagree with their leaders.

      As for where the attention has been received and from whom, isn’t motivating your base a huge part of winning elections? Seems to me that with the Wisconsin Democratic Party so ready to embrace corporatist values and nominate someone to the right of the party platform when it comes to issues like labor unions that anything which gets the geriatric hippies, the veterans for peace, the Lutheran pastors and not to mention the tens of thousands of remaining union members to go to the polls is a boon to their election chances.

         3 likes

      • Ben

        Paul, My sincerest apologies for missing this post earlier.

        1st paragraph: Their freedom to assemble hasn’t been hindered. The permits are for any and all groups of 20 or more, who plan to USE the capitol for purposes both political and personal. They can lineup outside 100 deep if they felt the urge. And the bit “..these people choose to petition their government through songs..” is absurd. What action is specifically being requested through two and a half years of “Row Row Row Your Walker”? We both know that they insist on doing it in the rotunda because it promises the most conflict. And their message has been warmly challenged but never banned.

        2nd paragrah: Yes. Motivating your base is important. As for the mention of WisDems embracing corporatist values? I believe that’s more perspective than truism. Act10 is a fact. And I doubt union loyalists need 22 “geriatric hippies” singing them to the polls. Is the party really electing candidates who are right of the platform? Or does the party consider you the left margin?

        Don’t know? But from my narrow window, I don’t see many progressives moving right.

           0 likes

        • Paul

          Ben,

          I believe getting arrested is, by any reasonable definition, a “hindrance”. Nobody intended to assemble in the Capitol Police offices. Also, please don’t pretend that there is any confusion on what the Singers stand for or what they want when the petition the government. As for the goal of creating conflict, I don’t disagree but there is nothing amoral or illegal about being confrontational in your political speech.

          I am absolutely on the margin politically, I don’t deny it. I am concerned about liberal economics and labor issues. I am much more middle of the road on social issues which is not at all the position of the Democratic Party. I understand that I am not mainstream, but anyone who has studied political philosophy should be able to easily identify where the parties have both moved to the political right since 1980. My point though was when the first point of platform of the party says stand up for free speech, telling the base that their speech should be restricted doesn’t reflect well on the party’s adherence to their platform. Those restrictions may be legal, we will hear when the case is decided, but that doesn’t make them right. That more nuanced message would help

          As for getting union members to the polls, you may not need “geriatric hippies” to get them to the polls but those people are the volunteers who knock doors, make calls and work the GOTV campaigns when they believe. It is going to be awfully hard to get me to put a yard sign up, send money in or get me to make calls or knock doors for somebody who tells me to “get a permit” or doesn’t take a stand on collective bargaining.

             2 likes

          • Ben

            Arrests are a “hinderance”? Yes, I suppose that’s literally so. The problem is they record the hinderances and react more forcefully- the more you collect. And yes, we all know they want Act10 dissolved. Though I’m unaware of a singing referendum clause at any level of government.

            If your political studies have led you to the irrefutable conclusion that ALL parties have moved right since 80′, and we already know that both parties are intensely preoccupied with polls and national sentiment…could one fairly conclude that it’s the American public who have led the parties further right?

            As always, who you support financially or voluntarily is entirely up to you. But I worry that you’re sailing toward the rocks. That is to say, you’re fighting a national trend. Change is inevitable and certain. And I’m not trying to penny tired phrases to appear bright or wise. But the evidence (and history) supports such a conclusion. From Orr in Detroit, Walker here, Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Colorado, Washington, etc. I’M watching the country wake up Libertarian. Social issues are trending impossibly progressive. Marriage equality, decriminalization and eventual reclassification of marijuana, etc. And budgetary approaches are tightening in predictable ways. The biggest losers in the latter cases are often public workers. No question.

            And so here we are. Disagreeing over the application of “freedom of speech” claims but more largely, disagreeing about where Ameerica is leading the ploiticians.

               0 likes

  • Ben

    Greg says the SSA strategy hasn’t changed in 2 1/2 years. That’s their problem.

    Singing sheepish, kid songs in the capitol has ZERO to do with the 1st amendment. It’s never been about free speech because no one has attempted to change the lyrics of their songs.

    Secondly, “handcuffs and citations” have indeed drawn attention! Mostly among the readers of this blog and others like it.

    Third, Walker isn’t threatened in the least by geriatric hippies. Weren’t they singing when the latest budget was passed? Weren’t they singing when their Dem representatives sat on their hands and refused to participate in the budget process? Weren’t they singing when Katie M. Kloth got arraigned? Weren’t they singing when bulletproof security stepped over state licensing requirements only to achieve them later? I challenge anyone to give me one example of the SS’s stopping, delaying or altering any of the legislative wishes of Scott Walker.

    2 1/2 years of sour grapes. Stop losing elections and the songs can cease. But between you and I?…I hope they continue as long as their vocal chords will allow. They’re drowning out legit Walker criticism and painting fellow libs as out of touch loonies. Thank you, SSA!

       0 likes

    • Jake formerly of the LP

      Don’t you love it when people like Ben, who personify the condescending mediocrity of 262 WisGOPs, think THEY have a clue?

      Tell you what son, everyone outside of right-wing bubble-world sees the crackdown as another example of the bullying, authoritarian SOP that these scumbags have “governed” by since 2011. And when it blows up in their face (and it already is, as noted by the double-digit raises Erwin and company have received), enough people will turn around and say “You know something, those hippies have a point.”

      Just like they were about Civil Rights
      Just like they were about Vietnam
      Just like they were about Iraq
      Just like they were about domestic spying

      You see, this demonstration is far beyond union rights, it’s about a “right vs. wrong” method of doing business in government. Already more than 50% of Wisconsinites don’t approve of how this governor is operating, and that was before they started arresting grannies and journalists. How many more are disapproving now? And a lot more will disapprove the state falls back into the bottom 10 for job growth and stays there (and yes, that’s gonna happen).

      Divide and conquer only works when the other guys have less support than you. Scott Walker in August 2013 is around the same point as George WALKER Bush was in August 2005, and Dubya was equally “Unintimidated.” Remind me what happened in the November 2006 elections?

      Keep digging that hole, Benny.

         2 likes

      • Ben

        So, no examples of SSA success in stopping conservative legislation? Don’t feel bad. No one else will have one either.

        And what does the AGE of a person have to do with whether they get arrested? It’s fun to refer to “grannies” and “pastors” rather than protestors because, what? The irrelevant descriptions are supposed to somehow conjur up sympathetic and familiar images for the reader? My Pastor is a wonderful man…who doesn’t get arrested. Sans Grandma.

        Jake, I’m not trying to push any of your buttons. But mistaking a popular Governor (resoundingly re-elected) with a president (who spawned two foreign wars, spent like a sailor on leave, and fumbled microphones) is a reach even for you. Put your faith in polls. I trust election results.

           0 likes

        • Jake formerly of the LP

          Oh I understand. You’re a pile of suburban GOP mediocrity that only cares about money and power. You don’t have the guts to believe in anything else or having decency in government, so you sneer at people like the Solidarity Singers that do. It’s why a lot of talented people like me left the Milwaukee burbs for real cities and never came back. You probably had the same smug attitude this time in 2005, asking Dems what had they won since the ’90s. Tell me, how did those next 3 years play out for the ReThugs?

          And if you want to play “scoreboard”, try this on for size- Since 1986, Wisconsin GOPs are 0 for 7 in presidential elections, and 1 for 9 in Senate elections. The last time there was a “Gov. only” election year was 2002- when Dems took the Gov’s mansion away from the Thompson-era GOPs. Guess when the next gov-only election is? 2014.

          But please proceed to try to play your “divide and conquer” and “funnel money to our corporate contributors” game. I’m sure it’ll fly with the majority in this state.

             2 likes

          • Ben

            Not sure why you’re getting emotional?

            I care about a great many things! Not the least of which is civil liberties.

            But I know the difference between doing something impactful and doing something for show.

            If the horizon looks as promising as you deem it, maybe your anger is a bit misplaced? Whatever. I’m not a Republican but I’ll wear the hat if it’ll help your black and white perspective fit together.

               0 likes

            • Jake formerly of the LP

              Sure, you’re “Independent” Benny. You just sneer right-wing talking points, but you’re not a ReThug. Riiiight.

              While your boy Scotty is flying out East to lie on National TV, our state is going down the drain economically and morally. Unlike you, I tend to care about that, and so do the people gathering in the Rotunda day after day. So sorry if I write a little too vividly for your tender suburb-boy feelings, but giving a crap about my state is something I do.

              And from the growing crowd that we saw today, apparently I’m not the only one this formerly great state has been hijacked by this puppet and the authoritarian outsiders pulling his strings.

                 1 likes

            • John Casper

              Ben,

              I missed where Jake was “emotional.”

              Can you point it out?

              Earlier you wrote, “They’re drowning out legit Walker criticism and painting fellow libs as out of touch loonies.”

              1. What “legit Walker criticism?” Please be specific.

              2. If the Solidarity Singers stop, what “lib” stories do you expect the media to start covering?

                 0 likes

  • Felix Bunke

    To start out, I write this as a supporter and participant of the Sing Along, who, frankly, has tried to point out to other participants that, while it has a lot to do with semantics, despite the lack of formal structures, lack hierarchy, lack of regular meetings, etc., to say that we’re “unorganized” or “not a group” strains credibility under common-sense understandings of those terms, and I was just waiting for that to result in some backlash.

    Since this piece isn’t primarily about the permit requirement, I won’t go much into that (although I could, to point out what an assault on civil liberties it really is), except to point out that the DOA is seriously twisting the TEMPORARY INJUNCTION to justify this. I suggest looking up the ACLU statement on how the administration is “enforcing the order,” as they disingenuously put it.

    What I REALLY wanted to write about is the whole idea that civil liberties & constitutional rights is a mere “distraction” / “side issue,” as you seem to be implying. It’s a very central, essential, fundamental issue, since it goes straight to the core of our democracy & liberty and directly affects our ability to fight for any other cause. It is very much part of the whole milieu of garbage they’re doing to out state, and very much in keeping with everything else they’ve been doing as part of their obscene power grabs & disdain for democracy & rights in general. It is very much a part “the kind of state we all want to live in.” We want to live in a state where the government respects its constitutional limits, as well as citizens’ basic rights & liberties, do we not?

       1 likes

  • Felix Bunke

    I forgot to add one thing:

    The more we lose our civil liberties, the more we lose our abilities to fight for ANY OTHER cause. That’s a primary reason for having constitutional rights & civil liberties in the first place. Then, all sorts of people, even the teabaggers, would be upset & would regret that they didn’t give these issues the extreme importance that they deserve.

       1 likes

  • Doug Danger

    Using their thought process I then do not need a permit for my gun as that right is protected by the same Constitution they are referencing

       0 likes

    • Felix Bunke

      No, that’s not equivalent. An equivalent permit requirement for guns would be if you had to get a permit to USE your gun, spelling out exactly where, when, and how you’re going to use it, being held to open-ended financial obligations for any charges for costs the government — an untrustworthy government, at that, that has been known to wildly exaggerate costs & damages in the past — deems has been incurred in some way by the permit holder, etc. An even stronger equivalent would be if that permit were to be issued by a government dominated by an anti-gun party.

         1 likes

    • Mikey

      Hi Dougie. You might wanna take your dangerous self down to the library and actually read the second amendment. Right there it says “WELL REGULATED”. The internet was so much nicer when it wasn’t dumbed down so the lowest common denominator could spout off his stupidity for all to see.

         0 likes

      • Doug Danger

        And Mikey with what I own I am very well regulated, so you can twist it however you want but thy second protects me from people like you. I agree with your assessment of the internet but really I enjoy how you dumb it down it’s a laugh a minute

           0 likes

  • Doug Danger

    Using the thinking of the singers I do not need a gun permit because it to is protected by the same Constitution

       0 likes

  • Felix Bunke

    One more thing — about the whole “changing tactics” thing, which I’ve heard before from various people, as if this is the only thing the participants are doing. Quite the contrary. MANY participants are doing quite a number of other things, and this is but one thing among the whole milieu. Besides being a regular protest and reminder of the larger dissent against this administration that is out there, it also serves as a way of various people doing various things in the movement to get together on a regular basis, communicate, pass information along, etc., so it has an indirect effect in that regard beyond the immediate effect.

    Frankly, such comments remind me of the right-wingers who mindlessly shout things like, “Get a job!” when they see protests, etc. — as if that’s the only thing the protesters do all day, every day, as if having a job precludes participation in anything else.

       2 likes

  • Steve Burns

    I don’t come to the Capitol and sing because I think my singing will be effective at “stopping, delaying or altering any of the legislative wishes of Scott Walker.” And I don’t know anyone else who sings at the Capitol who thinks that. I go because people like Scott Walker must be resisted, and I want to stand with others who also understand that. And if anyone can come up with a more effective way of resisting the dictates of the Walker administration (please don’t ask me to just sit around waiting for the next election, please) then I’ll be happy to join in that, too.
    The problems we face are long-term problems, and it’s going to take a genuine popular movement to defeat the plutocrats who now control our government (and hire guys like Scott Walker to do their dirty work.) That movement, when it comes, will involve thousands of actions taken by millions of people, and many of those actions may not make perfect sense to me, but I’ll at least be happy to see people TRYING SOMETHING. The Sing Along is a small thing that may one day be a small part of something much bigger. That’s about all I can say for it.

       3 likes

  • Mikey

    The singers are gaining national attention. The arrests are proxy for Republican winner take all rule. The fact you don’t get it is frankly confusing. These are hour long singalongs, how much strategy do you think it takes? Like these singers aren’t engaged in other activism. I get it. You’re above the low brow grass roots of community activism. Maybe you could have a tea summit with Walker and beg on your knees to let his boot off our necks.

       1 likes

  • Mikey and Steve,

    I’ve repeatedly offered suggestions throughout the course of the last four days of posts on the singers about what can be done other than getting arrested at the rotunda, and no one has commented once. There are hundreds of thousands of people across the state seeing cuts to benefits like Badgercare, Foodshare, Earned Income Tax Credit, child care subdsidies, under Walker’s last two budgets. My experience over the last 15 months organizing folks in this demographic leads me to believe that a great many of them don’t vote, or don’t likely vote in mid term elections like 2014. If a statewide organization such as say, The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice mobilized its members to do outreach into low income communities and educate people about the budget and registered them to vote, we’d have a much better chance of getting Walker’s boot off our neck. Walker must not be resisted: we must defeat him in the next election. This is basically what’s going on in North Carolina and HKONJ. But an organization has to call for a first meeting to come up with a strategy, a plan, and organized strategy and plan. It’s probably not to late to do this but time is certainly running out.

       4 likes

  • Steve Burns

    Steve: Educating people about the budget and registering people to vote are both worthy goals. But I fail to see why this should be placed in opposition to singing at the Capitol. Are you thinking that every hour we spend singing at the Capitol is an hour lost to these other activities? It doesn’t really work that way. Once you get people engaged in a political movement, they contribute MORE – it’s not a zero-sum game. What you want to avoid, it seems to me, is long periods between elections when people get disengaged, because it’s harder then to reconnect with them later. Because it happens every weekday, the Sing Along is a nice way for people to stay plugged in.

       2 likes

  • Linda Roberson

    I participate in the Sing Along as often as I can. As an individual who values the tradition of heading up to the Capitol rotunda during my lunch hour (or a portion thereof) to sing about the myriad injustices of the Walker Administration — rape of the environment with a huge open pit mine, restricting health care access for women and children, attempting to destroy public service unions, diminishing support for Wisconsin’s historically excellent public school system, and more — I value my First Amendment right to petition my government for the redress of grievances. I understand that Scott Walker doesn’t like to hear from people who disagree with him and is trying as hard as he can to stifle dissent. This is one additional reason to protest. I don’t feel I have lost focus. I also don’t feel I should have to apply for a permit, and accept the possibly huge economic consequences that come with that, in order to exercise my right to free speech and assembly. You don’t have to ask for permission to exercise a right. That’s why it’s called a right.

       3 likes

  • Wisconsiana Victoria Peck

    Our state is being stolen from us, one right at a time. The administration which locked the doors of the Capitol against the people during the legislative session of 2011 can not be trusted to protect the rights of citizens. Don’t forget that this Governor has the power to sell the Capitol building against the will of the people. If the singers do nothing more than keep the doors of the building open to citizens, they will have done a great service to our state.

    This is the new civil rights fight. They have shown us who they are. They are fascists.

       2 likes

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