FDLFVR: Chris Larson asserts Solidarity Sing Along participants should get a permit

Apparently Democratic State Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson believes the participants of the Solidarity Sing Along should get a permit to exercise their rights to free speech and assembly.

Senator Larson was asked the question “Do I have the right to individually petition my Government, and do I lose that right if other individuals are simultaneously petitioning their Government as well?”

Chris Larson: “Yeah, I mean, it’s a heck of a question?.Um, I’ve done my best to steer clear. I think there’s a lot of folks in the public who are out there in wanting to make their voices heard directly, uh, against the Walker administration. Look, you’ve heard me for the last, what, 10 minutes now? So you know I’m no fan of the Governor, of the Republicans on where they stand on issues, and I speak, uh, with the platform that I have as the Senate Minority Leader, and I think those folks that are choosing to, uh, use their platform as members of the public and banding together, um, are doing it their way. And I don’t think they necessarily want, uh uh, a politician to chime in on it. Um, I do think the Walker administration’s going a little bit far, and are acting very childish with the enforcement of what the judge said, uh, is needed. Where they say 20 or more gathering need to have a permit”.

Dom: “Do you thing they need to have that permit Chris? I’m sorry to interrupt. Do you think these singers have the right to be there to sing and protest each day without a permit?”

Chris Larson: “Well, if you’re going to put me on the spot, no, I do think they should have a permit.”
You can listen to the complete broadcast here.

He has already unfriended me on Facebook for tagging him in the following comment on a friend’s page. “Count me out on cheering for Chris Larson during the Ironman this weekend. He just said the Solidarity Sing Along should get a permit. #unintimidated ” I think some signs might be in order for our dear Senator this Sunday. He will be wearing #1355.

If you’d like to hear Chris Larson share his belief that the participants of the Solidarity Sing Along should get a permit, Larson’s comments start at about 22:45 into his appearance on The Devil’s Advocates.


Related Articles

22 thoughts on “FDLFVR: Chris Larson asserts Solidarity Sing Along participants should get a permit

  1. So Larson has no problem with the Walker Admin setting rules for the Capitol without legislative oversight. Because playing the Walker boys’ game of getting a permit means you think Walker is allowed to set those rules.

    Interesting…..especially from a guy who should know better than to give these guys an inch

  2. Finally some sanity from Democratic elected officials. Here’s hoping he’s just the first of many.

  3. Chris Larson ought to be one of the first ones down there at noon every day joining in. What a disappointment.

    1. Disappointment is the right word to describe Larson’s weak triangulating response. We don’t need to be protesting Chris or anything silly like that, but Larson should know better than to give any cred to Walker’s dictates here.

      The real middle-ground answer is to say “the right to assemble at the Capitol can be limited if its getting in the way of legislative business. But that’s not happening now and the legislature should be allowed a say on what is acceptable.”

      I’m tired of Dems giving cover for stupid GOP policies and rules. Make the Walker boys OWN what they’re doing.

  4. I’m glad he said that out loud. I read the FDLFRV post titled something to the effect that Senator Larson is a disappointment. I disagree. This battle was never a smart one from the get go. If Walker tries to outlaw protests in the capitol altogether I’ll drive to Madison and join the singers. If the singers are denied a permit based on the content of their songs I’ll do the same.

    But trying to draw everyone into a fight that is primarily between a loose group of people and the capitol police, while claiming it’s a battle for free speech and constitutional rights, is neither wise nor accurate.

    And now it sounds as though there are people who are going to protest Larson? WTF? I think it’s time for the solidarity singalong folks to rethink all of this.

    1. If Walker or his allies in the Legislature decided to ban protests in the Capitol do you really think they would make a point of announcing that fact in exactly those terms?

      Similarly, do you really think that Walker’s DOA minions couldn’t find some reason other than content to deny the Solidarity Singalong (or any other group) a permit, should the SSA agree that peaceful groups of more than 20 lose their right to free expression in the most public area of the people’s house unless they have the DOA’s permission to gather? Read the 25 pages of rules that go along with that “free” permit sometime, and then consider the Walker administration’s record of using small rule changes and bureaucratic slight of hand to create openings that they can then drive an earth-mover through. What’s that? Most of the kids applying for those vouchers already go to private schools? Oh, “oops!”

      By the way, there is an exception to the permit rule for “spontaneous” demonstrations, but only within three days of the “triggering event.” So if you can only make it down four days after whatever outrage finally moves you to take a public stand in the Capitol rotunda, don’t bother, it will already be too late.

      Or you could take out a permit right now and have exclusive use of the Rotunda for whatever cause or point of view you would like to promote. Or you can come with fewer than twenty and share the space. I hear there is a small, irregular singalong many afternoons — why not join that sometime when you are in town? Use the right or you will never notice when it is lost. The more, the merrier.

  5. First, Peter Barca voted to declare cheese a form of junk food, and now Larson said that he thinks that the Solidarity Singers should get a permit.

    With Democratic “leadership” like Barca and Larson, who needs Republicans?

  6. Wonder why he said that? Just not ready for state-wide office if he can’t mask what he thinks a bit better. Besides he’s wrong – the Singers shouldn’t need a permit. The real question is whether they’re helping or hurting Walker’s re-election chances. Hopefully the latter…

  7. 1. If I drive 200 miles down to the Capitol next Monday, do I have to get a permit if I just:

    a. Observe the sing along?
    b. Observe Erwin’s guys use of excessive force?
    c. Actually sing?

    2. Is it okay to hum if I don’t know the words?

    3. Will my cane be considered a weapon?

    4. Do you think Erwin reads Blogging Blue?

    5. Should I wear my “Duane12” t-shirt?

    6. Regarding my “Recall Walker” sticker that is still on my rear bumper:

    a. Get a permit?
    b. Park far from the Capitol and take a cab?

    7. Should I bring the plastic portable urinal from my car into the building JIC I’m detained?

    Thanks for your help.

  8. 1.
    a. Not unless you want to get arrested.
    b. Not unless you want to get arrested.
    c. See a. and b.

    2. Sure, but only if you want to get arrested.

    3. I wouldn’t put anything past Capitol Police.

    4. Doubtful, because he doesn’t strike me as a reading type of guy.

    5. I’d love to see that shirt!

    a. Nah, they can’t censor your car.
    b. No way…..park wherever you want!

    7. That would be hilarious!

  9. There are a lot of Republicans who are just delighted that the focal point for many Dem activists and leaders is this singalong. Chris is absolutely right of course, they should be getting a permit. If anyone thinks images of a bunch of people banging on drums getting hauled out in cuffs actually helps the cause of Dems in WI, you’re delusional.

    All this energy should be going to get people elected to office.

    1. There are many old, but wise, sayings: “to each his own,” “march to a different drummer’s beat,” “different strokes for different folks,” “take the fork in the road,” “your way is not my way,” “my thoughts are not your thoughts,” and more. My favorite is provided at the end of my reply.

      They all suggest that life offers multiple options or choices and implies that each of us is unique and selects that which will satisfy his or her reasoning and conscience. If I am confident and comfortable in my decision, I need not denigrate or deny another person’s differing view or action.

      I chose not to sing as a protest to ACT10, and other of Walker’s despotic rule, but I’m sure that I am not judged to be “delusional” by the singers. If singing works for the SSA, that’s fine with me.

      There is more than one way to skin a cat.

      1. Duane,

        Political theorist Hannah Arendt once said that power is not just the human ability to act, but the ability to act in concert. By “concert” I doubt she meant singing.

        If we don’t act in concert between now and November 2014 we won’t beat Scott Walker, and the singers will have another four years to wax melodic in the rotunda while getting cuffed and ticketed.

        1. Since you brought up the great Hannah Arendt, she had an affair with her professor, Martin (On Being and Time) Heidegger. Later, Heidegger joined the Nazi party and helped expel Jewish faculty from German Universities. After the war, much to the chagrin of many of her fellow Jews, Arendt did all she could to rescue Heidegger’s academic reputation and keep his wife and he alive.

          Somehow, I don’t think Professor Arendt would have a problem with the Solidarity Singers.


          What she might have an issue with is Mike Tate pressuring Wisconsin blogs to waste time “punching hippies,” when we should be unifying against Walker. That argument/door swings both ways.

          When Mike decides he wants to win in November 2014, he can just say he wants Obama and Congress to bring back the full holiday on the payroll tax and NO cutbacks in federal spending. I guarantee the JS would print that, because they always print politicians calling for lower taxes. It helps them sell newspapers. That would put 7.5% more in every worker’s check and put 7.5% more in every employer’s net income. Congress, led by Dems, eliminated that holiday in January 2013 and it’s killing aggregate demand which is killing the economy/wages/jobs. WIGOP would be forced to agree and the election would be settled on terms a lot more favorable for Dems. GOP couldn’t as easily paint Dems as the party of high taxes. It takes time to change perceptions. Tate has to start now. Now, Obama’s people would probably fire Tate the next day, but it would help DPW.

          1. John,

            I suppose being accused of doing Mike Tate’s bidding is better than being accused of being complicit with Scott Walker’s fascist police state crackdown on free speech, but that’s only if a 4th degree guilt by association Nazi smear isn’t included, though I do suppose being accused of ” punching hippies ” and general divisiveness is much, much better than being accused of quoting someone who is accused of aiding people who aided other people who killed Jews. I hope I’ve made myself clear?

            Pardon my lengthy sentence but there were so many desperate accusations intertwined in your comment I just couldn’t help myself.

      2. Yeah, I’m not arguing against the march to your own beat thing or “if it works for SSA, that’s great”. That is great for them and them alone and that’s the point I’m making.

        I’m not calling the singers delusional either. I’m saying people are delusional who think the images of a bunch of people getting cuffed is “good” for getting Dems elected.

        It might be “good” for the singers, but again that’s my point.

        1. I certainly won’t argue against your right to “march to your own beat,’ then either, in deciding where to work, if it is simply great for Apple and Apple’s benefit alone, to be using slave labor in Asia for assembling Apple products.

          As Apple’s corporate behavior appears not to be the overriding factor in your move to CA, I doubt a bunch of people banging on drums and in chains defending their constitutional rights will dissuade any anti-Walker voters, but instead will likely encourage some louder voices to join in.

    2. You input appreciated, but there is absolutely no reason to not include this as part of an overall strategy against the fascist rule in the state. It doesn’t preclude doing other work as I read your inference. By extension do you think militarized swat teams arresting Walcrap strikers or Chicago public school teachers marching are putting a bad faces on resistance to Dem sponsored corporate tyranny in favor of for profit schools?

      If not delusional, what term is appropriate for the Dems who have refused to honestly confront the 800 lb, unwilling to walk, contradiction to democracy in their national leader, to the current detriment of every actual small, “d,” candidate out there and what gives Dems the right to expect support for much of anything we the people see as needed reforms, which D national leadership is satisfied to continues to actively ignore. Our best hope is the least of two great evils or the most effective evil? Some freaking choice.

      In case you missed it: http://firedoglake.com/2013/09/05/late-night-punch-drunk/

      And slightly OT, Zero’s possible real case for backing AQ rebel factions in Syria, as we have been, related to the topic by examining reasons for the urgency of more protests, not cowering for fear of how we might look on corporate owned, self-serving media:


      Yet Summers is President Obama’s first choice to replace Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman. Why? He has proven he can manipulate the system to make the world safe for Wall Street…

    3. I’d love to work on getting somebody elected. Give me a candidate I can support and you’ve got a deal. Until them I’ll be standing behind the singers because at the very least they are doing something…

  10. I do not agree with Senator Larson on having permits at the capitol until a court order. However for the SSA to be effective it needs to not scare the square people around the state.

  11. I do not agree with Senator Larson on having permits at the capitol until a court order. However, for the SSA to be effective it needs to not scare the square people around the state.

Comments are closed.