WCMC on the Air at 89.9 WORT FM

[Next week the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative begins collaborating with WORT FM 89.9 by airing a weekly two-minute commentary for the Insurgent Radio Kiosk, which airs four times throughout the day. Here is the text of our first commentary. – Editors]

Over the past year and a half people opposed to Scott Walker’s agenda for Wisconsin have been completely shut out of the formal legislative process. Their last avenue of dissent has been to petition government in the open public forum of the Capitol rotunda.

But with the appointment of a new Chief of Capitol Police this past July, even that space is becoming restricted.

Whitney Steffen is arrested for holding a sign with references to freedom of speech and assembly. Photo by Rebecca Kemble

In the past three weeks, the Capitol Police under Chief David Erwin have issued at least 34 tickets to 16 people for peacefully holding signs and banners, or for expressing the political views through song in the Capitol rotunda.

Some tickets were delivered to people at their homes. Some were delivered to people’s places of work. Some were mailed, and others were issued after the people holding signs were handcuffed and escorted by a group of eight officers to the Capitol Police station.

The crackdown reached a new low last week as two people who filed complaints against a Capitol Police officer for pushing them during the arrest of a disabled veteran were themselves cited for obstructing police and resisting arrest.

In theory, the mission of the Capitol Police is to protect and serve. In practice however, their efforts have served to intimidate and harass.

In addition to the citations:

– An ACLU observer at the Solidarity Sing Along was warned that she would be arrested if she continued to take down the badge numbers of officers patrolling and filming the group, and;

– A 74 year old woman walking out of the Capitol was threatened with arrest for carrying a bag full of song books. Officers accused her of being a leader of the unpermitted group.

Elected officials and professional law enforcement organizations have called on Chief Erwin and his boss Mike Huebsch, Secretary of Scott Walker’s Department of Administration, to respect the rights of people to free speech and assembly in the building and to cease their infringement upon these rights.

Lisa Wells displays the banner that she received citations for while Brandon Barwick does not participate in the song circle 9/11/12. Credit: Leslie Amsterdam

Chief Erwin, Mike Huebsch and Scott Walker have responded to these criticisms with fabricated stories about people’s safety being threatened, and outright lies about the behavior of activists. They have also made statements about restricting public access to the building should their law enforcement efforts fail.

Until that happens, people continue to sing their dissent every weekday from noon to 1pm in the rotunda.

For more stories on the Capitol crackdown, visit the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative website at wcmcoop.com.

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One Comment on “WCMC on the Air at 89.9 WORT FM”

  1. limapie September 26, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    So, if hundreds of people were banging on drums outside your bedroom window day and night,
    yelling and screaming at the tops of their lungs, waving sticks and huge signs, getting
    all upset and angry and into a frenzy….oh, this is not threatening? Protest, yes, but
    not threatening? I don’t think you’d like to deal with such a display of unrest. You’d
    call the cops for sure. As was done.

    Mobs, as we see nightly on the TV, if left unmanaged, turn very ugly many, many a time.
    It isn’t “fabrication” to feel threatened by such a mob. And that is what the capitol building went through. Totally spoiled people kicking their feet at not being able to
    strangle the whole rest of the population of their state into bankruptcy. They wished
    to never be affected by the economic change that was pushed down EVERYONE’s
    throats. They, in their unbending, uneducated ways, failed to see that
    the whole trouble was caused by evil men in the Clinton years….mainly Rubin
    who sought the repeal of the 1933 Glass-Steagall law which separated investment banks from commercial basic banks, who pretty much went into CITI Group and profited millions upon millions off of derivatives he insisted would be okay all held in the dark away from any auditor’s eyes, who even after in the private sector in the getting-filthy-rich banking sector, molded governmental policy to his own benefit through his democratic party patsies. Then, in the months before the crash, called the Bush administration and told them…hey, we’re blowing up—ha, ha, ha…it wasn’t my fault—you’ll be held to blame—ha, ha ,ha. And even to this day is living totally high on the hog, still manipulating and pushing to put more in his pocket while on the Harvard Board that seeks to pump out one communist after another! Rubin is an evil man, having been given power by Clinton! Rubin has been called a hugest liar.cheat not by one person, but hundreds.

    AND THIS is the dude that needs these protestors ire! Rubin was the man who
    took their nice ride that they were having away. This was the man who was ultimately
    responsible for the crash of Wisconsin’s state economy (and the other 49 state’s’, too), which caused the biggest hole known to mankind, a hole that wouldn’t allow spoiled people to keep getting more than they deserved at the total downfall of the rest of the other 80% of the population.

    And now these stories like written above come out with one agenda….to twist the truth
    and keep the evil going. These stories play to the emotions of agitated people to blind
    them and channel their anger toward a direction that isn’t correct.

    The police SHOULD be given the authority to manage a mob. They are putting their
    lives and safety on the line. And for people to say this is wrong….well,
    I say, stop living in your alternative universe! Wake up! Get a handle on what is
    real and truthful.

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