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Wisconsin governor escalates assault on free speech


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#1 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:58 PM

Scott Walker Escalates Assault on Free Speech
 
By Rebecca Kemble, April 16, 2013

kem041613.jpg

 

In the wake of the Walker administration’s massive failure to win convictions against citizens exercising political speech in the Wisconsin State Capitol, it has imposed new emergency rules for limiting dissent in the building that go into effect today.

The Wisconsin Department of Administration is using the emergency rules procedure to alter the administrative code governing access to the building in order to manufacture more solid legal ground for arrests and citations in the future.

In their “finding of an emergency,” the Department of Administration claims that the “occupation of the Rotunda and other areas has caused disruptions to properly permitted events and normal governmental activities.” It further asserts that “it is imperative that the Department continue to gain greater compliance from user groups in order to protect public safety and welfare.”

 

These new rules are clearly aimed at stifling the Solidarity Sing Along, an ever-changing group of people who gather in the rotunda for an hour every weekday at noon to sing songs of protest against the Walker regime. Over the past seven months, Capitol Police have arrested or cited participants more than 140 times for holding signs and banners, for chalking messages on the sidewalk, and for simply being present at the event. Participants assert that they do not need a permit to exercise their constitutional right to petition their government.

The dismissal of sixty-eight of these cases in Dane County Court so far has also prompted the Department of Administration to change tactics, downgrading the role of Capitol Police officers to delivery agents for long-form legal complaints against singers drafted by the Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and his staff.

The DoA’s claim that the Sing Along disrupts properly permitted events is patently false. If there is a permitted event in the rotunda over the noon hour, singers take their act outdoors. They also do not pose any threat to public safety and welfare.

kem041613b.jpg

In fact, the only threats to public safety and welfare in the more than two-year history of the event have come from gun rights activists who threatened and pushed singers around, and a mid-level DoA manager, Ron Blair, who stabbed himself with a knife while slashing a balloon that was in the hands of a visitor to the Capitol. The case against Blair was recently settled for $19,000.

In response to mass dismissals and other orders by judges in the Walker administration’s failed cases against singers, the new rules are designed to clarify and expand the meaning of “hazardous materials” to include otherwise unhazardous items like pieces of paper or soft fabric that could be used in a hazardous way. Also, signs larger than 28” x 28” will require a permit, and a person “who intentionally fails or refuses to withdraw from the assembly after it has been declared unlawful” will be subject to civil forfeiture and/or charges of obstructing.

The problem with all of this is that none of the targeted activities are actually illegal, which is why all those cases were thrown out of court in the first place. It is Walker’s own rules that run contrary to state and federal constitutional provisions for free speech and assembly. No amount of finessing policy can change that.

In a press conference last week, Attorney Bob Jambois, who represents many of the citizens cited by the Capitol police, said, “My clients are being arrested for holding a sign in the Capitol rotunda, a building that was designed to facilitate the voice of the citizens in democracy. “ He added, “The people I’m representing are not criminals. They’re ordinary, law-abiding citizens that happen to disagree with some of the things that some people in government are doing right now.”

kem041613c.jpg

Greg Gordon has received four citations over the past seven months. Three of them have been dismissed, but one case for disorderly conduct is still open. At the press conference he related that his attorney obtained a copy of the police report that served as the basis for the complaint. He read the relevant section: “Gordon can be seen walking in a circle. That’s it. My attorney is pretty confident that this last citation will be resolved in our favor.”

After months of having to defend themselves against spurious legal actions, one citizen activist decided to go on the offensive and sue the Department of Administration for violating his constitutional rights in federal court. Michael Kissick and the ACLU of Wisconsin filed suit in February. They hope to stop the DoA from requiring permits for demonstrations in the Capitol, and to put an end to the police harassment of people who gather without a permit.

Kissick claims that the arrests have had a chilling effect on his ability to exercise his First Amendment rights in the Capitol. “I have always attempted to follow the law while expressing my political views,” he said. “I resent being treated as a criminal for speaking freely in a public forum.”

Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, asserts that “the State’s overbroad permitting scheme burdens core political speech, which should receive the highest degree of First Amendment protection. It is preventing citizens from engaging in expressive activity and sharing their views where their leaders exercise power.”

Tomorrow Kissick’s case will receive a hearing in federal court. In its motion, the State of Wisconsin claims that since the court case was filed, the rules “have been substantially revised” and therefore the case should be dismissed.

Regardless of the outcome in court tomorrow, the Solidarity Sing Along will continue to provide some of the last vestiges of public dissent to Walker’s regressive social and economic policies. For the rest of this week, you can find them outside at the foot of the State Street steps since there are permitted events in the rotunda.

For those of you who can’t make it, here’s one of their songs from yesterday:

 

Rebecca Kemble reports for The Progressive magazine and website. She also participates when she can in the Solidarity Sing Along.

 

 

 

http://www.progressi...-on-free-speech



#2 BHB

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:01 PM

what's this all about?



#3 TheDHJ

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:06 PM

Nobody cares about Wisconsin.

#4 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:07 PM

Obviously you do, or you wouldn't have replied.  



#5 BHB

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:12 PM

Wisconsin has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country. Maybe the governor feels the rest of us shouldn't be hearing what they have to say?



#6 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:16 PM

The governor is a dickweed who just doesn't want to hear folks speak out against him and all his corporate welfare buddies.



#7 Feesh

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:22 PM

The governor is a dickweed who just doesn't want to hear folks speak out against him and all his corporate welfare buddies.

...and this is what is known as the thin edge of the wedge. Actually scary stuff if this "dickweed" gets away with it.



#8 TheDHJ

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:24 PM

Obviously you do, or you wouldn't have replied.

:facepalm:

I spent last week with close friends from northern Wisconsin. They just got dial phone service, Rioknockers aka Special Betty.

#9 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:30 PM

In their “finding of an emergency,” the Department of Administration claims that the “occupation of the Rotunda and other areas has caused disruptions to properly permitted events and normal governmental activities.” It further asserts that “it is imperative that the Department continue to gain greater compliance from user groups in order to protect public safety and welfare.”

 

Seems legit if folks are disrupting government activities as well as other legal events.



#10 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:39 PM

...and this is what is known as the thin edge of the wedge. Actually scary stuff if this "dickweed" gets away with it.

 

 

 

ser biz

And he's stacked the courts with extremist judges who support his policies and seem not to care about the letter of the law, so there's really no recourse for the people.



#11 PieDoh

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

In their “finding of an emergency,” the Department of Administration claims that the “occupation of the Rotunda and other areas has caused disruptions to properly permitted events and normal governmental activities.” It further asserts that “it is imperative that the Department continue to gain greater compliance from user groups in order to protect public safety and welfare.”

Seems legit if folks are disrupting government activities as well as other legal events.

this

#12 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:45 PM

In their “finding of an emergency,” the Department of Administration claims that the “occupation of the Rotunda and other areas has caused disruptions to properly permitted events and normal governmental activities.” It further asserts that “it is imperative that the Department continue to gain greater compliance from user groups in order to protect public safety and welfare.”

 

Seems legit if folks are disrupting government activities as well as other legal events.

 

 


That's just the thing.  They're not disrupting anything.  

Walker makes this stuff up.

They're just peaceful folks singing protest songs for one hour a day.

And as the article states, they go outdoors when there is a permitted event in the rotunda.

I've seen these people in action, and you can believe me when I say they are completely harmless.

They just want to get their message across without causing any trouble.

 



#13 BHB

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:48 PM

wisconsin-protest-signs.jpg



#14 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 03:56 PM

That's just the thing.  They're not disrupting anything.  

Walker makes this stuff up.

They're just peaceful folks singing protest songs for one hour a day.

And as the article states, they go outdoors when there is a permitted event in the rotunda.

I've seen these people in action, and you can believe me when I say they are completely harmless.

They just want to get their message across without causing any trouble.

 

What has he actually done to stop them from getting their message across? How is he escalating an assault on their free speech?



#15 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:09 PM

What has he actually done to stop them from getting their message across? How is he escalating an assault on their free speech?

 

 

tl;dr?

 

 

 

He has barred them from entering the capitol building, but that didn't hold up so he made up some new laws about who is allowed to be in the rotunda and what kinds of signs they are and are not allowed to bring inside.

Ordering police harassment and arrests of peaceful protesters.

 

 

 

In a press conference last week, Attorney Bob Jambois, who represents many of the citizens cited by the Capitol police, said, “My clients are being arrested for holding a sign in the Capitol rotunda, a building that was designed to facilitate the voice of the citizens in democracy. “

 

Greg Gordon has received four citations over the past seven months. Three of them have been dismissed, but one case for disorderly conduct is still open. At the press conference he related that his attorney obtained a copy of the police report that served as the basis for the complaint. He read the relevant section: “Gordon can be seen walking in a circle. That’s it. My attorney is pretty confident that this last citation will be resolved in our favor.”



#16 BHB

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:14 PM

trader-joes-wisconsin-cheddar-cheese-cur



#17 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:24 PM

wisconsin-protest-signs.jpg

 

 

 

 

:lol:

 

 

 

 

 

Cowbell is cool.

Cheese curds are awful.

They squeak in your teeth.



#18 BHB

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:27 PM

I'm going to lunch. When I return I'll be interested to see if Joker has accepted your explanation.



#19 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:28 PM

I'm going to lunch. When I return I'll be interested to see if Joker has accepted your explanation.

 

You're a funny, funny guy BHB.   :rotf:

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEVER!   :joker:



#20 gregoir

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:32 PM

The state was dumb enough to not get rid of him when they had the chance.  I actually like Wisoncsin.  They have waterparks at lots of the motels. :pimp:



#21 TheDHJ

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:37 PM

Wrong thread'd.

#22 TheDHJ

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:39 PM

Jenn thanks for ignoring me. :cry:

#23 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

I read it but see nothing that would suggest he's assaulting free speech.

 

If they're inside the building chanting and singing that would more than likely cause disruption to government activities. I could see the size of signs also interfering with pedestrian traffic depending how big and where they're positioned. 

 

Are they arresting people for singing and holding signs or are they giving them citations? 

 

These citations seems to suggest the protesters were inside the rotunda singing and parading around while engaging in an unauthorized protest.

 

 

http://wcmcoop.files...ure-summons.pdf

 

http://wcmcoop.files...ure-summons.pdf



#24 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:42 PM

He's using an AR-15 to mow down peaceful protesters while he single handledly busts up unions. He's a regular one man wrecking crew. :lol:



#25 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:43 PM

Jenn thanks for ignoring me. :cry:

 

 

 

You're such a delicate flower.



#26 TheDHJ

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:44 PM

I thought I had a good one...apparently not!

#27 MeOmYo

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:45 PM

I read it but see nothing that would suggest he's assaulting free speech.

 

If they're inside the building chanting and singing that would more than likely cause disruption to government activities. I could see the size of signs also interfering with pedestrian traffic depending how big and where they're positioned. 

 

Are they arresting people for singing and holding signs or are they giving them citations? 

 

These citations seems to suggest the protesters were inside the rotunda singing and parading around while engaging in an unauthorized protest.

 

 

http://wcmcoop.files...ure-summons.pdf

 

http://wcmcoop.files...ure-summons.pdf

 

 

unauthorized protest :lmao:



#28 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:46 PM

unauthorized protest :lmao:

 

:lmao:



#29 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:48 PM

Holding up signs and protesting this system is so 2011. There is no reason to bother at this point. No one cares about anyone elses rights or grievance. You'd be better using your time to pound salt.



#30 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:54 PM

unauthorized protest :lmao:

 

 

:lmao:

 

 

:lmao:



#31 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:56 PM

unauthorized protest :lmao:

Yeah, it's sad but the laws regarding protests are being changed by both parties

 

 

 

Obama signs anti-protest Trespass Bill

 

Only days after clearing Congress, US President Barack Obama signed his name to H.R. 347 on Thursday, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events — essentially criminalizing protest in the States.

 

RT broke the news last month that H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, had overwhelmingly passed the US House of Representatives after only three lawmakers voted against it. On Thursday this week, President Obama inked his name to the legislation and authorized the government to start enforcing a law that has many Americans concerned over how the bill could bury the rights to assemble and protest as guaranteed in the US Constitution.

 
More


#32 MeOmYo

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:57 PM

sounds like you're all for it though



#33 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:58 PM

Not at all



#34 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:59 PM

I read it but see nothing that would suggest he's assaulting free speech.

 

If they're inside the building chanting and singing that would more than likely cause disruption to government activities. I could see the size of signs also interfering with pedestrian traffic depending how big and where they're positioned. 

 

Are they arresting people for singing and holding signs or are they giving them citations? 

 

These citations seems to suggest the protesters were inside the rotunda singing and parading around while engaging in an unauthorized protest.

 

 

http://wcmcoop.files...ure-summons.pdf

 

http://wcmcoop.files...ure-summons.pdf

 

 

 

This is all about Walker telling the police to harass this specific group of people.

How do I know this?

Because I have heard people in this group talk about how the police are all apologetic and quite open about it, saying they're just following Walker's orders because they don't want to lose their jobs.



#35 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:00 PM

Yeah, it's sad but the laws regarding protests are being changed by both parties

 

 

 

Obama signs anti-protest Trespass Bill

 

Only days after clearing Congress, US President Barack Obama signed his name to H.R. 347 on Thursday, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events — essentially criminalizing protest in the States.

 

RT broke the news last month that H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, had overwhelmingly passed the US House of Representatives after only three lawmakers voted against it. On Thursday this week, President Obama inked his name to the legislation and authorized the government to start enforcing a law that has many Americans concerned over how the bill could bury the rights to assemble and protest as guaranteed in the US Constitution.

 
More

 

 

 

With only 3 lawmakers voting against it, this was a bipartisan effort.

Nice to know they CAN work together.  :rolleyes:



#36 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:06 PM

:picardfp:

I spent last week with close friends from northern Wisconsin. They just got dial phone service, Rioknockers aka Special Betty.

 

 

We drove around up there last summer and there sure are some pretty darn remote places up there.

Wonder when they'll get push button phone service?   :dunno:

 

lolRaSB



#37 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:10 PM

This is all about Walker telling the police to harass this specific group of people.

How do I know this?

Because I have heard people in this group talk about how the police are all apologetic and quite open about it, saying they're just following Walker's orders because they don't want to lose their jobs.

First, the people in that group have their own agenda, which is to remove Walker from office, so anything they say about him is going to be biased and not necessarily the truth.

 

Second, is he honestly telling the cops to go out and harass people or is he telling them to go do the job they're paid to do? 

 

I would think if there was a serious problem with what the cops and Walker are doing then they'd be being admonished by the judge when these cases are brought before them in court.



#38 MeOmYo

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:12 PM

I would think if there was a serious problem with what the cops and Walker are doing then they'd be being admonished by the judge when these cases are brought before them in court.

 

 

ummmmmmmm, they are.



#39 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:17 PM

ummmmmmmm, they are.

link?



#40 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:20 PM

C'mon, old man! It's in the OP. :facepalm:

 

Put your bifocals on here.



#41 MeOmYo

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:21 PM

link?

 

 

search Greg Gordon in the OP baller



#42 MeOmYo

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:22 PM

I'm not sure if Joker just likes stirring shit or if he forgets his meds some mornings :lol:



#43 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:24 PM

I think it's a fine combination of both.



#44 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:28 PM

search Greg Gordon in the OP baller

Is Gordon one of the judges that's heard a case concerning this?

 

I would think if there was a serious problem with what the cops and Walker are doing then they'd be being admonished by the judge when these cases are brought before them in court.


#45 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:30 PM

I would think if there was a serious problem with what the cops and Walker are doing then they'd be being admonished by the judge when these cases are brought before them in court.

 

 

One would think that, but

 

 

 he's stacked the courts with extremist judges who support his policies and seem not to care about the letter of the law, so there's really no recourse for the people.


#46 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:37 PM

ser biz

And he's stacked the courts with extremist judges who support his policies and seem not to care about the letter of the law, so there's really no recourse for the people.

 

It's a conspiracy! :lol:



#47 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:39 PM

It's a conspiracy! :lol:

 

 

Isn't everything?



#48 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:50 PM

I only see one appointment by Walker and one was shot down in August by a divided constituency in Wisconsin. :lol:



#49 Joker

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:57 PM

search Greg Gordon in the OP baller

 

 

I'm not sure if Joker just likes stirring shit or if he forgets his meds some mornings :lol:

 

 

Is Gordon one of the judges that's heard a case concerning this?

 

 

Still waiting



#50 JBetty

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:58 PM

Judges are elected in WI.

Follow the money.