Madison, WI - Hey, remember in fourth grade social studies, when you learned about our Constitutionally protected right to petition the government for redress of grievances, only if you paid for a permit and assumed all liabilities for the action. Wait! I don’t remember that second part. That’s because it only exists in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, where close to 200 singers have been arrested for singing without a permit because of his illegal Capitol rules. But, Walker forgot that Badgers don’t give up and the light brigade action on the Capitol lawn last night clearly demonstrated the Movement is not going away.
Close to 200 Solidarity Sing Along participants have been arrested for singing without a permit in the last two weeks.
Solidarity Sing Along (SSA) participants have vowed to continue to sing at noontime in the Capitol Rotunda until real change happens in Wisconsin, no matter the amount of arrests. Participants rightly claim that the First Amendment is their permit and thus have refused to take out a permit for the action. Taking out a permit would also require singers have a leader, which simply isn’t the case. Finally, anyone who would take out a permit would automatically assume the awesome responsibility of paying for unnecessary, additional law enforcement, as well as any damages incurred during the action, including those by counter-protest groups, who might seek to sabotage the singers. But all of that is moot because a permit is not required to protest your government.
Solidarity Singers have bravely continued to sing despite the arrest of dozens daily.
Friday night, the Overpass Light Brigade, numerous singers from the SSA, and Veterans for Peace National Convention attendees met on the Capitol lawn to display a lighted message. A message that conveyed support of the singers and the braveness and resolve they’ve displayed, despite the daily arrests, threats, and intimidation by Capitol Police.
Veterans for Peace, Solidarity Sing Along participants, and the Overpass Light Brigade meet in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol to message.
After meeting in front of the Lady Forward statue, the group pulled out the letters and marched their message up onto the Capitol lawn, where passersby and photographers snapped photos for thirty minutes.
The OLB message on the Capitol lawn drew tons of onlookers wanting to know what the message meant.
The OLB sets up their “POWER TO THE PEACEFUL” message up on the Capitol lawn.
After awhile, the holders decided to switch up the message temporarily.
This week, several of the Veterans for Peace convention attendees were also arrested for participating in the Solidarity Sing Along, while in town for their national convention. This brought added meaning to their participation in holding the message on the lawn. Codepink: Women For Peace founder Medea Benjamin was also in town and standing with the Solidarity Sing Along participants all week.
Codepink’s Medea Benjamin joins the OLB and others on the Capitol lawn.
The woman holding the letter “E” was up all the way from Dallas, Texas, where she usually participates with the North Texas Light Brigade.
After the Veterans for Peace conference let out, several more holders joined the group and a new message was brought out onto the lawn, to which we will leave you with this final story, shared by a seasoned OLB Holder of the Light that seems to sum up the evening:
A Vet for Peace, holding the “U,” said to me: “If I die in the next couple of minutes, I will die happy. Today has been one of the best days of my life, and being part of this OLB action just tops it off.”
Once the Veterans for Peace Conference let out, several attendees joined the group in a new message.
Singing Truth to Power on the Capitol Lawn from Occupy Riverwest on Vimeo.
At www.solidaritysingalong.org you’ll find information about the history of the Solidarity Sing Along, why it’s participants are fighting to uphold the constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedoms of speech and assembly.
You’ll also see how you can donate to help with court costs (not lawyers fees) for citizens arrested at Wisconsin State Capitol for SINGING, CLAPPING, HOLDING SIGNS, OR JUST OBSERVING the Solidarity Sing Along. No donation is too small… or too large. Thank you.