Tag Archives: Capitol

What Did Rep. Vos Whisper to Rep. Thiesfeldt During the School Takeover Hearing?

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During yesterday’s public hearing for the AB1 Public School Takeover bill, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Robin Vos pulled the education committee chair Republican Rep. Thiesfeldt aside to whisper who knows what. Based on the two hours Thiesfeldt spent in the hot seat testifying over his ill conceived bill, probably nothing nice.

Thiesfeldt had just testified that profiting on schools was ok and that he wasn’t really sure why his bill created a separate sanctioning board in Madison for public schools that would usurp locally elected school boards.


Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy Hits Wisconsin State Capitol

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Madison, WI - The Overpass Light Brigade brought the “Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy” to the Wisconsin State Capitol Monday night. The Holders of the Light held an “END PAY FOR PLAY” message in front of the Capitol while several different projections were beamed up behind creating quite the spectacle. The Rolling Rebellion for Real Democracy is part of a nationwide series of creative actions against money in politics happening now through July 12th across the country. Here is an excerpt from the campaign website:

From corporations claiming unalienable rights as “corporate persons” to billionaires manipulating elections with their wealth – our federal democracy is corrupt to the core. It is time to tap into the United States’ revolutionary roots and in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence instigate a second American Revolution against oligarchic rule.

Check to see if an action is taking place near you this week.


Photo collage courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade.

Photo collage courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade.

Rolling Rebellion Hits Madison Capitol from Occupy Riverwest on Vimeo.

398 Arrested in Keystone XL Civil Disobedience Action at White House

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Washington, DC - This past weekend, over one thousand young people converged on Washington, D.C, to protest the proposed construction of the controversial Keystone KL pipeline. These are the people that climate change will most directly affect, and they wanted President Obama to hear their concerns. We hope he was listening, as the weekend’s events, dubbed “XL Dissent” proved to be quite powerful. After all, the students and activists brought their urgent message right to the front door of the White House.

On Saturday, students poured into the Thurgood Marshall Building on Georgetown University’s campus to engage in a Divestment Meet-Up. The building filled up continuously throughout the day as students discussed the power of pushing divestment in fossil fuel companies on universities across the nation.

A group of students designed banners, signs, and creative hazardous material suits to be used in the action the next day.

Following the meet-up, organizers of the XL Dissent weekend began several training sessions for the main focus of the weekend, a massive civil disobedience action at the White House. Students received training on how the action would be carried out.

On Saturday night, Wisconsin’s Overpass Light Brigade (OLB) made an appearance on Pennsylvania Avenue, where they collectively held a lighted message in front of the White House to help kick-off the next day’s action. They were joined by OLB – Chicago, as well as two members of the MICATS ((Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands).

Sunday morning, students and other supporters showed up at campus of Georgetown University to rally before marching over two miles to the White House.

At the completion of the rally a massive crowd had formed and the lead banners made their way off campus en route to the White House.

On the way to the White House the march made a stop in front of Secretary of State John Kerry’s home, where an oil spill was laid in down on the street in front of his home. Kerry and Obama have the final say on whether or not the pipeline in approved.

Once the march arrived at Presidents Park, across the street from the White House several speakers talked about the importance of stopping the pipeline, including Chris Wahmhoff of the MICATS, who spoke about three women pipeline activists in Kalamazoo, Michigan facing 2-3 years in prison, for peacefully disrupting an Enbridge pipeline there.

After the rally, students armed with zip ties made there way over to the White House fence. The students locked their hands to the fence, while other activists in front of the zip-tied protestors laid down another oil slick. Those wearing the student designed hazmat suits walked onto the oil slick, where they collapsed to the ground, simulating the horrors of endless pipeline spills resulting from unprecedented amounts of toxic tar sands.

Police started to barricade in the protestors and declared that anyone positioned inside the barricades would be subject to arrest. Each announcement was met with cheering and chanting exemplifying the students’ belief in what they were doing. Five warnings to vacate were announced over police bullhorn and after a long standoff the first woman was asked to stand and was arrested.

The arrests continued through the afternoon and well into the cold and rainy evening until 398 student activists were arrested. The police were very deliberate with the arrests, making sure to take considerable time to arrest each student. One after another proud, smiling students were handcuffed and hauled away in police vehicles, as well as city buses to be processed. It was very apparent that each and every one knew they were doing the right thing and had zero qualms with being arrested for their conviction. At 8:15, 350.org posted the following Tweet.

Most organizers were expecting a few hundred to show up, but none expected the large group that finally showed up in DC to express their opposition to the pipeline and were willing to risk arrest in doing so. Whether President Obama received the message remains to be seen, but the youth of this country are clearly not willing to continue along the same unsustainable path. Thanks to all who made the journey to make your feelings known.

See more photos from the two days of actions below.

XL Dissent training and divestment meet-up photos can be found here.

Sunday civil disobedience action at White House can be found here.

Overpass Light Brigade visit to the White House can be found here.

Watch Capitol Cops Tackle a Peaceful Singer at Wisconsin’s Solidarity Sing Along

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Overpass Light Brigade photo by Michael Pecosky

Madison, WI - If you think it is insane to be arrested for singing without a permit, how about being violently tackled for the same offense? That’s exactly what happened in the Capitol Rotunda today. Watch the embedded video below to see this shameful use of force. All for singing without a permit.

A few minutes before his arrest the same protestor, who was tackled by police, was asking questions about why singers were being arrested. Apparently his fate was sealed at this very moment.

You’ll find information about the history of the Solidarity Sing Along and why participants are fighting to uphold their constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedoms of speech and assembly. You’ll also see how you can donate to help with court costs (not lawyer’s 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.

*** UPDATE ***


This Secret Video of Detained Solidarity Sing Along Participants Will Warm Your Heart

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Closing the Doors on Freedom

Arrested singers are taken into the bowels of the Capitol to be booked and processed for singing without a permit.

Madison, WI - Where are they taking arrested Solidarity Sing Along Singers? That question is asked everyday in the Capitol, as daily, dozens are cuffed and briskly walked or taken in the elevator downstairs. Until today, that holding and processing room has only been described through the words of those over 200 arrested in the latest Capitol crackdown of the last three weeks. Until today that is. The embedded video below, recorded by a DNR warden charged with the duty to watch the detained singers as they awaited processing, captures an incredible scene, where the detained singers continue to sing truth to power despite their detainment. It truly is a must watch video.

Amazingly, one of the woman being detained, Kimi Ishikawa noticed that the warden was recording her. After she was released she went back to the capitol office and demanded she be given a copy of the recording. The warden complied.

Photo album of today’s Sing Along can be found here.

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.