Tag Archives: Capitol

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 ***

NEW VIDEOS OF THE ARREST

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.

Capitol Square Message

Members of the Overpass Light Brigade and participants in the Solidarity Sing Along held this lighted message across the street from the Capitol in Madison before marching the message onto the Capitol lawn.

Madison, WI - Tomorrow, participants in the Solidarity Sing Along will again go back to the Capitol at noon to sing, as they have for 631 consecutive weekdays. They will continue to sing without a permit, even as others around them are handcuffed and arrested for doing so. Over 200 have been arrested since Scott Walker’s most recent crackdown began July 24th. Scott Walker is demanding protestors receive permission from him first before they protest him? Perhaps Walker missed those lessons on the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Overpass Light Brigade Madison, Wisconsin.  8/9/13

The OLB message is held on the Capitol lawn by many arrested during the ;ast two weeks at the Solidarity Sing Along (photo credit: Michael Pecosky).

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.

- See more at: http://occupyriverwest.com/us/singing-truth-to-power#sthash.omkgjBuJ.dpuf

Solidarity Sing Along Still Singing Truth to Power Despite Arrests

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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.

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.

Raging Grannies

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.

DSC02921

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.

DSC02949

The OLB message on the Capitol lawn drew tons of onlookers wanting to know what the message meant.

Vets for Peace Power to the Peaceful

The OLB sets up their “POWER TO THE PEACEFUL” message up on the Capitol lawn.

DSC02955

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.

Peace on Capitol Lawn

Codepink’s Medea Benjamin joins the OLB and others on the Capitol lawn.

People Power

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.”

Power to the Peaceful Spin

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.