Tag Archives: Madison

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.

Over Three Hundred Picket Hobby Lobby in Wisconsin

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Monona, WI - Over 300 protestors came out to voice their displeasure with this week’s Supreme Court decision picketing a Hobby Lobby just outside the state’s capitol of Madison, Saturday. The large group lined Broadway Street on both sides of the Hobby Lobby entrance holding placards, chanting, and singing.

The protest, organized by the Wisconsin branch of the National Organization for Women, included passing out coupons to customers entering and leaving the parking lot for Hobby Lobby’s biggest competitor Michael’s.

After about 45 minutes, the group left their spot on the sidewalk and marched toward the Hobby Lobby entrance to make sure they were seen and heard.

Once in front of the Hobby Lobby protestors lined both sides of the entrance where they remained for about 20 minutes.

Protestors returned to the sidewalk, where several spoke on why they were outraged with the Supreme Court decision and Hobby Lobby’s employment practices.

Protestors vowed to come back again and again until the company changes how it treats its workers. Until then they can expect more pickets and a growing call to boycott the company and others like it.

More photos from the action can be found here.

Wisconsinites Fighting Back Against Enbridge’s Massive Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion

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Enbridge Energy has announced plans to expand their pipeline, Line 61, which cuts through Wisconsin, carrying  a mixture of oil, including toxic tar sands oil, making the risks much greater (map source: Sierra Club of Wisconsin).

Enbridge Energy has announced plans to expand their pipeline, Line 61, which cuts through Wisconsin, carrying a mixture of oil, including toxic tar sands oil, making the risks much greater (map source: Sierra Club of Wisconsin).

Few people realize that a pipeline called Line 61 carries toxic tar sands oil right down the middle of Wisconsin. Even fewer know that its owner, a foreign company called Enbridge, is trying to triple Line 61′s capacity, so that it would carry more tar sands oil than the notorious Keystone XL.

This is because so far the company’s plans have received very little public scrutiny — but that is beginning to change.

On June 12th, the Dane County Board unanimously passed a resolution calling for a local public hearing, as well as a full environmental impact statement. It followed the lead of neighboring Jefferson County, making it the second county crossed by Line 61 to demand a change in the piecemeal, secretive way that the project has been moving ahead thus far. On the same day, 18 Wisconsin State Legislators sent a letter to Secretary Stepp of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources calling for full environmental impact statements and public hearings on Enbridge’s energy plan.

Tripling the flow through Line 61 is something we should all be concerned about. This letter to the editor by Ronnie Monroe of Wisconsin Tar Sands Action Coalition discusses the pipeline, Enbridge’s spotty safety record, and the risks of the proposed expansion.

“It was a little gray house, with a big yard. This is how my daughter summed up our existence, in a 7th grade haiku. She summed it up pretty accurately. Lots of good times in that small house with the big yard. We knew there was a pipeline on the hill behind the house, because it was the one clear area where the kids would take their sleds for a downhill ride. It was just a plain old pipeline. In 1993, we sold the home with all the memories, moving Up North for a while. We returned to Lake Mills in 2006, to find a large construction project going on near our former home. Huge pipes were being installed. We assumed they were upgrading. Tar sands were not on our horizon yet. In our hurried rush to move into our new home east of Lake Mills, we missed the ONE public meeting, held in Portage. That was the one and only public information meeting on the pipeline.
In recent weeks, I have learned that this pipeline, which was once so unassuming, is now bigger than Keystone XL. At 42 inches in diameter, it dwarfs Keystone XL by a foot. When up to full capacity it will carry 1.2 million barrels of ‘North American Crude’ which is the code name for tar sands or dilbit, bitumen, a heavy, thick tar like substance that requires it be diluted with hydrochloric acid, benzene and a host of proprietary chemicals that are a trade secret. It will carry 30% more tar sands than Keystone XL. A barrel contains 42 gallons, by my math, that is over 55 million gallons of tar sands oil that will traverse Wisconsin on any given day. The pipe must be heated to 158 degrees for this to remain fluid enough to travel through the pipeline. It must be pressurized to 1400 psi (pounds per square inch). Dilbit corrodes pipelines 3 times faster than regular crude.
This pipeline slices Wisconsin in half, from Superior to Delavan, where it splits and proceeds to Flanagan IL. In our area, it crosses the Maunesha River between Marshall and Waterloo in Dane County, crosses Hwy. B in Jefferson County, and runs along Zeloski Marsh, to the Lake Mills Wildlife area, proceeding to the Rock River where it crosses it at the heron rookery just on the north end of Lake Koshkonong. It passes very close to people’s home and to Jefferson County’s heritage farms, threatening farmland, not to mention Wisconsin’s treasured waters.

Jefferson and Dane County receives no compensation for hosting this pipeline, which contains, Canadian oil owned by global corporations, including Chinese corporations. What we are on the receiving end of is risk. Tremendous risk, for no gain. This pipeline also impacts us, by property devaluation as well. This pipeline is a threat to our water and our land, possibly our safety. This pipeline is an even greater threat to our democracy if it is allowed to proceed. It seems that this enormous pipeline rather clandestinely made its appearance in 2007. No one seems to know if an Environmental Impact Study was done to evaluate the consequences of a spill anywhere along its course. In its course, this pipeline crosses pretty much every important river we have, including the Flambeau and the Wisconsin. It runs dangerously close to several lakes, and right through wildlife refuges and waterfowl breeding grounds. It runs right next to homes, through farms and golf course subdivisions. It also seems to have run OVER our democracy. Local officials don’t seem to know much about how this pipeline appeared. There is some question as to whether all small town first responding units actually even know what is in the pipeline. It seems that no one really knew what this pipe was intended for, except Enbridge, who states they designed it to carry tar sands. Surprise, surprise! A another surprise, there are actually FOUR pipelines in that easement. None of them small, at 24, 34, 42 inches, and even a return pipeline at 20 inches, running north, to return dilutent to Alberta.
The more I read about Enbridge, the more concerned I became. I learned that Enbridge the company that owns this pipeline has had over 800 spills on their lines from 1999 to 2010. A spill on the Kalamazoo River in Marshall MI, in 2010, still has not been cleaned up despite almost $1 billion spent. Tar sands sink. Traditional methods of cleanup do not work with tar sands.
No one wants a tar sands pipeline in their back yard. No one. Enbridge’s design to run their multiple lines through, under and around the Great Lakes, which contain 95% of our nation’s fresh water supply is a dangerous and short sighted plan, which only provides for profit for Big Oil, leaving the people of the nation to bear the risk.
Contact your State and Local officials or join a grassroots group.
Wisconsin is OUR land, and this is OUR water, and OUR democracy, and we need to demand it back.”

Wisconsin Celebrates and Supports Gay Marriage Victory

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The people of Wisconsin received a welcome surprise on Friday afternoon when they learned a federal judge overturned a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

“I conclude that the Wisconsin laws prohibiting marriage between same-sex couples interfere with plaintiffs’ right to marry, in violation of the due process clause, and discriminate against plaintiffs on the basis of sexual orientation, in violation of the (Constitution’s) equal protection clause,”

- U.S. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb

The news prompted couples from around the state, as 283 couples descend upon courthouses in Madison and Wisconsin, creating jouyous and festive scenes that won’t soon be forgotten.

In Madison 137 couples were married during the first Friday to Saturday stretch with some receiving a surprise greeting from the Madison Police, who showed up at the Dane County Courthouse with wedding cakes Friday night in support.



In Milwaukee another 146 couples turned out to express their love for each other, but on Saturday morning many were met by three anti-marriage protestors. Several onlookers, including Khary Penebaker and his daughter Sydney, who were at the courthouse to simply “Take in the scene…”, immediately sprang into action making signs supporting the couples. They then joined several other gay marriage supporters in assuming strategic positions collectively creating a “Wall of Love”  blocking the protestors from the view of those being married.

Several couples leaving the courthouse expressed their thanks for the public service they were performing. This battle may not yet be over in Wisconsin, as Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has already started the process to halt marriages, and certainly is far from over around the country, but as Wisconsinites have clearly demonstrated over the past two days, love is love and love will surely defeat hate.

Photo credit: Overpass Light Brigade and LightBrigading on Flickr.

Photo credit: Overpass Light Brigade and LightBrigading on Flickr.