Madison, WI - Frigid temperatures and negative wind chills were not nearly enough to hold back close to 300 participants in an Idle No More Solidarity Peace Rally on the lawn of the State Capitol Sunday night. Instead, the spirited crowd seemed to gain intensity as the night when on, thanks to many factors including a steady stream of poignant scrolling messages from the Overpass Light Brigade (OLB - an affiliation of volunteer activist groups that use LED letters to spell out messages on pedestrian overpass bridges around the country).
The spirited gathering began with speakers from many of the represented tribes from around the state of Wisconsin. After the speakers, on the paved concourse just before the Capitol doors, a drum circle began with a ceremonial round dance forming around the outside. On the stairs climbing to the Capitol doors the OLB displayed their first message of the evening, “WATER IS LIFE”. As the drumming, dancing, singing, and chanting went on, OLB reshuffled their displayed messages several times (“HONOR THE TREATIES” “PROTECT THE EARTH” “# IDLE NO MORE”). Incredibly as the night grew colder and windier those participating seemed to grow even more energized.
When the ceremonial drumming and dancing was finished the event’s large “Idle No More” banner was positioned in the front of a march around the Capitol that included the OLB LED message “IDLE NO MORE” staggered behind. The rest of the those taking part marched behind in a full circle around the Capitol, where the event finished for the evening. A strong message was sent to the leaders in the state that Wisconsinites support Indigenous Sovereignty and protections for land & water.
Check out our video below that captures the great spirit of the evening!
This video is from a bridge action with the Overpass Light Brigade on Friday night!