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 ***


24 thoughts on “Watch Capitol Cops Tackle a Peaceful Singer at Wisconsin’s Solidarity Sing Along

  1. Janet

    Look at how they carried that legal observer out – face down, held by his handcuffed forearms and his legs. Pain compliance after the fact – Cruel and shameful.

  2. Melissa

    So why don’t the singers get a permit? Is it a long process? Is it just a matter of principle? Did they try to get a permit and were rejected? Is the permit only a one day thing? Just trying to understand better. Keep up the good fight! I’m a WI transplant living out east now and am appalled by what is happening in my home state.

    1. joe Post author

      They refuse to get a permit to practice their Constitutionally protected First Amendment rights. Also by taking out a permit, the permit holder accepts any and all liability assumed with the event, opening up the group to the actions of provocateurs and then being financially and legally on the hook for it.

      1. Rick

        Thanks Joe, well said. Why should a citizen be required to get a permit to use their first amendment rights to free speech and assembly. The rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol was designed and designated for just such eventsn. The Walker admin forced ‘emergency rules’ to limit a protest that has been ongoing since March 2011. They succeeded in increasing the protest from 15-25 singers to 100-400 in the days since enforcement began. Walker, et al have lost all moral standing.

      2. BM

        The Consititution doesn’t say anything about first amendment rights being subject to permission by the government. In fact, the Bill of Rights is a set of “inalienable” rights, meaning that they cannot be granted (or taken away) by the government, and furthermore cannot even be surrendered by the person who has them.

  3. Anne

    Such excessive use of force should never be tolerated by any community. I hope the Mayor and Chief of Police will be contacted and these officers severely disciplined.. In this case it was very clear there was no resistance so there was no need for force. This reflects very negatively on the entire police force in Madison and reflects the worst in all of us.

    1. Jack

      The Capitol Police chief was appointed by our so called Governor, so he won’t be held accountable. Also, he was given a double digit raise while the rest of the civil servants (of which the chief is one) were given 1% raises, after going years without a raise.

    2. kimi

      Please understand these are NOT the Madison police. The Madison police are the ones (among other police) who marched with us as COPS FOR LABOR and filled the rotunda with us in 2011 when off-duty. (On-duty they patrolled the streets around the square respectfully and in a calm friendly manner.) The Madison police chief condemned the actions of the governor, and Madison officers have been in the rotunda singing during the sing-along recently. The capitol cops have jurisdiction within Capitol square and in other state buildings across the state. The capitol cops haven’t yet dared to arrest a protesting off-duty Madison cop…

  4. Nick L.

    They were arrested by employees of the Republican governor. They had strict orders to bust people’s heads that looked like liberals. Is it true they broke this guys arm and damaged his spine?

    1. kimi

      No broken bones. The officer who tackled him ended up with his hands underneath, and his watch scratched him, drawing blood. He (officer Brooks) went to the hospital for x-rays and filed an injury report, claiming that he was injured by the defendant. They were claiming battery, but the defendant was released from jail after 3 days, with no charges. Haven’t heard if charges have been brought since. In officer Brooks’ report, he admitted that he was the one who brought the defendant down (which caused the defendant to land on the officer’s hands).

  5. Scott Newell

    Inalienable rights are granted to everyone, so those whom work at the capitol have rights to work in an environment conducive to attain excellence. Where the protesters do there singing can be regulated, you know.
    These rights realized by our founding fathers did not include consistent interruptions of government, but rather organizing and speaking out to sway voters to boot out those politicians whom ideas they disagree with. Act with respect for the office, be ladies and gentlemen when there are differences of ideas, and respect the other side of the argument.

    1. kimi

      The Constitution does not guarantee an inalienable right to “work in an environment conducive to attain excellence.” It does guarantee the right to petition government for redress of grievances, and does not restrict this right to election time.

      The Wisconsin state Capitol under fascist control is not an environment “conducive to attain excellence.” Wisconsin has been on a downward slide due to attacks on our democratic process in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and the horrendous laws that have been jammed through as a result.

      The noontime singing was never as disruptive as the violent arrests, which have increased numbers and disruptions tenfold, while decreasing security and safety.

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  13. patrikg

    The much-needed form to effectively protest is to create a national television network!! funded similarly to PBS, yet having commercials to keep it thriving, because the public is so misinformed, and it is the most-direct thing that could provide valid news and information, more than any democracy now or website– because the mass don’t look at those– the people that really need to wake up are most reachable through a television network that still doesn’t even exist, that should have existed long ago, and Can be created now by a mass effort, to stand on the air right next to the major stations. People are wrong to think tv is out of reach– it is precisely the tool needed

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