Every weekday (including holidays) since March of this year, singers have gathered at noon at the Wisconsin state capitol building to sing pro-union and social justice-themed songs. They also gather and sing most Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. to allow those who cannot come during the lunch hour a chance to peacefully and joyously express their displeasure at the actions of Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin rubber stamp Legislature.
After the orange squiggly what-cha-ma-recall-it, some details about a very interesting week for the Solidarity Singers.
DailyKos writer and recall activist Puddytat posted a story last week about new permit requirements being instituted by Governor Scott Walker's Department of Administration. Here's a little background from WISC TV in Madison broadcast last Friday (we sing outside on Fridays with a band, but are usually inside the capitol on other days.) Sorry about the commercial at the beginning.
The new rules were actually announced Thursday afternoon, but the DOA says there will be a two-week education period (how ominous does that sound?) before they start strictly enforcing them. Though the rules seemed to be directed squarely at the Solidarity Sing Along, the general attitude of the singers is a shrug of the shoulders and a "Whatever, dude." It does seem a bit odd that after more than 225 peaceful, non-obstructive singing sessions, the head of the DOA suddenly decides that the singers need a permit and will be required to perhaps put down a deposit to pay for any additional police presence.
The timing of the announcement could not have been better for some of us Wisconsin Kossacks who had already planned to join the 4:30 Thursday Sing Along with lighted "RECALL" signs.
You may remember the battery-powered LED "RECALL WALKER" sign that Kossaks noise of rain and badscience constructed. It showed up all over the news when they took it to various recall and Occupy events around Milwaukee a few weeks ago. Noise of rain posted a "how to" diary if you want to make one yourself.
"noise" and "bad" brought the sign and a bunch of new ones to Madison to attract some attention. The singers, led that evening by the local chapter of the Raging Grannies, could not have been more gracious. They held the signs while singing, allowed us a couple do-overs, and even helped us carry the signs outside for some spectacular night shots.
You might want to "like" and then bookmark the Solidarity Sing Along facebook page if you want a great resource for buoying your spirits when you feel a little discouraged. It has links to their songbooks. The lyrics for the holiday songs are really fun!
Finally, enjoy the following video put together by Brian Standing of Prolefeed Studios and by Noise of Rain Productions.
This diary was brought to you by the letters R, E, C, A, and L.