The Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative (WCMC) just posted a shocking story detailing the Wisconsin Capitol Police chief's latest intimidation tactics against peaceful activists:
Police appear to be checking names off on a spreadsheet that lists certain regular visitors to the Capitol, many of whom have received citations during the Capitol Crackdown that began after the arrival of new Capitol Police Chief David Erwin last summer.The story with copyrighted photos of the lists is here. You need to read the full story and view the photos to get the full impact.
People who were mailed citations also received letters from the Capitol Police informing them that they had been identified by security camera footage as being in attendance. It is possible these IDs are being made by use of facial recognition software and comparison to DMV license photos. DMV records have been included in the police reports.I cannnot recommend more highly the work of the WCMC. I am not a member but I know a number of the members personally and they take enormous personal risks to gather and report information that the traditional media cannot or will not cover. From their "About Us" page:
Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative is a group of citizen journalists who began covering the Wisconsin Uprising in February, 2011. We came from different walks of life, different professional backgrounds and different parts of the state to document the dismantling of democratic process and tradition taking place in our state under the rightwing onslaught of the Scott Walker regime.Please go read their story. It's a must read if you have been following the Wisconsin uprising.
During the course of 2011, we discovered that our individual photographs, videos, and blogs were becoming trusted sources of information for events taking place in and around the Capitol. In the fall of 2011, we began meeting informally to discuss collaborating on stories. Walker’s Department of Administration’s new rules restricting freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in the Capitol were unveiled in December 2011 and formed the stimulus we needed to launch a formal media organization.
In January 2012 we incorporated as a non-profit worker cooperative in the state of Wisconsin. Currently, we are all unpaid volunteers engaged in this work out of our fierce determination to inform the public about the dismantling of the decades-long tradition of open government and participatory democratic structures in Wisconsin.
We hope to build the coop into a radically democratic media organization that reflects the needs of our community for information and that can serve as a model of grassroots news gathering for people in other parts of the country. In order to do this sustainably for the long-term, we need material, moral and community support.
Since the "crack down" began in September, over 100 citations have been issued to peaceful activists for activities like singing songs in the capitol, holding signs and banners, and writing messages on public sidewalks using temporary sidewalk chalk.
Not one of those citations has been successfully prosecuted yet. At least 5 citations for holding signs have already been dismissed and it is assumed that similar citations for holding signs and banners will also be dropped.
Recipients of the citations have vowed to take every ticket to a jury trial if necessary.
Keep in mind that many people on the list have never been cited for any violations and have never been warned by Capitol Police about any potential violations, yet they are being identified with anti-terrorist facial recognition software and their movements in the Capitol are being tracked. All for exercising their rights to assemble peaceably and petition the government.
Here is that link again...