Where is the Westboro Baptist Church when you really need them?
At this point the relentless, shrieking voice of Shirley Phelps Roper would (almost) be welcome on the First Floor of our Rotunda. And she should bring along some of her biggest, most offensive signs, too. This would prove, once and for all, the rightness, of what "Segway" Jeremy Ryan and Valarie Walasek, our latest Freedom Fighters are doing right now in the Madison Capitol.
Jeremy states, very succintly, that under the First Amendment, citizens of the United States have the right to to express their views on political speech. However, our Secretary of the Department of Administration has developed a bit of a God complex. It seems to be a very contagious virus amongst the Republicans right now, and I suggest getting your right leaning friends and family protected immediately. (Best practices: Do NOT allow them to watch Fox News under any circumstances, and if they are readers, which is unusual for most of them, get them "The Economist".) But back to the situation with our DOA Secretary. He has unilaterally decided that HE trumps the First Amendment. Here are Mike's Rules well, at least as of this writing. You actually have to visit the DOA website before going to the Cap to know if it is open or closed, and to know which entrance you may enter! Ha ha--because it's not OUR house, it's MIKE'S HOUSE!
On Sunday, March 27, visitors may enter only through the ground-level North Hamilton Streeet and South Hamilton Street Entrances. People with physical disabilities, Capitol staff and credentialed members of the news media can enter at the ground-level Martin Luther King Jr. Steet entrance. Visitors will be security screened by law enforcement officers as they enter at either North Hamilton or South Hamilton. Demonstrations on Ground Floor Rotunda Capitol visitors are reminded to limit demonstrations to the ground floor of the Rotunda.
Now, this is signed "Capitol Police" but they aren't the ones who made up the rules, Mike Huebsch did. You can call Mike and tell him what you think of his attempts to change the Capitol from a public building into his own by calling him at 608-266-1741, but if his voice mail is full, which is usually IS, please try his cell phone at 608-397-7301!
I want to tell you that the video I am posting at the end of this shows a young man, Jeremy, who is disabled. He is not riding his Segway to be hip or lazy, as many Republicans flippantly and without any knowledge of him think. He has suffered FIVE cardiac arrests, has an implanted device in his chest, and has survived both lung and bone cancers. He is devoting his life to fighting the corruption of the rich. Along with him is a disabled veteran (no, the Repugs don't own all the veterans!) named Valarie Walasek. They have been there, quietly and without obstructing passage of anyone, in the public area of our Madison, WI Rotunda displaying signs that state their opinion.
Yet, the DOA thinks it is within his power to "limit personal freedoms" in the words of Jeremy Ryan. Luckily, we all know differently. Even the State Historical Society knows that our side will prevail. A representative of the Society stood by, ready to collect the signs being confiscated from Walasek and Ryan, because the Supreme Court has already made it clear that they have the right to assemble and that it can never be abridged. Even if Mike Huebsch disagrees with it.
The public is welcome when Ryan and Walasek go to court on the first ticket issued. This will be at the Dane County Courthouse, 215 S. Hamilton St., Madison WI in Room 1000 at 10AM on April 8th. Officer Corcoran who gave out the tickets is given high praise by Ryan, unlike the Sergeant who gave Walasek and Ryan their first ticket, and was overly aggressive in his confiscation of their sign:
Please, if you can give even only a couple of dollars to help these Freedom Fighters, do so. There is an account set up to help pay for the exoribant $250 they are being fined every time one of their signs are taken away. Jeremy explains it all very well in the YouTube video I am posting. But he and Valerie are not wealthy, and they are doing this for all of us. We cannot allow the powerful to trample on our rights.
- Donate to help with their citations, court costs, and time.
- Bring large signs to the Capitol for them to hold up.
- Subscribe to Jeremy's YouTube Channel.
- Come to the Capitol and protest, even if only on the Ground Floor, where for now it is "allowed."
- TELL OTHERS WHAT IS HAPPENING.
I wanted to add that on Sunday I joined Jeremy and Valerie at the state Capitol, along with my 18 year old autistic daughter. We brought along a roll of Nickelodeon wrapping wrapper. On the back I had quickly painted the words of the WI State Constitution "The right of the people peaceably to assemble, for the common good, and to petition the government, of any department, shall never be abridged." We stood quietly, not obstructing anyone. We, along with 2 children, received citations for our efforts. Welcome to the United States of Walker & Huebsch.