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I am strongly encouraging as many people as possible to head on down to the Capitol for today's 400th Solidarity Sing Along inside of the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda in Madison, on Monday June 25th, from noon until 1 p.m.  After drawing large and boisterous crowds for the Sing Along on the Valentine's Day anniversary of the birth of the Wisconsin Uprising, the Sing Along's one year anniversary in March and on Election Night on June 5th, we definitely need a vibrant atmosphere later today.  

Lisa Wells March 2nd snow
Photo of a snow-riddled Solidarity Sing Along, from March 2nd, 2012, courtesy of my friend Lisa Wells

The Capitol Police force's post-election behavior has been increasingly bizarre, from an increased presence that has been following certain individuals around, to approaching other citizens and asking them why they keep coming back to the Capitol with ther signs.  Most notably alarming, various police officers have been taking thorough notes on a daily basis profiling all singers/dissidents in attendance and writing down verbatim the content of signs being held inside of the Rotunda.  Additionally, there has been a noticeable influx of plain-clothed "observers" making their presence felt on a regular basis.  Proceedings under the dome seem to be trending towards the Department of Administration and its secretary, Mike Huebsch, feeling that the time is drawing near to begin enforcing its unconstitutional rules passed last December against the First Amendment rights of individuals inside of and around the Capitol building.  

The crackdown on the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and the freedom to petition our governement for a redress of grievances easily could have already taken place last winter.  However, approximately one thousand individuals showed up in defiance and Solidarity to sing in the shadow of the Capitol Rotunda's beautiful holiday tree, on December 19th, 2011, the first day that the new and unconstitutional rules were supposedly going to be enforced.

Jenna Pope-December 19th SSA
Photo from inside of the Rotunda, December 19th, 2011, courtesy of my friend and fellow Wisconsin Kossack, Jenna Pope, aka BatmanWI

Before and since that day, a dedicated group of citizens and heroes of the movement show up without fail at the Capitol to sing inside of the Rotunda on every Monday through Thursday and occasionally some Fridays after the weekly outdoor Sing Along has ended.  These Wisconsin Winter Soldiers' constant presence on the ground floor, first floor and second floor of the Rotunda is an important and necessary reminder of why we're still here, tracing a direct lineage back to the original Capitol Occupation attempting to stop the passage of the Budget Despair Bill in the winter of 2011.  Not so coincidentally, the Capitol Police and DoA never bothered attempting to quell dissent by enforcing these new anti-protesting rules.  Or so it seemed, up until Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs ended his time overseeing the bulding shortly before the election, in order to pursue a job working for the Dane County Emergency Management Agency.

Lisa Wells Election Day
Photo from Election Day, June 5th, 2012, courtesy of Lisa Wells

Leslie Peterson election day
Photo on the Capitol steps in front of Lady Forward from Election Night, June 5th, 2012, courtesy of my friend Leslie Peterson

They hoped we would go away after the June 5th Recall election.  We didn't.  They hoped the numbers would dwindle around the Capitol on a daily basis.  They haven't.  They hoped that we would forget and pretend everything is all gravy in Wisconsin now.  We didn't and it's not.  Scott Walker's bought and sold victory in the election on June 5th means one thing for the sake of Wisconsin's future: it's in as much trouble now as it was on June 4th.  The need to maintain a consistently visible and vocal presence inside of the Capitol is as important now as at any time since the original Occupation last February and March.  The Fitzwalkstanis now bellow hollow rhetoric about "moving forward" and "working together"  in hopes that everyone will forget what happened to our state under the Governer's shameful notion of "leadership" over the past 18 months and what will continue to happen going forward.  

I've said before that I and hundreds of thousands of others were awakened in the beginning months of 2011.  I'm sure as hell not going back to sleep now, even if the habitually untruthful and heartless Scott Walker essentially tells us that it's time to move along...nothing to see here.  Sure thing, Scooter.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain trying to amend the state constitution in order to take away the citizens' unabridged rights to recall elected officials, hold them accountable for their actions and prevent the elected despotism we've become accustomed to in Fitzwalkerstan.  Cover your ears when State Assemblyman and Joint Finance Committee co-Chairperson Robin Vos and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus unconscionably drum up fears of rampant voter fraud for weeks before the recall elections, only to use the City of Racine and Democratic Senator John Leman's narrow victory on June 5th as guinea pigs for their implicitly racist and explicitly baseless and unfounded theories to explain away defeat.  Turn away from the television when Scooter refuses to address the question of whether or not he would sign a statewide union-busting Right to Work for Less bill into law if it should MIRACULOUSLY find its way to his desk, even though he has "no interest in pursuing that."  Don't ask any questions when members of the United State Congress follow up with the Governer as to whether or not he'd like to amend his public testimony from last year to account for its perjurious nature following the release of his explosive "Divide and Conquer" conversation with billionaire Diane Hendricks.  Cast the newspaper aside when radical, anti-choice organizations say they are eagerly hoping that the Republicans re-claim control of the state Senate in the November elections so their orgs can resume pushing their extreme anti-women's health agenda through the Wisconsin legislature.  Bury your heads in the sand when thousands of teachers are laid off, as countless public employees see massive pay cuts to their newly calculated "base wages" upon expiration of their current union contracts, as extracurricular activites are cut and class sizes rise in schools and as class offerings decline and tuition rises at our public universities...all while the painful reality of another $800 million worth of scapegoating policies and shamelessly austere cuts to public education hits home.  Oh yea, and definitely avoid visiting websites where Capper Liebenthal, Jud Lounsbury, Zach Wisniewski and Lisa Mux, fellow Kossack Giles Goat Boy and countless other citizen journalists and bloggers uncover and report on an ever-unfolding story as the federal government and Milwaukee County D.A.'s office closes in on Scott Walker and his Criminal Defense Fund via the ongoing John Doe investigation.  Can't leave that one out!

Rebecca Kemble-We'll Be Here SSA shot

Photo from inside of the Rotunda, June 18th, 2012, courtesy of my friend Rebecca Kemble

There are plenty of reasons to keep showing up at the Capitol, continue speaking our minds and serve as omnipresent reminders to a corpo-fascist like Walker that although we may not have recalled...we will assuredly never forget.  I hope to see a large turn out to sing songs of hope, labor, Solidarity, populism and especially, Wisconsin, inside of the Rotunda tomorrow.  Bring your singing voices (no matter how off-key,) bring your banners (no matter your level of artistic ability,) bring your signs (but not on sticks)  and bring your unbridled passion for social justice and the First Amendment.  Just make sure that you don't bring your snakes, though,  as, for some unknown reason, those are still notably banned from entry into the Capitol. Don't be shy.  Remember to keep showing up inside of Our House whenever you have the chance...for as recently-passed activist Doleta Chapru penned in "Pass the Cheddar," one of her many Wisconsin-based song remakes, "We'll be here 'til Wisconsin gets better"...and we have a long ways to go before that day comes.  SOLIDARITY!!

Leslie Peterson-June 18 SSA
Photo from inside of the Rotunda, June 18th, 2012, courtesy of Leslie Peterson

12:40 PM PT: For anyone interested in seeing an example of the Capitol Police's newly expanded interest in our activities, here is a picture taken by a friend last week of an officer brushing up on our profiles...
Whitney Steffen-Capitol Police note taking-June 21st

Originally posted to Wisco Wherls on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 02:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Protest Music, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, DKOMA, and German American Friendship Group.

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