I went to the Capitol today to join the SingaLong. Shortly after we began singing "We Shall Overcome" at noon, the police declared that we had unlawfully assembled. We continued to sing. There were many people there, women with babies strapped to their chests, families, old friends, senators (Jauch and Cullen) assemblypeople (Taylor, Sargent) and lots of press. Then the police started arresting people.
They arrested my friend who just had hip surgery and needed a crutch to walk. They would not let her use it as they hauled her away. They arrested a sweet veteran of the Vietnam war who had an American flag. It fell to the floor as they cuffed him and the officers stepped on it.
I don't know how many people they arrested today. I saw two men arrested with their school aged children following close behind. Some people were arrested more than once. Through this all we sang. We sang. The police weaved through the crowd at times, it seemed to me like they were picking people out to arrest. One particular detective kept watching me, following me as I moved through the crowd. I chose to not be arrested today, if I could at all help it, and finally I went outside.
I cried as I left. I cried because I was sad that I could no longer feel safe singing in the Capitol that I love; that my dissent is no longer allowed there. I cried because my friends were unjustly arrested and some of them were hurt. I cried because I've worked really hard lately and I'm tired and going to the Capitol is what I do on my days off. I am proud, though. Proud of what we do. Proud of what we are accomplishing. My heart is full of love for the patriots that I was with today, that I was with days and months and years ago, patriots that I will be with tomorrow, and then next day, and the day after that.
More amazing images from noise of rain in his diary: http://www.dailykos.com/...
Want to help? You can help defray court costs by donating to the singers' First Amendment Protection Fund here: http://solidaritysingalong.org/
If you can't do that, how about liking the Solidarity Sing Along facebook page?
Thanks for the kind words and comments everyone. They are a real morale booster for the singers and are very much appreciated!