UPDATE Friday, August 26, 2011 09:57 CDT - Video from Jeremy Ryan. "Segway Jeremy" has been one of the most outspoken protesters and was the first to be arrested. Maybe because he had the camera?
12 adults and 1 juvenile were arrested Thursday evening after refusing to leave the state capitol building.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Most of the protesters left around 6:30 p.m. at the urging of police. Officers sought to close the building and enforce a Dane County judge's order from earlier this year that the building be cleared of the public after its business was done for the day.
Twelve adults and one youth were arrested on charges of unlawful assembly, with some facing additional charges of resisting arrest and obstructing an officer, Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said.
"No, we were not expecting this," Tubbs said. "I'm extremely disappointed with the behavior of these 12 people."
A large group of people had entered the capitol near the end of the business day to culminate a protest rally recognizing the first payday where new pension and health insurance deductions were taken from state employees' paychecks.
Many of those arrested yesterday were part of a group that agreed to leave the capitol earlier this year after negotiations with state officials ended a months-long occupation of the building. They were assured at that time they would be allowed back in without restrictions during business hours after the building was cleaned. Instead state officials severely restricted access to the public by installing metal detectors, locking most entrances, and posting dozens of police and state troopers throughout the building.
In other words, state officials lied to them. A court-sanctioned agreement with only minimal restrictions finally re-opened the building a few weeks ago.
I was not there last night when the arrests occurred. I left the rally at about 5:30, but I know who the demonstrators are. They felt betrayed when the building was locked down months ago in violation of a verbal agreement they had with Chief Tubbs. Although everyone seems to agree that Capitol Police Chief Tubbs is "a nice guy", the fact is he will look you straight in the eye and lie.
Apparently Tubbs agreed to let the larger group inside to "look around" just before closing time, then pleaded with labor union rally organizers and even a local radio personality to help him urge the small group of non-compliant protesters to leave. Union organizers and the radio personality walked away without assisting Tubbs. Even though the sit-in was not part of the official rally, rally organizers were not going to be burned by Tubbs again.
What goes around comes around, Chief Tubbs.
Videos here shows the protesters entering the building, and singing Solidarity Forever, but not the arrests which happened later...