Those young activists were able to watch as dozens of middle-aged white people converged in the gallery to film Assembly proceedings on the same day that a new concealed weapons law took effect in Wisconsin. Silently filming from the gallery or holding up a tiny sign are against the rules, you see, but now guns in the gallery are OK. The Republicans have lopped off the top of the Bill of Rights to get rid of that pesky First Amendment.
The last count I heard was 18 arrests.
The absurdity reached new heights last night. A grandmother with a toy camera was escorted out by police and ticketed while a woman with three toy guns brought in to protest the concealed carry law was allowed to stay as long as she didn't set the toy guns on the gallery ledge. (She was later removed for holding up a small sign.)
Matt Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, was removed by police and ticketed for filming the arrests of people who were filming the Assembly proceedings.
You can read more discussion of the events and find links to videos and photos at the facebook page Shit Scott Walker is Doing to My State, edited by Arthur Kohl-Riggs.
After the flag incident, I pulled out my Holy Bible and opened it up to Matthew, Chapter 25. I turned in my seat, held the Bible out to the side and read silently. I was not approached by the page or by the police (I had told them earlier that I planned to read from my Bible and pray for the Republicans below me. They said that was OK. Gee, thanks.)
So there I am holding my Bible open. The pages are visible to anyone in the Assembly, and I am left alone. Meanwhile, another man sitting near me is arrested and taken out for holding up a small sign.
At one point, the acting speaker of the Assembly ordered the gallery cleared but relented after some persuading by Democratic representatives. Shortly after that, a Republican representative got up and demanded that "That lady in the black suit with the black glasses" be removed from the gallery for holding up an "ALEC" sign while she waved cash at the Republicans. The lady was removed. Her name tag said "Alec". What a coincidence!
I cannot express to you the sheer ridiculousness of the Republican assault on liberty last night. During a break, I spoke at length with a woman who is an expert on domestic violence. She described the phase we are seeing now from the authoritarian control-freak Republicans as the "crazy talk" phase.
I asked her what comes after the crazy-talk phase in cases of domestic violence.
It's not good.
By the way, I was not arrested. I was warned about my flag, and warned twice for filming in the gallery.
Earlier in the day, peaceful activists showed off their cameras at the daily Solidarity Sing Along.
"Lady Forward' was decked out with a prop gun displaying the U.S. Constitution.
This sign was posted outside the Supreme Court offices, where weapons are not allowed. I think it was a reminder for Justice David "the choker" Prosser.
Today is the anniversary of Scott Walker's election as Governor of Wisconsin. Recall papers will be filed on November 15th. We will then have 60 days to collect 540,000 signatures. Piece o' cake.
Here is one of the arrests for filming. The frame does get turned upright shortly after the start.
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