It’s Sunday morning and your doorbell rings. You’re a 69-year-old retired female at home alone with your dog. You answer the door. Who do you find there?
If you live in Wisconsin, you find three armed Capitol Police coming to your home in order to issue you a citation for singing in the Capitol, designating you the “leader” because you called out the name of the next song. You are being served a citation – not by mail, but by three police officers – for singing. This happened, and it’s not an anomaly. The only difference is that this wily 69-year-old had the sense to tape it.
This weekend, three Capitol Police issued a citation to a 69-year-old retired woman for participating in a sing-a-long at the Capitol. Watch here:
She wrote on Youtube:
three Capitol Police Officers – two Police vehicles – on a Sunday 11 days after – they told me ‘they designated me’ as a ‘director of the Singalong’ for that one day. I was NOT a designated director for that day. I spontaneously called out some numbers to sing when I saw that there was some confusion on that day. A one day spontaneous helper – not a ‘designated director’.
The recipient of the citation asked the officers a question surely on many taxpayers’ minds, “You guys are in charge of designating the leader of the Sing-a-long now?” There is no money for starving children in Wisconsin, but there is money to track down 69-year-old singers.
The Wisconsin Capitol Police are “throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks” — in other words, to intimidate people from protesting. Since September, they’ve issued 118 citations to more than 25 protesters (according to the Justice Department). To this end, the Capitol Police issued five citations this past weekend for such serious crimes as chalking and singing.
Lest you think it’s only singers who are getting special treatment from Walker’s henchman (aka; the capitol police, who are just doing what they are ordered to do under their new chief), NO. Walker has also declared war on chalkers.
Yes, ladies who chalk in order to express themselves now face citations and a 30 minute detention without an arrest. A woman protesting the anti-abortion rally on Saturday at the Capitol was issued a citation for chalking, a “serious crime”:
Warning citizens! If you are a friend standing near a chalker and you attempt to show support after an officer arrests said chalker for failing to give her name, you could be charged with obstruction. The Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative reported:
A friend of the arrested woman placed her hand on the other woman’s arm (the chalker) in a gesture of sympathy then quickly withdrew her hand.
As Officer Syphard walked away, he stated to the arrested woman that her friend was always obstructing him and he would come back to take her to jail.
Officer Syphard returned shortly with Officer Chris Weiss, and they placed the second woman under arrest. The woman’s husband reached into his coat pocket to get his camera.
Officer Weiss yelled at the man to get his hand out of his pocket and told his fellow officer, “This is serious. Chalking is a crime.”
The friend of the chalker was charged with a misdemeanor for “obstructing/resisting” for putting her hand on her friend’s arm after the officer threatened her friend with arrest for chalking.
Yes, citizens. Chalking is a serious crime, as is singing. Scott Walker knows a criminal organization when he sees one, after all, look at his administrations (not a typo; his previous administration has suffered multiple arrests and convictions).
Citizens concerned about the budget should relax, as the Capitol Police only used two squad cars to transport the three officers needed to cite the singing lady. Too many resources used in the War on Singing? Nothing is too much when you’re trying to intimidate protesters from exercising their First Amendment rights.
This witch hunt is going nowhere other than wasting taxpayer money, with Chief David Erwin’s War on Protesters already failing as prosecutors drop most of the charges against another Sing-A-Long participant:
(A)ccording to Huberty’s attorney, Robert Jambois, the state’s chances of making the remaining charge stick are slim.
“They’ve been throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks,” he says. “and so far nothing has been sticking. It’s all been sliding off the wall.”
The police better hope that they didn’t detain any of the people they charged for having banners in the Capitol, which a Judge has ruled is not a violation of the rules. When that failed, the state decided to go after the protester for being a part of the Solidarity Sing Alongers, allegedly for not having a permit.
But wait, Wisconsinites may no longer have First Amendment rights, “Prosecutors want Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese to issue a jury instruction that prohibits Huberty from invoking his First Amendment rights during arguments at his trial.”
The state is trying to use this case to go after all of the Solidarity Singers.
The police have a “watch list” naming the people who attend the sing-a-longs, including State Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison). That will teach you dirty, rotten retirees and public workers not to engage in violent, anti-American activity like singing.
Governor Walker is very serious about cracking down on protests. He dislikes allowing people who disagree with him to assemble and protest. The First Amendment is not precious like the Second.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.