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Monday, July 29, 2013

Standing together, singing songs, holding a flag? Risk arrest.

Wisconsin Capitol Police arrest Joan Kemble, 80. Police arrested 22 people for gathering without a permit in their first crackdown on daily protesters since a federal judge ruled groups need a permit to gather in the building.

"Because Koch Brothers' stand-in (Wisconsin Governor) Scott Walker is some tired of pesky protesters trying to block his corporate agenda and otherwise exercise their alleged constitutional rights to peacefully assemble and even, God forbid, sing, Wisconsin police are in the third day of a crackdown that saw scores of demonstrators arrested in the state Capitol under newly approved rules requiring permits for gatherings of over 20 people - a slight improvement over an earlier rule for gatherings of four, but not much, given that it's supposed to be the people's house and all. Many of those arrested and given $200 tickets were Solidarity Singers in their 70s and 80s who have been turning up for two years to protest Governor Walker's policies. 
Intriguingly, the arrests that started Wednesday seem to have merely galvanized protesters, more of whom came each day. Incredible video of cops sweeping in to randomly arrest white-haired miscreants, singing moms and kids, and a former Marine and Veteran for Peace whose flag, in a moment of awful and sublime symbolism, the police stomp on in their haste to handcuff him and haul him away."