I took this video yesterday — Saturday, February 26th — at the Wisconsin Capitol building. Meade wanted to go back to see if the protesters had followed through on their promise to remove their things from the Veterans Memorial. The signs that had been taped to the back of the monument were gone, but there was still a lot of junk piled up against it.
The police we encounter didn't want to consult with us on camera, though I do get a clear "no" when I ask if it is against the law to photograph the police. Off camera, they are extremely articulate and professional explaining why the police are allowing the protest and occupation of the Capitol to go on the way it has.
A woman who does not have a Wisconsin accent noses in to tell me I'm "rude" to take pictures.
I say: "Let me ask you a question about 'rudeness.' This is a Veterans Memorial, for people who died in the war. These are all things..."
The rudeness expert interrupts me: "They do things for democracy, which is what we're trying to save right now."
I say: "What would you say to people that are..." And she's turned her back on me and walked away. The rudeness expert.
She had her point and she made it: The memorialized veterans "do things for democracy." That's a poor use of the present tense. They did "things." They died. They fought and they died. But what's important "right now" — according to her — is that the protesters are "trying to save" democracy.
I didn't get to ask follow-up questions, but I think her point was to equate the protesters to the veterans and to make that a justification for piling sleeping bags and all sorts of junk up against the monument. I didn't get to ask how trying to undo the results of the last election is an effort to "save democracy," and, obviously, she wasn't interested in having a conversation with me.
This is what civility looks like...