March 24, 2011

At the Wisconsin Capitol, the civil disobedience people can't get themselves arrested.

This morning, I learned via Facebook that there was a civil disobedience event planned for the first floor of the Wisconsin Capitol, where some people holding signs were ticketed by police yesterday. Alerted that it was going to begin in 15 minutes, Meade, mid-pancake, shifted into action and got there in time to catch the action:



The video begins and ends with shots of school kids enjoying the Capitol in traditional style, standing and lying down in the center of the rotunda, gazing up into the magnificent dome. In between, we see Ben Masel — the iconic Madison activist — holding up a protest sign, which is supposedly now forbidden at the first floor level. He also reads the free-speech portion of the Wisconsin Constitution, which is right there, as one of the 4 first floor monuments. (You've seen Meade and me protecting the Veterans Monument.) But Ben and his small cadre of civil disobeyers don't manage to get themselves arrested, and we see them file out, past the monumental head of Robert La Follette.

By the way, I think if the protests are going to be confined to one area of the Capitol, it would be better to have them on the first floor, leaving the rotunda free for the kids to scamper about — without tripping on signs — and lie down where they can get the best view up into the dome. That's an aesthetic and child-loving opinion, not a legal opinion.

78 comments:

kent said...

Breaking: WI Appeals Court Decides that State Supreme Court Must Rule on Walker’s Labor Law

Almost Ali said...

What do the kids see when they lie down and look up?

shoutingthomas said...

This reminds me of one of our inveterate geezer protesters in Woodstock.

He kept picketing the military recruiting office in Kingston. The Woodstock Times carried glowing full page stories nominating him for martyrdom.

Unfortunately, the police wouldn't arrest him and no judge would throw him in jail.

Very disappointing.

He dreamed of being a martyr, but nobody would volunteer to oppress him.

A sad story, but true.

madawaskan said...

But I thought it was

inherent in the system.

Ann Althouse said...

You can see the view into the dome here.

alan markus said...

This video sort of has that "What if they held a war & nobody showed up" slogan from the 60's vibe going on there.

George said...

Was that Dwight K. Shrute at 1:00? He's a volunteer deputy, maybe he was going to make an arrest....

Almost Ali said...

If "iconic Ben" keeps dressing up like a bum, may I suggest a citizen's arrest, with pepper spray.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Oh to be on a class trip like that again, time does fly!

MadisonMan said...

I have never allowed myself to lie down and gaze up at the beautiful rotunda. I don't even look up much, anymore, on the rare occasions when I walk through. Too touristy-looking.

I'd love to be able to be on the little walk around the very top of the Rotunda, however. I imagine the view down really causes vertigo.

traditionalguy said...

In Banking there was a saying about an old time Loan Officer that, "He needs to take it to the house". That meant that a man who once brought in customers and deals that made the Bank money, now he has become a danger to the bank to lose money, so he needs to go home and rest before he loses anything. Ben Masel is in that category now.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

My grandmother would roll over in her grave is she ever saw those kids rolling around on the floor of a public building.

Almost Ali said...

Ann Althouse said...
You can see the view into the dome here.

Quite stunning, something a kid will remember, and inspire.

And to think, built by the descendants of the Sistine Chapel.

(Thanks, the Nikon did it justice.)

James said...

@kent,

that's all about the Supreme Court elections in two weeks. They are trying to get Prosser or record upholding the legislation.

bil_d said...

Can I make up a new word?

Disobedians.

Meade said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
"My grandmother would roll over in her grave is she ever saw those kids rolling around on the floor of a public building."

Mine would too. In fact, she would probably quote Rush Limbaugh quoting George W. Bush quoting Winston Churchill: Before you walk a mile in another man's shoes, take a look at the man's shoes just in case, while walking in 'em himself, he stepped in manure.

Drew said...

So it's really more like "Uncivil Obedience"?

Meade said...

Drew: Perfect!

Ryan said...

Ben looks pretty healthy for a guy who has stage IV lung cancer from smoking cigarettes and weed for 40 years, and had no health insurance.

He also looks well fed and well dressed for a guy who hasn't held a conventional job in a long time.

Anonymous53726 said...

"My grandmother would roll over in her grave is she ever saw those kids rolling around on the floor of a public building."

Mine would too.


Mine, too, but then she always needed to lighten up a little bit.

Lincolntf said...

Considering the "bisquickus interruptus" of this morning, I prescribe a trip to the nearest steak-house for dinner (funded exclusively by recent Paypal donations and Amazon %'s). Too bad you had to miss a meal just to film a dude who'd obviously rather be selling Whip-its at a Phish concert.

PaulV said...

Reminds me of the protesters outside Soutn African embassy on cold snowy day when police refused to arrest them. They complained to DC politicos because they were so cold.

Alex said...

Scott Walker's approval/disapproval is in the tank!

Rasmussen Walker Approval Rating tanks amid talks of conservative overreach into union-busting

CachorroQuente said...

"My grandmother would roll over in her grave is she ever saw those kids rolling around on the floor of a public building."

That's funny. I imagine that there are a lot of kids who would roll around on the floor of a public building if they ever saw your grandmother rolling over in her grave.

Emil Blatz said...

Godspeed to Ben the quintessential Madison/hippie/dope-head from the 60's (or early 70's)!

Carol_Herman said...

Even unaware that Meade was there. Don't these people ever get told you're blogging this?

I saw the signs on the floor. Only this time it's a guy with one leg spread out. And, nobody walked on the "floor litter."

tom faranda said...

As a member of a spouse team with 17 arrests between us for REAL issues, i find this extremely funny!!!

Carol_Herman said...

The fisheye still pictures are gorgeous. The "poster litter" is not on the floor. Did the "posters" come out only because the crowds came in? Of course. They're kept in Hulsey's office.

How did you get to hear that this was "on the agenda?" Is it that cell phones work their magic?

It seems it doesn't take all that much to make the Rotunda sound like Grand Central Station.

Coketown said...

I have this image of Meade racing down the road, stacks of pancakes balanced precariously in both hands, Flip and still cameras trailing behind him from lanyards around his neck. Not content for the news to find him, he finds it first. He's sort of the anti-Drudge, what with the original reporting and all.

EDH said...

"...the monumental head of Robert La Follette."

His wife liked to brag.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Mine, too, but then she always needed to lighten up a little bit.

When I was in my youth, I would have agreed with you. As I've aged I've discovered she was right more often than not.

Paul said...

Aw comeon... the show is over and people have gone home protesters.

Do it once and you are a wit. Do it twice and you are a halfwit. Do it a third time and you are a dimwit.

And these protesters are way way past the third time.

edutcher said...

Faster than a speeding Butterworth

More powerful than a lunch time special...

It must be frustrating when The Man refuses to listen when you're speaking Truth to Him.

Ann Althouse said...

That's an aesthetic and child-loving opinion, not a legal opinion.

That's all right, dear. Woman does not live by conlaw alone.

Hagar said...

Reminds me of the protesters outside Soutn African embassy on cold snowy day when police refused to arrest them. They complained to DC politicos because they were so cold.

Perfect!

rhhardin said...

"Peacably to assemble" is a constitution written by somebody who fears split infinitives.

chickelit said...

He's sort of the anti-Drudge, what with the original reporting and all.

You mean Egdurds I. Edaem?

(hint: spin the vortex backwards for the secret message)

LarsPorsena said...

"tom faranda said...

As a member of a spouse team with 17 arrests between us for REAL issues, i find this extremely funny!!!"

There only 'real issues' if they involved hard time.

Bob_R said...

You've been sleeping in the dome,
But you look real rested
You set out to outrage
But you can't get arrested
You say your image is new,
But it looks well tested
You're lost without a crowd
Yet you go your own way

Carol_Herman said...

It's the unfortunate echo that reverberates around the Rotunda.

If this guy was almost anywhere else, including a street corner, his voice wouldn't carry.

It also didn't seem like too many people dropped their "grain circles" to get to this "civil disobedience "thing-y" ...

At least the drummer boys have gone. And, the singers and/or chanters.

Maybe, too, all that poster litter keeps small sections of the floor clean? Perhaps, the janitors are glad for the "mats."

TMink said...

Wow Alex. His approval is almost as low as President Obama's.

Trey

Carol_Herman said...

Why didn't Meade ALSO send the letter to Brett Hulsey via the post office?

Heck, he could copy whomever is responsible for conduct of Assemblymen. (Just as I can go after a judge who misbehaves in her courtroom. Where I write to the Head judge in LA. And, handing a copy to the judge's sheriff, when the court doors open.) You'd be surprised, but the old fashioned way of sending mail, is superior to e-mail. And, I'm not just being old-fashioned.

Plus, with copies, Meade can go back to Hulsey's office and deliver a copy of what's in the mail, to Terri. She can't turn it into toilet paper. Not if there's a list of folk who also get copies.

Let alone the letter, itself, is now posted here.

You have a legitimate complaint!

Let alone a story with legs as gorgeous as Betty Grable's. They were once insured for a million dollars.

Drew said...

"They won't let us into the Capitol!" they scream as they shove their way in and take over the building for a few weeks.

"They're trying to silence us!" they yell, as they chant and drum and wave their placards.

"This is what Democracy looks like!" they shout as they do all they can to hold up the democratic process.

They want so badly to be martyrs but they have to invent the oppression.

Phil 3:14 said...

Unruly kids

Phil 3:14 said...

Many years ago in my hometown in upstate New York a group of anti-war nuns decided to send a message. They climbed over a fence at the nearby Air Base and got into a B-52 hanger and proceeded to hammer at it. After some time they noticed no one showing up for the obligatory and press-worthy arrests.

So one of them had to call base security and alert them to the fact that a group of crazy nuns were assaulting a BUF on the base.


Sometimes martyrdom just doesn't go according to plan.

Meade said...

5:30 pm update: About one dozen demonstrators are trying to get $200 citations for taking demos to 1st and 2nd floors. Shouting, signs, unsustained chanting. Law enforcement appears to be standing down. Protesters outside, marching around square: approx. 70.

Sent from iPhone

Lincolntf said...

Wow. It just never ends. Keep up the good fight.

10ksnooker said...

Reminds one of Stalin's useful idiots

Jane said...

Isn't this special? Imagine finding my niece from Oshkosh in your video taken at the Capitol today! My brother will be very interested in viewing your footage. Thank you for your observation of and rational engagement with the political melee.

Chip Ahoy said...

The dome on the capitol at Denver is actually two domes. If you know about the secret door, and now you do, you can enter upon a metal stairway that wends between the metalwork supporting the outer dome. Very Hitchcockian. Then once at top it is possible to exit the outer dome upon a balcony that circles the entire thing, there to enjoy a 360° view of the city, the planes, Capitol Hill, the city, and the mountain range. The notable peaks, Pikes Peak, Long Peak, etc., are demarcated on the parapet.

pst314 said...

From the article: "He doesn't have health insurance and hasn't had a conventional job in a long time. But he has a history of winning false arrest and First Amendment lawsuits, 'which is a great hourly rate if you can wait forever to get paid,' he joked."

In other words, he's a typical leftist: A parasite who performs no useful work but lives off of those who do.

Peano said...

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
-- Karl Marx

The '60s were the tragedy. Today, the farce.

Alex said...

I noticed shiloh in the other thread complaining about all these "anti-union" posts by simply video-documenting what they do. So for balance Meadehouse is supposed to go find a bunch of right-wingers behaving badly right? Where?

Beth said...

"may I suggest a citizen's arrest, with pepper spray."

Damned [political identity adjective] thugs, always calling for violence!

J Allen said...

It’s surprising the amount of restraint the police are showing. These protesters have no clue how fortunate they are to live where they do.

For example, when I was in Baghdad I read a report where two vehicles were involved in an accident. The occupants became engaged in an argument which unfortunately interrupted the lunch of a group of Iraqi policemen. When the occupants did not cease their argument the IPs ended up shooting two or three of them.

Argument over, lunch attended to, IPs later admonished…Masa Allah.

Mary said...

Hey Beth,
You coming down to MAD-I-son on your spring break to join your fellow teachers, chanting and banging drums on how bad you've got it? Or can't you afford the plane ticket this year from New Orleans on a po' ole public servants salary? Solidarity, eh?

Mary said...

Poor Meade.

Stuck inside with the riffraff hippies, on such a sunny day outside...

chickelit said...

Meade phoned...About one dozen demonstrators are trying to get $200 citations for taking demos to 1st and 2nd floors.

Is this some sort of Ben Masel 1st Amendment lawsuit scam? A deliberate civil disobediance ploy?

Methadras said...

Oh look everybody. It's another nutty leftard with a sign that says some stupid shit on it.

Methadras said...

You know what a martyr is? A forgotten turd of history.

Michael K said...

That Rasmussen poll is interesting in that private union households approve of Walker 46%, only slightly below the average.

is no question that this is a fight to the end. Walker is taking a lot of hits for the team and they don't even realize that his bill is far less hostile to unions than those in other states.

chr1 said...

Does Ben and Jerry's have a flavor for this guy?

Be kind, rewind back to the glorious, righteous days of freedom!

MadisonMan said...

On the subject of useful idiots...

Revenant said...

So for balance Meadehouse is supposed to go find a bunch of right-wingers behaving badly right? Where?

More specifically -- where in *Madison*?

I'm pretty Meade himself comprises at least 25% of Madison's right-wing population.

ironrailsironweights said...

Here's a literary genre you didn't know even existed - the tragically obsolete limerick:

A randy marsupial named Reeves
Spent some time with the whores 'tween their knees
When they'd asked him for money
He'd say "Listen honey
A koala eats bushes and leaves."


Peter

Pogo said...

"At the Wisconsin Capitol, the civil disobedience people can't get themselves arrested."

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

traditionalguy said...

Masel is a harmless old fool. But the Battle of to retake Madison is ongoing by the Union that wants its control back. Madison is the Guadalcanal of this war. By always fighting back as reinforcements are pour in from other Union bases, the unions will be exposed as only a better educated version of Johnny Friendly's Waterfront Longshoreman's racket that Marlon Brando defeated with the guts to tell the truth about it. The threats and actual retributions from the Union Thugs is cold and calculated crimes. Sam Masel is not one of them.

AST said...

What law is he disobeying? The Fire Marshal's code? He seems to be disturbing the peace that should maintain in that building where a lot of people are trying to work, but nobody's arresting him for that, so he ends up looking like a big fool without a point to make.

"What's it gonna take to get a citation around here?" Probably more than this.

Unfortunately, he's being drowned out by the kids. What was he there to discuss? Who is he petitioning? His sign doesn't really make sense, since nobody is challenging his right to be a loudmouth.

That dome is so beautiful it ought to inspire silent contemplation, but this guy seems more driven by a need for attention. Well he got it here at the Alhouse blog.

Just more proof that high school never ends.

john said...

Mid pancake? That's high glycemic. You getting fat Meade? Got to get on your bike.

William said...

This isn't as farcical as the bank protest. The demonstrators, almost by definition, want attention and Meade photographs them. The demonstrators notice themselves being noticed and protest against being noticed by photographing the photographer who also wants to be noticed. An infinite regression, like a chamelon on a mirror. The protestors undoubtedly have fantasies about "Walker plants" or maybe even FBI agents monitoring their dangerous (yeah, right) activities. Meade's phtography not only proves that they are noticed but gives them a frisson of danger which they can bravely confront. Meade, for his part, can feel the subtle but brute presence of union thugs. And so it goes.

AlphaLiberal said...

You guys saw this, right?

I love a good belly laugh.

edward said...

Ann Meade and all those who comment here
I need help with a sign. I will be in southern Wisconsin next weekend or the following and wanted to visit the capital with a "cleverly worded" sign.
IF you remember the "protest warrior" group(s) who went to anti-war protests and carried signs that looked like they belonged but if you actually read them they were counter-protest signs.

That's what want. I need help with making a clever sign. I was thinking something like:
"Union, spending your money so you don't have to."
"Unions, we're so weak we have the government confiscate dues for us."
"Union: Government that's bought and paid for (by you, not for you)."
"Purple Power: Regal colors for the regally inept"

Any suggestions....

cross posted on two threads, which is really bad form..... I guess Ann will just have to "spank" a fellow professor..... :)

Fen said...

"No Freebies, No Peace!" is still my fav

sarge said...

"What do the kids see when they lie down and look up?"

underpants mostly

The TrogloPundit said...

Mid-pancake? Now that's dedication!

But hang on: what kind of pancake? Made from scratch? Or just one of those "just add water" mixes?

Meade said...

Of course scratch.

Scott said...

Tell Meade he can build a DIY steady-cam mount for $14.

http://littlegreatideas.com/stabilizer/diy/

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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