March 24, 2011

"This Is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System."



Meade iPhones a photo from the civil disobedience event on the first floor of the Wisconsin Capitol, where police ticketed people for holding signs yesterday.

61 comments:

Drew said...

I guess we know the answer to the pancake question now.

Dan from Madison said...

Looks like Masel found a marker with some ink in it.

SPImmortal said...

hopefully for their sake that's not the whole protest.

MadisonMan said...

Ticketed people for holding signs?

How will that hold up in court?

vbspurs said...

At least Mr Masel's sign is nice and BIG. You'll need the Hubble telescope to read the other furry guy's sign.

Again, as I mentioned about the MySpace page, much though he may have a point about this or that topic, I do not take people like this seriously.

These are are perpetual grievance activists, whose sense of outrage is never assuaged.

Cheers,
Victoria

Phil 3:14 said...

What the sign carrier forgets is the rest of the message

If this had been an ACTUAL emergency...

traditionalguy said...

But did Meade get syrup on his I-Phone? Sticky work being a reporter these days.

vbspurs said...

...but what are the chances Brett Hulsey would rather meet with Ben Masel, rather than with Meade?

There's a conundrum for Mr Masel.

If you're a liberal in Madison, Wisconsin, doesn't that make you a member of the Establishment? To be a real counterculture activist, you'd have to be a Conservative.

shoutingthomas said...

Our biggest problem in Woodstock is our cause-aholics.

They've always got to be bitching about one cause or another.

This is their version of nostalgia for their youth in the 60s.

Apparently, you've got a bad case of the same shit in Madison.

TMink said...

While the typical sign from a lefty displays their ignorance and immaturity, I like this one.

I just doubt they are as concerned about my free speech as I am about theirs. Who am I kidding, I seriously doubt they can tolerate differing speech.

Trey

shoutingthomas said...

OK guys! We get it. Republicans are oppressors.

They're imprisoning you for protesting. Well, actually, they're not.

What's next?

Oh, they won't let you fuck, or they won't let you fuck the way you want to fuck. That's next.

Republicans are stoning you to death for fucking. Right?

SPImmortal said...

"While the typical sign from a lefty displays their ignorance and immaturity, I like this one.

I just doubt they are as concerned about my free speech as I am about theirs. Who am I kidding, I seriously doubt they can tolerate differing speech.

Trey"

That's why they have speech codes on campus and in more leftist European countries. Because the left is all about free speech, what with their judges and cops hauling people to jail in Britain for "hate speech".

The Crack Emcee said...

After The One said "I won", you'd think these people would get a clue after they've lost, but we seem to be in a new period - since the new war - where the hypocrisy is so stark, so obvious, that it's also revealing the oppositions minds as so empty their self-awareness, too, is non-existent.

They are going to force us to run over them.

Lincolntf said...

By the way, has Meade (or anyone else) taken update pics of the damage done to the doors, landscaping, etc.? Everything repaired/replaced yet?

lemondog said...

I just doubt they are as concerned about my free speech...

'xactly......these free speech sentiments seem to go only one way.

SPImmortal said...

Remember that leftist blogger that Althouse was debating on bloggingheads after the Tucson killings? He seemed to be pretty gung ho on speech restrictions. Anyone have a link for that?

Anyway, in a decade or two, anti free speech sentiment will be mainstream on the left even more than it is nowadays. It will spread beyond their University intelligensia and into the minds of their politicians and rank and file, the process is already well underway.

vbspurs said...

SPImmortal wrote:

That's why they have speech codes on campus and in more leftist European countries. Because the left is all about free speech, what with their judges and cops hauling people to jail in Britain for "hate speech".

Not just Europe, but Canada (their astroturfers in the New World).

Ren said...

There hasn't been any damage done to the landscaping--the entire lawn is blocked off right now as they're starting to reseed it, especially now that the snow has melted. It looks like what you'd expect--a giant, muddy mess.

Simon said...

The right is "peaceably to assemble," Art. 1 § 4; when you've already said everything you have to say and you're still assembling mobs, I get suspicious that your real goal isn't peaceable speech, but something decidedly less peaceable: intimidation. And since intimidation is violence in ovo, I would be willing to consider the possibility that restrictions on assembling to intimidate don't implicate section four.

Lincolntf said...

How about the doors?

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

So what will they do to somebody whose "sign" is part of their clothing or written upon their body?

I understand a prohibition against signs being affixed to the building, but to ban simply carrying a sign goes too far.

SPImmortal said...

"So what will they do to somebody whose "sign" is part of their clothing or written upon their body?

I understand a prohibition against signs being affixed to the building, but to ban simply carrying a sign goes too far."

The same rules apply to the US Congress, you can't have signs inside the building or at least in the main chamber.

I remember a while back a code pink wierdo was dragged out for bringing out a sign in the observers balcony.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Any signs yet about SCOTT WALKER'S KINETIC MILITARY ACTION ON THE MIDDLE CLASS?

SPImmortal said...

It was Cindy Sheehan during President Bush's 2006 State of the Union.

She was arrested for wearing a T-shirt protesting the Iraq war. You can't even do that inside the Capitol building.

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

This is inside the rotunda, not a legislative chamber. If the same rule applies to the U.S. Capitol rotunda, then it's wrong there as well.

PogoПОССУМ said...

The Free Speeches is only need for to win the Славный виток Glorious Revolution!

After then, is no need for speeches!
When созиализм socialism is victory, life she can not be better!

Then speech is only by the kulaks, wreckers and капиталист capitalist roaders aim to destroy the Revolution.

So free speech Да! Yes! But only until The Party is in power. After then, Нет! No!

Sofa King said...

This is inside the rotunda, not a legislative chamber. If the same rule applies to the U.S. Capitol rotunda, then it's wrong there as well.

I don't think you can even get into the U.S. Captiol rotunda unless you are part of a tour group.

Lamar63 said...

@Phil 3:14

Great catch - very funny!

SPImmortal said...

"This is inside the rotunda, not a legislative chamber. If the same rule applies to the U.S. Capitol rotunda, then it's wrong there as well."

Who said they were ticketed inside the rotunda? Protesters have already been dragged out of the floor of the chamber for trying to disrupt the business of the government. They don't get the benefit of the doubt after pulling stunts like that and sending death threats to legislators and punching people. The legislator's safety and ability to conduct business is paramount.

AlphaLiberal said...

This is a Governor using police power to restrict the speech of his opponents.

Wish we could all agree that ain't right.

SPImmortal said...

"This is a Governor using police power to restrict the speech of his opponents.

Wish we could all agree that ain't right."

No he's using police power to control people bent on disrupting the business of the legislature.

Get back to me when speech codes disappear from campuses. You are in victim mode spouting hypocricies. Vicious mode is right around the corner though.

Sofa King said...

This is a Governor using police power to restrict the speech of his opponents.

Is there somthing they want to say that can only be said from a second-story balcony? Your argument is silly.

Maybe they just want to make sure there's a place where visitors who simply want to view the Capitol are able to do so. Do you have something against sharing?

Lincolntf said...

Sadly we've seen that the people protesting can't be trusted with acting responsibly in or around the Capitol. The vandalism, occupation, etc. were costly and destructive. The rights of Wisconsinites to live free of mob rule takes precedence over these "Made for Youtube" tantrums.

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

@ SPImmortal:

Who said they were ticketed inside the rotunda?

You said the rules were the same in Washington, D.C. Are they or are they not? Make up your mind.

In Madison, evidently, you'll be arrested for carrying a sign in the rotunda anywhere above the ground floor. I say that's wrong and if the same policy is in effect in Washington, it's wrong there as well. Simple as that.

Sofa King said...

I say that's wrong

Care to explain why for people who don't accept you as infallible moral authority?

Revenant said...

Not exactly a youthful protest movement.

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

I don't have to explain a thing. There's no reason for YOU to accept it. You can accept all the political oppression you wish, fine with me.

I'm expressing my opinion. And it wasn't a moral opinion, it was a political opinion. Huge difference. The free speech protection under the WI constitution is pretty strong. The burden is on those who wish to place restrictions to show they're reasonable.

SPImmortal said...

"Who said they were ticketed inside the rotunda?

You said the rules were the same in Washington, D.C. Are they or are they not? Make up your mind."

You're the one that drew the ridiculous distinction between the rotunda and the chamber. And now you're asking me if the rules in the capitol in DC correspond to the distinction you just made up.

I think you're the one that's confused, not me.

J Allen said...

So quite messing with the small fries and push free speech to its maximum. Walk into a police station and announce, "This is a stick up!" As long as you're not armed it should be OK, shouldn't it, since you're just exercising your right to free speech.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There hasn't been any damage done to the landscaping--the entire lawn is blocked off right now as they're starting to reseed it, especially now that the snow has melted. It looks like what you'd expect--a giant, muddy mess.

No it doesn't. It looks like a giant, muddy mess because the grass rhizomes have been trampled to death. In winter a grass lawn will go dormant and brown.......it doesn't turn into a muddy mess without being stompped to death by careless and inconsiderate people....or in our area...cattle. (Hmm.....maybe the same thing in Wisconsin)

Try again.

SPImmortal said...

"I'm expressing my opinion. And it wasn't a moral opinion, it was a political opinion. Huge difference. The free speech protection under the WI constitution is pretty strong. The burden is on those who wish to place restrictions to show they're reasonable."

You haven't given a rationale for why they aren't reasonable. I'm guessing that protest signs aren't allowed inside of many courtrooms either, for the same reason they wouldn't be allowed in a congressional building. Your opinion is noted, weak as it is.

SPImmortal said...

"So quite messing with the small fries and push free speech to its maximum. Walk into a police station and announce, "This is a stick up!" As long as you're not armed it should be OK, shouldn't it, since you're just exercising your right to free speech."

Just make sure you don't print anything naughty in the campus newspaper, or you'll be in deep trouble. Your rights end where liberal sensitivites and will to power begin.

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

Go back and read your 11:35 post, you brought up things outside of the rotunda. And now you're bringing up courtrooms. Take note of that because soon you'll accuse me of bringing up courtrooms. You've only confused yourself, or your memory of what you've written is indeed short.

And I don't have to argue that the restrictions aren't reasonable. That's not the way the game works. Go to court and see who has to make the argument there.

SPImmortal said...

"Go back and read your 11:35 post, you brought up things outside of the rotunda. And now you're bringing up courtrooms. Take note of that because soon you'll accuse me of bringing up courtrooms. You've only confused yourself, or your memory of what you've written is indeed short."

I speculated about what the actual rules might be inside the US capitol building and then you used that as a jumping off point to create a magical line in your mind around the assembly chamber and then purport to claim that banning signage outside that magical line was somehow wrong.

Again, I think you're the one that's confused.

"And I don't have to argue that the restrictions aren't reasonable. That's not the way the game works. Go to court and see who has to make the argument there.
"

We're not in court, and yes, as the plaintiff against such a law, you would have to explain why such a law is constitutionally unreasonable. You wouldn't get very far in the courts using assertion free of arguementation.

Ann Althouse said...

"Remember that leftist blogger that Althouse was debating on bloggingheads after the Tucson killings? He seemed to be pretty gung ho on speech restrictions. Anyone have a link for that?"

I just put up a new post using a 25-second clip from that bhtv with Bob Wright. You can get into the longer segment from there.

Sofa King said...


And I don't have to argue that the restrictions aren't reasonable. That's not the way the game works. Go to court and see who has to make the argument there.

It is a well-established principle of free-speech law that reasonable, viewpoint-neutral time/place/manner restrictions are constitutional. If you want to overturn this precedent, it is your burden to persuasively explain why

Just Lurking said...

Do the people of Madison really want political signs of every stripe unrestricted in all public places? Or is this just another case of "free speech for me but not for thee"? Or is this not about free speech at all, but about pushing your agenda? Would they be comfortable with anyone carrying signs into the WI capitol about anything?

How about if the anti-abortion truck with its graphic depictions of bloody fetuses show up and attempt to carry some of their signs into the WI capitol. Would they be ok with that? I mean really, honestly?

We have laws and rules governing protests and signs for reasons- ie) to prevent the creation of hostile and dangerous (signs on the floor) environments; to prevent chaos that could lead to violence.


BTW I am firmly in the camp of if there is no law prohibiting carrying signs into the capitol, it should be allowed for everyone.

Ren said...

Dust Bunny Queen--
I know that your hatred for the protesters overshadows the fact that you A) Don't live in Madison, and B) Haven't seen the lawn, but the protesters didn't cause any damage to the landscaping. It looks exactly the same as it did last year, and guess what? No protesters last year. It's merely the result of the snow melting and making it muddy--it's been raining and snowing on and off for the past couple of days, so this is no surprise.

As for the doors--I haven't been up to the actual building to inspect them, but I'd have hoped they would've replaced the panels by now. The last time I was in the building was a couple of weeks ago, so I can't say for sure.

Just Lurking said...

Now I can't get this song outta my head.

Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

SPImmortal: The difference between places where official business is conducted, e.g., inside legislative chambers, courtrooms-- and a place that is basically a public passageway-- is not a "magical line" as you suggest. It's a an actual difference. If don't comprehend the distinction then perhaps you'll explain to everyone why you think we should regard both places as the same.

Sofa: It is also an established principle that when state police power is used to place restrictions upon constitutionally protected rights, the STATE has the burden of showing that the public's interest in restricting that liberty "substantially outweighs" the interest of the individual exercising that right. To repeat, it is the state's obligation to show that. Do you wish to abandon that principle?

The question here isn't whether the policy is just neutral, it has to be both neutral and reasonable. You are avoiding that part of the question.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It looks exactly the same as it did last year, and guess what? No protesters last year. It's merely the result of the snow melting and making it muddy--it's been raining and snowing on and off for the past couple of days, so this is no surprise

I don't have to live in Madison to know what a lawn in winter looks like, and what it doesn't look like. It is snowing right now and temperatures are as low or lower than Madison in winter.

You are making excuses. The lawn is a trampled muddy mess because people trampled it into a muddy mess.

Blow smoke up somebody else's skirt.

edutcher said...

Doubtless someone complained about mess and/or harassment.

I don't doubt, like a permit to parade, you can limit where signs can be carried on the Capitol grounds.

wordsmith2 said...

Jeremy Ryan, given a ticket, was referring to the judge's order restoring the capitol rules in place January 9, 2011. Does anyone know what the official DoA written policy was at that date?

A few decades ago, the upper floors of the capitol building were restricted-access at various times of the year, possibly during contentious legislative sessions or hearings (I don't know the details, because I was too young to realize anything other than that I couldn't go where I was used to).

Maybe the problem is that the capitol police were too lax in recent weeks in not enforcing what Sofa King correctly labels as "reasonable, viewpoint-neutral time/place/manner restrictions." Is it possible that the Jeremy Ryans of the People's Occupation got the idea that because the rules were generally not enforced, that meant they did not exist?

James said...

I know that your hatred for the protesters overshadows the fact that you A) Don't live in Madison, and B) Haven't seen the lawn, but the protesters didn't cause any damage to the landscaping. It looks exactly the same as it did last year, and guess what? No protesters last year. It's merely the result of the snow melting and making it muddy--it's been raining and snowing on and off for the past couple of days, so this is no surprise.

Ren, watch this report from WKBT.



Capitol Lawn Damaged

Sofa King said...

Sofa: It is also an established principle that when state police power is used to place restrictions upon constitutionally protected rights, the STATE has the burden of showing that the public's interest in restricting that liberty "substantially outweighs" the interest of the individual exercising that right.

If you're referring to strict scrutiny, that's not true for time/place/manner rules. The test is:

1. Does the regulation serve an important governmental interest?

Yes, preserving enjoyment of the capitol for people including non-protesters.

2. Is the government interest served by the regulation unrelated to the suppression of a particular message?

Yes, because it is a restriction on all signs, not just signs with certain messages.

3. Is the regulation narrowly tailored to serve the government's interest?

Yes, it is only a restriction on signs, that would interfere with others' ability to enjoy the Capitol.

4. Does the regulation leave open ample alternative means for communicating messages?

Yes, signs are permitted downstairs, which is also in public view.

Therefore, it is reasonable.

Sofa King said...

(Also under 4. above):

Also, protesters are free to speak their messages on the upper level.

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

1. Does the regulation serve an important governmental interest?

Yes, preserving enjoyment of the capitol for people including non-protesters.

(Wrong question! A court would ask what is in the public's interest, not the government's interest. Not only that, but it isn't enough to merely be in the public's interest, it has to be substantially greater in the public's interest to "enjoy the capitol." So, please explain how that public interest in enjoying the capitol is substantially greater than the public interest in free speech.

While you're at it, explain how someone holding a sign even denies the enjoyment of the capitol to anyone else. It's less interference than a person pushing a baby stroller.

Not long before the protests began I was in the capitol and the blood drive on the first level had signs, cots, chairs, tables and sundry shit all over the place. It certainly interfered with my enjoyment of the capitol far more than a guy carrying a sign would. Where were the guardians of capitol-enjoyment then?)

2. Is the government interest served by the regulation unrelated to the suppression of a particular message?

Yes, because it is a restriction on all signs, not just signs with certain messages.

(The policy may appear to be content neutral, but considering it was enacted right after-- really during-- a particular flavor of speech it makes that claim to neutrality suspect, wouldn't you agree? If a restaurant had a policy of not allowing people inside who were wearing burkas would they be neutral if they said "Oh it applies to anyone-- we don't care if it's a man, woman, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, German Shepard...."?)

Sofa King said...

(Wrong question! A court would ask what is in the public's interest, not the government's interest. Not only that, but it isn't enough to merely be in the public's interest, it has to be substantially greater in the public's interest to "enjoy the capitol." So, please explain how that public interest in enjoying the capitol is substantially greater than the public interest in free speech.


Wrong on your wrong! The court must inquire whether the law serves a government interest at all, and how important that interest is. There is no "balancing test." The interest being served has to be "important" or "signficant," as opposed to trivial or of no real effect.

Sofa King said...

As far as whether a regulation is viewpoint neutral, let me quote the Court:
"The principal inquiry in determining content neutrality, in speech cases generally and in time, place, or manner cases in particular, is whether the government has adopted a regulation of speech because of disagreement with the message it conveys. The government's purpose is the controlling consideration. A regulation that serves purposes unrelated to the content of expression is deemed neutral, even if it has an incidental effect on some speakers or messages but not others. Government regulation of expressive activity is content neutral so long as it is 'justified without reference to the content of the regulated speech.'" Ward et al. v. Rock Against Racism, 491 U.S. 781 (1989).

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

Seriously grasshopper? You do understand there's a difference between federal and state courts, right?

Perhaps you wish to stroll over to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and inform them that you believe they've been deciding their cases wrongly.

"Hey Justice Prosser, in the Hamdan case you should have said 'We hold that only if the government benefit in this exercise of the police power is substantially outweighed by an individual's need...' and you foolishly wrote 'We hold that only if the public benefit in this exercise of the police power is substantially outweighed by an individual's need..."

Go ahead, make his day.

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