We went down to State Street yesterday, and not much was going on, so we stopped into Fair Trade for some coffee and coffee cake. When we stepped back onto the street...
... we collided with a small protest march that had some interesting characters in it. A photographer standing on the sidewalk got a "This is what democracy looks like" cheer going. Look for the accordion girl — standing behind the trumpeter with the blue beard — at 0:40. A very skinny man in white with a white mask on the back of his head appears at 0:50. He's got style of walk-dancing all his own. At 1:00, you see normal life on the street, lolling about with pizza and observing the parade... as if it's a Madison tourist attraction... and it kinda is.
At 1:45, you get a good look at the pedi-bar. At 2:00, the march heads toward the Capitol, and we join a rally in progress. A woman is talking about the plan to restructure the University of Wisconsin. She's very opposed to the plan. Because of Halliburton. Halliburton is evil. You can tell because if you Google "Halliburton," the stuff that comes up on the first page is really awful. At 3:08, you can see Meade's entrancing smile. 3:55: "Halliburton serves contaminated water to troops." 4:23: "Do not let Wisconsin become Karl Rove's laboratory for PLUTOCRACY."
At 4:23, a man in a "Walker's a stealer not a Packer" T-shirt walks up to me and takes my photograph. At 4:53, we see the next speaker, Secretary of State Doug La Follette, and he speaks very clearly, explaining why Michael Moore was right and we are not broke. The problem is we have some very rich people who should be paying a lot more taxes. At 6:07, the Stealer-not-a-Packer guy makes a big show of taking Meade's picture.
At 7:33, we see the marchers as they come around to the State Street side of the square. There's no relationship between the marchers and the rally. Both are making noise. It's cacophony. At 7:58, there's a woman with a "We are a Gentle Angry People" sign.
At 8:11, we encounter a man with a flag depicting an angry badger and the slogan "Nemo Visconsinia Impune Lacessit," which he tells me means "No one screws with Wisconsin and gets away with it."
At 9:35, we see the Ragin' Grannies waiting for their turn on the stage. At 10:04, we hear La Follette pleading for support as Governor Walker and others threaten to reduce or abolish the office of Secretary of State.
10:34-10:40: The Stealer-not-a-Packer guy gives me the finger.
11:52: The Ragin' Grannies take the stage and sing "We Shall Not Be Moved," with lines like "We'll keep this rally rolling/We shall not be moved/Although we could be bowling/We shall all be moved."
13:43: Meade asks me if I've seen enough, and as we walk away we see a poodle. The poodle is wearing a sign that says "We Will NOT Roll Over!"