Zien — the rider of the 1st Million Mile Harley, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident last March — seems, at the beginning of the clip, to be trying to dislodge his nonmotorized wheelchair from the foot of one of the singers. Judging from the position of the foot, it looks to me as if the singalong man had extended his foot. In any event, Zien looks determined. The singalong people are a regular group that takes over the prime rotunda space every weekday noon hour to sing about how they will overcome Scott Walker some day and how they're sticking to the union and so forth.
The report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that, according to one of the singalong participants, Zien yelled "Walker for president." Accompanying Zien were 2 men — "Green Bay resident Henry Rahr and Shorewood, Minn., resident Eugene German" — who carried "Don't Tread on Me" flags. So these men were rivals for the greatest free-speech territory in the state: the rotunda.
A singalong participant named Sue Trace said that the men "draped Zien's 'Don't Tread On Me' flag over the singers' heads." That's not in the video, so try to picture what that might have looked like. There's a big range of possibility with respect to how much flag-head contact occurred and how intentional it was. Based on the video we have, I'd guess that the 3 pro-Walker men decided the singalong crowd had no right to control the rotunda territory and decided they would make a counter-demonstration out of taking it back.
In that situation, emotions surge in unpredictable ways. Here's the Journal Sentinel description of what happened next:
Michael Dickman, 50, said Rahr and German were bumping into him along with other singers and grabbing their banners. Dickman said he tried to pull the flag away from Rahr. Dickman said Rahr then put him in a headlock and punched him in the face, chipping his front tooth.There must be more video of this unfortunate melée. For the most part, over the long weeks of the Wisconsin protests, people supporting the Governor have stayed away, while the anti-Walker people have chanted "Whose house?/Our house!" over and over and over. Zien felt moved to take a stand — from the position of a wheelchair — and the singalong group chose not to withdraw beyond the pillars that ring the rotunda — not to let the man have the space.
Rahr, 50, was charged with battery but denied punching Dickman. Rahr said Dickman tried to tear the flag out of his hands....
Police cited Rahr, German and Dickman for disorderly conduct.