"Why did the anti-Palin protesters think it was right and good to shout her down?" — I wrote in April 2011. It was a Tea Party rally featuring Sarah Palin at the Wisconsin Capitol, coming at a time when the Capitol had been dominated by anti-GOP protesters for 2 months. In video shot by Meade and me, we are surrounded by protesters chanting, booing, and blowing vuvuzelas. We were near a loudspeaker but could barely hear Palin:
About a minute into that, I turn around to the man who's been yelling "shame, shame, shame" right behind me. He doesn't like being on camera. He vigorously asserted his right not to be photographed depriving me of my right to hear Palin. He switched to a threat of violence: "I will knock those cameras out of your hands." And Meade says, "No, you won't. That would be assault." He says: "You're here to see the damned rally. Turn around and watch it." "Watch" was the right word, because I couldn't hear, since he went back to shouting "shame."
I have another video montage of that day. In this you hear a 14-year-old girl, speaking from the podium and getting heckled. A woman actually bellows "Corporate thief!" and "Koch suckers!" at this child. Hang on until the end and you will hear a voice you may remember — beginning at 3:35 — telling the protesters to "go to Hell."
That's Andrew Breitbart. The protesters laugh at him.
Here's one more video from that day featuring a little boy banging on a plastic bucket "drum" and lots of cowbell ringing. The 14-year-old speaker is heard over chants of "Go home! Go home! Go home!" and when the girl ends with "God bless America" the protesters boo:
So for those of you who think Donald Trump has given rise to a new phenomenon of protesters aiming to destroy a rally, I can tell you with personal experience and my own video evidence that this was done 5 years ago in Wisconsin. And a lot of the protesters came here from Chicago. Keep an eye out for the CPD hat — CPD = Chicago Police Department — and the White Sox jacket. We were very familiar with the Chicago presence at the Wisconsin protests. I'll never forget the band of union protesters who marched onto the scene with the chant: "Chicago is up in the house! Chicago is up in the house!"
ADDED: If the anti-Trump protests continue, Trump has a fine opportunity to do an endorsement press conference, if, in fact, Scott Walker supports Trump. Walker could bring some great perspective on these issues of protest and free speech.
AND: Scott Walker mostly stayed off the scene during the Wisconsin protests, but one time he came out on the Capitol steps to honor some Special Olympians, and protesters — dressed as zombies — got between the Governor and the honorees.