The ranks of the noonday singalong at the state Capitol swelled Tuesday after remarks by the new Capitol police chief that a crackdown on such protests was coming.

Chief David Erwin said Monday he planned to begin strictly enforcing the Capitol's rules in an effort to restore normalcy and safety to a building that has become home to regular demonstrations.

The chief did not say exactly when the crackdown would begin, but the move seemed aimed at protesters such as the "Solidarity Singers," a group of people who gather four days a week in the rotunda to sing songs of opposition to Gov. Scott Walker.

In December, the Department of Administration instituted a rule requiring groups of four or more to get permits to protest at the Capitol.

On Tuesday there were more than 50 singers, similar to the number that turned out after the weeks of protests that drew tens of thousands of people to the Capitol last year, and more than double the size of more recent singalongs.

Former Chief Charles Tubbs took a lenient approach to the singers, allowing them to check daily with police before singing. Erwin said at some point he will require they get a permit.

But on Tuesday, the singers were defiant. The group quoted the state Constitution before beginning.

Jeremy Ryan, a Capitol protester well-known for traveling around the building on a Segway, was in attendance Tuesday. He said most of their actions have been protected by the First Amendment and he thinks the chief's words could come back to hurt him.

"If they try to break up the singalong you will see the numbers of protesters just keep getting bigger," he said.

Also on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller, D-Monona, sent Erwin a letter, chastising him for not telling legislative leaders and the chief justice of the Supreme Court about his plans for a stepped-up enforcement of the rules. He said that as a member of a "co-equal" branch of government, he expected any such changes would include "consultation prior to implementation."

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(66) comments

aequalitas
aequalitas

They are at it again. This time it's Republicans at the convention throwing peanuts at a black camera woman and telling her that's what they feed animals.

QUOTE:

From a Black Female Reporter To The CNN Camerawoman Who Was Called An "Animal" at The RNC: You Are Not AloneBeing a female journalist of color, you get used to terrifying and humiliating racism on the job. That doesn’t mean you like it. Or that we have to take it anymore.
http://www.xojane.com/issues/denise-clay-black-journalist-racism

I was supposed to be on the floor of the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, but after seeing the tweet from Current TV’s David Shuster about the CNN camerawoman who was harassed by someone throwing peanuts at her and told, “This is how we feed animals,” I know that my not being there was for the best.

Because I’ve dealt with so much of this kind of nonsense in 20 years as a journalist, I can say with no fear of contradiction that this incident would have ended a lot differently if I were the person on the other end of those peanuts.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my job as a columnist for the Philadelphia Public Record. Any job where you’re covered by a Constitutional amendment that allows you to ask probing questions and request all sorts of information is a great job.

But at this point in my life, turning the other cheek isn’t as easy as it used to be.

My time in Reading, Pa., had a lot to do with my “radicalization” of having less tolerance for ignorance. That’s where I met Roy Frankhouser, former Grand Dragon of the United Klans of America. I have yet to smell anything that smelled like he did. And I’m from New Jersey, home of the Superfund site.

One day, instead of telling me to go back to where I came from, like he usually did, he informed me that he had somehow gotten a picture of me. And had put it in the newsletter that the United Klans put out. I wondered how he got the picture in the first place -- and then wondered what this meant for my safety. Most of my coverage beat was in areas where his buddies hung out: dark, wooded areas with few lights and no blacks.

My mom, who was originally from Kentucky and as a black woman of Southern descent had a far more developed relationship with the Klan, had a fairly advanced meltdown upon hearing about this. But when I shared this with my editors at the paper, they were dismissive. “He’s just Roy,” they’d tell me.

He’s just Roy. Granted, "just Roy" had blown up a Jewish Community Center and had run a friend of mine, a civil rights worker, literally out of town with his threats. But he's harmless. Just like that guy at the RNC was harmless -- and throwing peanuts at a black woman trying to do her job. While calling her an animal.

These people are “harmless.” To white guys. Guys they'd occasionally have a beer with. But they weren’t on the wrong end of the Klan newsletter. I was.

So I left that job.

Unfortunately, the CNN camerawoman does not have the same privilege. She's got to be there for two more days.

And sadly, like me, I’m sure that it is only one of many instances of racism on the job she's had to deal with. While having the Klan target me was easily the most in-your-face instance of racism I’ve faced as a reporter, it’s definitely not the only one. I’ve had my resume placed into the mailboxes of every staff member at one of the newspapers I worked for in order to showcase and prove my credentials. I’ve had people at municipal meetings insult me in ways that no white reporter ever would have had to endure. But I had to put up with it. I didn't like it, and I'm surprised I don't have an ulcer with everything I've had to keep inside over a 20-year-career. But I did it.

Perhaps my “favorite” was the white man with no college degree and no experience as a journalist who told me that the only reason that I got the reporting job that he felt he should have had was because I was black.

Not talented. Not experienced. Just black.

So I knew far too well where this CNN camerawoman was coming from. Covering a political convention is a big deal. It’s a high-profile assignment that editors only hand over to people they trust.

To be on that high, and then get slammed to earth by someone calling you an animal would hurt anyone -- a lot.

I’m proud of her for how she dealt with this incident and kept going, and so should every other woman who can imagine the position she was placed in to be the subject of an attack and an insult so vile, so demeaning. She’s not a “hero.” But she’s strong. And she’s a professional. I hope that she knows that her presence is a victory, and that she's probably inspired another young, black woman to do what she's doing.

As for the wannabe peanut vendor, I hope he recognizes that he got off easy. It was the act of a coward who didn't get the memo that this is the 21st century and you just can't do that kind of thing anymore and expect to get no blowback.

It’s not “just one of those things.”

It’s unacceptable. It’s despicable. And quite frankly, it’s pathetic.

End of story.

kitty

It is 1 hour during the Capitol staffers' lunchtime, 4 days a week ! Peaceful activists singing. It is not a 24/7 occupation.

schism

I see that knittingnacy's remarks about repuplican crazies on her T.V. and taking her gun to the capital have been removed. My response stating that she scares the hell out of me is gone too? whats up?

Just because we the people have the right to do and say whatever we want, does not make what we do and say right.

detailer1
detailer1

Such vitriol from both sides. While I agree to freedom of assembly and speech, if I was a staff member or employee at the Capitol I'd find the singing disruptive in the workplace as most would believe it to be in their own place of work. Protest outside and show some respect for the workers who toil there every day.

witness2012

When you work in the capitol, you understand that it is not like a private office building. It is open to the public, because it is the the public center of the state- a commons open to everyone.

people come and go all the time through the capitol and they always have. If you want to work in a building in which only those 'doing business' are there, get a job somewhere else.

motherlode
motherlode

Jesusiscomingback,
Did you READ the story?
NOT the Madison Chief of Police---the Capitol Police chief.
His authority ends once you leave our beautiful State Capitol and grounds- thank God.

divjadristi

I have very progressive political views and disagree strongly with Walker's administration. However, the singers are just so annoying...so, so annoying. They're tactics are counter-productive.

Lynne4300

Thank you, and YES, they are annoying.

buckyami
buckyami

If I was part of the Republican establishment, I'd pay to make sure the singers keep showing up every day as the state's most prominent Democratic representatives. As long as middle-of-the-road voters continue to see this crew warbling away, the state will remain firmly in the adult hands.

>> On Tuesday there were more than 50 singers

Imagine if all those people spent as much time volunteering their time tutoring young people, helping the elderly, or cleaning up their local parks as they did whining about a couple of feathers falling out of their beds.

tomtom
tomtom

Imagine if Rush Limbaugh and his right wing talk radio ilk had spent as much time volunteering their time tutoring young people, helping the elderly, or cleaning up their local parks as they did whining about a couple of feathers falling out of their beds.

RedNedwasRight

My guess us that the Paulryanaynrandetc account IS the moderator.

I'm not whining, nor am I a hypocrite.
I ask questions.
You don't like my questions and call me a whiner and hypocrite.

How could such solid thinking and tactics on the left create such a long losing streak for the left?
It's a mystery.....to the left.

Lynne3400
Lynne3400

The only mystery to left is how could the Tea Party be duped so bad by the republicans.
Didn't the Bush administration teach them that republicans could not be trusted?

If you want true fiscal conservatism vote Libertarian in 2012!

http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/

Lynne4300

FAUX

Lynne3400
Report Abuse
Lynne3400 - 10 hours ago
The only mystery to left is how could the Tea Party be duped so bad by the republicans.
Didn't the Bush administration teach them that republicans could not be trusted?

If you want true fiscal conservatism vote Libertarian in 2012!

http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/
Reply

TheMatador

Why are you reporting abuse Lynne? People can sign up for whatever screen name they want. You don't own the copyright to Lynne followed by a number.

paulwesterberg

This is America, I thought we had freedom of speech!?
But now you want try to control the way that I speak?

JesusIsComingBack

Here we go again. Maybe Madison can try to RECALL their police chief. This time, Madison can pay the bill.

aequalitas
aequalitas

Here's another Westboro Baptist freedom-loving Tea-Patriot hard at work. This time running for office registered as, you guessed it, A REPUBLICAN.

THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL
Westboro Baptist devotee seeks state board of ed seat

A Topeka man who attends Westboro Baptist Church is running for the Kansas State Board of Education on a platform that includes removing evolution from public school curriculum.

Jack Wu has filed as a Republican with the Secretary of State’s Office to run against Democratic incumbent Carolyn Campbell in the board’s 4th District.

Wu couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday, but his campaign website states he is a native of California who “moved to Topeka, Kansas after seeing the light of the Westboro Baptist Church.”

The website, www.jpwu.info, appears to be under construction. Under a “Biography” link, the site states that Wu’s mission in running for office is to “make a difference in this evil city of Topeka and this perverse state of Kansas.” It goes on to say that students “don’t need Satanic lies like evolution filling their heads, and if elected to office, Jack would like to purge such lies from the curriculum.”

more . . . http://cjonline.com/news/2012-06-20/wbc-devotee-seeks-state-board-ed-seat

schism

aequalitas I think I speak for many......... I have always wanted to tell you what a long-winded babbling fool you sound like.
I can't take it anymore. Please keep your comments short and sweet, the more you say the less you really say.....don't feel obligated to read to us like children. It does not make you sound intelligent, just annoying.
Go join the singalong group and use your words - you have a perfect sour voice.
Please?

aequalitas
aequalitas

How special, your ID is "schism" which means the division of a group into opposing sections. You must have really appreciated Scott Walker's "Divide and conquer" statement to the Janesville billionaire donor.

Republicans - divide and conquer their fellow contrymen - how patriotic!

schism

That's better. Thanks! Now try being positive and less divisive!
My ID is for people like you. So glad you noticed!

Comment deleted.
knittingnancy

As far as I know, the singers are not unionized and have every right as taxpaying citizens to sing. If you complainers had singing voices, you could do so also. Didn't know guns were allowed in the capital. Maybe I should test whether my 22 is welcome even if it isn't a republican weapon. We sure are being exposed to republican crazies taking over the tv stations this week People who never saw the likes of them before now have been exposed.

aequalitas
aequalitas

In the wacky world of fascist Republicans it's A-OK for Fred Phelps and his hate-filled "church" to protest a soldier's funeral "cause that's free speech".

But allow 4 people to sing an anti-Walker song in the captial, well that's disruptive and disprespectful.

Here's a nice story about Westboro Baptist members showing up at the Republican convention to shout down anti-GOP protestors. Yep, show up to disprespect Scott Walker today and Fred Phelps has got Walker's back.

TAMPA, Fla. — A group of anti-GOP protesters clashed outside of the Republican National Convention with a group of Kansas-based church members who often picket soldiers' funerals.

Tampa police said on its Twitter feed that officers in riot gear separated the two groups for safety reasons on Tuesday.

The anti-GOP protesters marched from a makeshift camp – dubbed "Romneyville" – toward the official protest zone created by the city. Along the way, that group clashed with members of the Westboro Baptist Church, which had been protesting homosexuality.

After about 20 minutes, the half-dozen Westboro church members retreated from the protest area under police escort.

No one was arrested during protests on Tuesday. One was arrested Monday and another on Sunday.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/westboro-rnc_n_1837653.html

JBANK

Nothing is more amusing than folks screaming about the right to free speech when the UW campus down the road sold out years ago to the politically correct speech police. I don't see any plans to march up Bascom Hill anytime soon. Why not? Everyone is in on this charade .... starting with the faculty and administration and continuing on down to the current crop of local activists screaming away in the Capitol at noon. Guardians of free speech? Hardly.

Norby

Jbank,

I fully support your right to walk up State street singing any song you like. Even invite four or five friends to join you. Feel free to carry signs too. Seriously, if you truly believe in a cause you need to get involved!

aequalitas
aequalitas

Only in Walker's looney fascist world, and that of his Tea Party fascist friends do you find second ammendment rights trumping first amendment rights.

Is there any limit on any concealed carry entering state capital? Any requirement that if more that four pistol-packing Republicans enter the capital at once that a permit be applied for and approved prior to entry.

In Walker's wacky world "words are dangerous" but guns are safe.

Comment deleted.
schism

Helloooooooo........ guns are chunks of steel and wood.... don't you get it?
You people are scary!

paulwesterberg

Chief David Erwin and Gov Walker are sworn to uphold the state constitution which says:

Right to assemble and petition. SECTION 4. The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common
good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof,
shall never be abridged.

If they take actions to infringe the rights of peaceful citizens under the constitution they should removed from public service.

dhs

So you're saying that the loser-singers should be able to perform their circus act in the middle of any court room, how about any state office building, or how about a state supreme court session??? Of course not...don't be stupid.

witness2012

dhs, the solidarity singers are not trying to sing in the middle of a court
roon, or state supreme court session, or in a state office building.

They are trying to sing during the lunch hour in the "public square" of the state capitol. If someone else is scheduled to sing- high school choirs do it all the time- the SSA goes outside.

They are peaceful, respectful of others and the last people that the governor should choose to go after in trying to deny first amendment rights.

He'll lose if he tries.

dhs

The high school choirs follow the rules and get a permit why do you think that you're special and don't have to follow the rules!!!

robertsthc

Or on a public sidewalk in front of your home, singing insulting songs about your children.

sherlock1

The Solidarity Whiners are just part of some who have pushed the limits and worn out the welcome of the public. They have disgraced humanity and worn out their welcome, as well as others. They have developed a foulness about them. The inevitable result is to always be looked at suspiciously now.

Wis_BlogRider

Thanks sherlock, You couldn't have described Walker and his cronies any better. They pushed the limits of dishonesty, extremism and wore out the welcome of the public. They have disgraced humanity. They have developed a foulness about them. The inevitable result is to always be looked at suspiciously with a total lack of trust from now on.

sherlock1

Nacirema, You missed the point. Ever thought of taking some reading comprehension courses?

dhs

If the "look-at-me" singers tried the same thing in Washington, Obama's Capitol police would arrest everyone in a second.

TheMatador

The Capitol police in Washington would be congressional, not presidential, dimwit. You are the epitome of ignorant. Perhaps you should make some more snappy references to the singer, that seems to work for you.

Loser

CompassionateConservative

Where is the union lackey sheriff when we need him?

witness2012

The sheriff has no jurisdiction inside the capitol. The capitol police are responsible for regulating what happens inside the capitol.

Comment deleted.

Your entire comment is offensive!

I really like the new "Report Abuse", I actually get a lot of use out of it reporting abusive people like you..

joe

It will be an eye opener for the morons who continue to break the law. The State will prosecute them as the county has refused to. They will pay fines and spend time in jail if they choose. There will finally be a price to pay when breaking the law. Finally, they will be put in place like they should have months ago.

Norby

Joe,

Do you really think the "Department of Administration Rule" will hold up in court? I think the rules of free speech and free assembly still apply to Wisconsin, Walker not withstanding.

joe

Then let that be determined by the courts. Even the Dane county "court". Until then, the laws and rules prevail.

Norby

Joe,

I think that is something we can both agree on!
O

witness2012

These are not laws, Joe. These are administrative rules that were made with a single agency- DOA- and have never been vetted through the legislature. They won't stand under any scrutiny- the first amendment trumps Walker's intolerance of dissent.

toolegittofit

Everybody loves the 1st amendment except this Erwin guy? (and maybe dode, since now D is a C is playing a creative joke on its screen name...). Long live amendment #1!

ResOregon

Erwin is going to protect Walker just as Walker protected him by not taking away his Union rights, because of being on the State poopie Patrol. If is was up to Walker you would be working for $.50 an hour and working 60 hours a week.

Lionhear

boohoo

tomtom
tomtom

but then the unemployment rate would be less than 1 percent, that's what we all want don't we? low unemployment

ToriBruni

Capitol Police were not excluded from Act 10 like other police, so your argument is invalid.

ResOregon

He was a state poopie drawers then.

scorp

Peacefully assembling ? Try walking the square with a sign with which they disagree . This "peaceful" crowd turns into rabid dogs and some will physically assault you while the rest "howl at the moon" in support. Personal experience! They are a mob just waiting for an excuse to intimidate and riot.

TheMatador

How do the singers in the capitol building see your sign on the square? Methinks you are a liar.

bananahammock

Just let them sing. Why ruffle feathers about something so boring. Save he time, money and effort for when things really get out of hand and aren't peaceful anymore. And yes, I'm referring to the loud, obnoxious protests coming from both sides of the fence last year. When people truly step beyond the legal bounds then crack down with full force. These people are singing... Give it a rest.

LiLa
LiLa

"enforcing the Capitol’s rules in an effort to restore normalcy and safety to a building..."

Because people peacefully singing songs are dangerous.

Mahop

No...they are super annoying

Norby

Mahop,

Probably true, but annoying and illegal are not the same thing.

witness2012

To whom, Mahop?

Dode-is-a-choad
Dode-is-a-choad

Yes, the Capitol singers are still here and while they might be off key they are assembling peacefully as is their right under the US Constitution.

Why is it that you right wing nut bags want to protect your right to bear arms, but when you disagree with someone you want to take away their right to peacefully assemble?

joe

Dode - As you sit around all day with your hand out, try to understand that the world does not revolve around you and your ilk. Taking endlessly is not your right. Spoiled brats as yourself need to grow up.

TheMatador

Pot meet kettle.

TopOfCenter
TopOfCenter

The right of assembly is not without its limits. One cannot, say, operate a chorus of singers during open court. The right to assemble has also been limited, many times, by the requirements to obtain a permit.

And yes, your right to fling ad hominems ("right wing nut bags") is still there. No worries for you.

Jed Starnes
Jed Starnes

Why is Jeremy Ryan quoted as an "authority" by this reporter on this or any other topic?

For the uninformed, run a CCAP on "Jeremy J RYAN" (DOB 8-1988) in Dane County alone. What a pathetic blight this jerk is upon the productive, tax-paying citizens of Wisconsin. And the justice system's mollycoddling has only empowered him. Madisonians should be embarrassed by this "man" and his foolishness.

Sakura
Sakura

Just want to point out that entries on CCAP are not evidence of any crimes. Most of the stuff he gets charged with is very nonspecific and was in response to some very mundane and completely harmless actions. At least Jeremy isn't trying to strangle a Supreme Court justice, like well, somebody we all should know by now.

Dode
Dode

Gee, the OffKey Singers are still around? And I thought Segway Boy was being evicted? How many suckers did he find to contribute to the rent for his penthouse? Just like the proverbial bad sock, you can't get rid of these jokers.

But we do see that democRATS only care about laws if the laws don't apply to them. As soon as they realize the law affects them too, they squeal like pigs.

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