At the Solidarity Sing Along in the Wisconsin capitol today, Scott Walker's police arrested the national treasurer of Veterans for Peace, Mike Harrington.
He was holding the flag of Vets for Peace and singing nonviolently when officer took the flag away, handcuffed him, and marched him out of the Rotunda, as fellow protesters chanted, "Shame, shame, shame!"
Harrington, who was among a handful of people arrested today, is in town for the annual meeting of Vets for Peace.
"We want to show support for this struggle," said Patrick McCann, president of Vets for Peace. McCann said he was impressed with the longevity of the two-and-a-half-year protest, calling it "wonderful." He was in Raleigh, North Carolina, recently for one of the "Moral Monday" protests, and he said the Madison protests are similar. Both are facing "rightwing politicians who are taking over state governments and going for broke when they've got the power."
Ret. Colonel Ann Wright of Vets for Peace was also at the protest, along with about 230 other demonstrators.
"For the state capitol police not to let people sing is just outrageous," Wright said. She said this ongoing nonviolent protest against Scott Walker's policies is "so important."
She, too, cited the Moral Mondays in North Carolina and the fight for women's rights in the Texas capitol.
This rise in protest "gives you heart," she said. "Citizens aren't just sitting there doing nothing."
She added: "Every capitol needs a dust-up."
Two Democratic state legislators also were in attendance: Terese Berceau and Melissa Sargent.
"It's getting to be a farce," said Berceau. "This must be helping Scott Walker in the polls or with his fundraising, but how long can this go on? Wisconsin is not a democracy. It's just not. Should I call it fascism?"
Terese Berceau and Melissa Sargent.
Sargent used her cell phone to photograph the police making one arrest. They demanded that she step back. "Your standing too close to my gun," one told her, though Sargent noted that she just was standing her ground.
Berceau added: "The police told us both to move, and we refused to budge."
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story Zimmerman Verdict Reveals Racist System of Justice.
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