Gov. Scott Walker's capitol police got way out of hand on Monday as they grabbed an observer, threw him on the ground, and jumped all over him.
As you'll see in this video, courtesy of Jeremy Ryan, the protesters were singing "If I Had a Hammer" when the police entered the rotunda. Damon Terrell was taking pictures of them and was trying to back off when they violently apprehended him.
Terrell, a longtime protester against Scott Walker, who has been arrested in the capitol before, was one of more than a dozen people arrested in the state capitol today. His brother C.J. was also arrested at the same time while sitting down in the rotunda with a protest sign.
(Here's another video of the event, courtesy of Rebecca Kemble.)
The police seemed especially itchy today, coming out and arresting 11 protesters in the first few minutes, and with more police officers involved than usual.
Tom Neale, one of the first people arrested today sports his Citizen Achievement Award. Photo by Rebecca Kemble.
Sergeant Lisa Kaufman even told one of the protesters, "Stop yelling," and said if he kept it up, he'd be arrested for disorderly conduct.
"Are you really going to arrest people for yelling?" I asked her.
"I'm not answering your question," she said.
Also arrested was David Newby, the former president of the Wisconsin Federation of Labor, who said it was "terrific" that more members of organized labor have begun showing up at the Solidarity Sing Along, which has been going on at the capitol for two and a half years now.
Retired Director of Wisconsin AFL-CIO David Newby among the first people arrested today. Photo by Rebecca Kemble.
Newby called the police crackdown, which began last month, "absolutely absurd." More than 230 people have been arrested so far for singing freedom songs or being present in the rotunda.
Said Newby: "There's a whiff of fascism about it."
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