Watch a Protester in Wisconsin's State Capitol Get Thrown to the Ground and Arrested

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 27 2013 9:03 AM

The Cheeseheads Will Rise Again

145764984
Protesters have been gathering at the Wisconsin State Capitol most days since spring of 2011 to protest Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining law.

Photo by Andy Manis/Getty Images

Believe it or not, protesters are still in the Wisconsin State Capitol almost every day—they have been since February 2011. A core group of 30 or so "Solidarity Singers" have been meeting outside or in the rotunda of the Capitol most weekdays to protest Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union law and Walker's existence in general. To discourage the protesters' daily singalong, Walker's Department of Administration started limiting group sizes to four people and requiring permits to congregate in the Capitol. If you've ever lived in Madison, you can guess how well that policy has worked out: It's mostly led to more protesters getting arrested and fined for misdemeanors.

But on Monday, one of the perma-protesters was arrested and charged with felony battery during the daily noon singalong in the rotunda. In this video two officers appear to tackle him to the ground hard after he waves his hands and starts backing away from them. (I wrote about Jeremy Ryan, another perma-protester who filmed Monday's arrest, for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2011.) Watch:

Advertisement

It's not just young upstarts getting arrested: A Madison city councilman and the editor of a local progressive magazine were both arrested earlier this month for taking photos of the singalong. This is exactly the kind of headache Madison liberals want to give Walker. Counting a failed recall attempt in 2012 and a potential 2016 bid, Walker will have faced four elections in six years. If you watched Morning Joe last week, you saw Walker fine-tuning his 2016 message—that states are laboratories of democracy, and as governor his science experiment has led to fiscal solvency. Still, he's been nowhere near as outright about his ambitions as Gov. Chris Christie or Sen. Ted Cruz—that would only give protesters in Wisconsin more grist ahead of his 2014 re-election. The best he can do for now is lay low and keep fundraising.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 4:14 PM Planet Money Uncovers One Surprising Reason the Internet Is Sexist
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.