Solidarity Sing-a-long Celebrates a Year of Serenades
One way to defeat the enemy is to kill them with kindness. That’s what the Solidarity Sing-a-long has been doing for over a year, singing to Scott Walker and friends, reminding them that the spirit of the people of Wisconsin will not be broken. To celebrate a year of “peaceably assembling”, Solidarity Sing-a-long participants, past and present, gathered with a stellar line-up of musicians at the High Noon Saloon on Monday, March 12, which lies at the foot of Madison’s “Capitol hill”.
Walker and his allies have tried many different ways to break the spirit of the opposition against his policies including casting the protesters and activists as outsiders fomenting unrest amongst the good citizenry of Wisconsin. When that didn’t work, they limited access to the capitol through security checks under the dubious guise of protecting the legislative process. Yet the people of Wisconsin continued to sing in that refrain from The Kissers…Scotty, We’re Coming For You!
The Fitzgerald brothers got into the act by limiting if not outright banning any recording devices or signs, including clothing deemed “political”. These policies went in direct conflict with long-established legislative rules, and the tortured interpretations in the course of trying to stifle dissent were pretty embarrassing, if not downright scary. Who could forget the daily images of citizens being dragged from the galleries for quietly recording the proceedings or for wearing a shirt with the wrong words on them. Yet the people of Wisconsin continued to sing…Scotty, We’re Coming For You!
After a second application of egg was applied to the faces of Walker and the Fitzgerald boys as these tactics failed, they tried one more time. This time they attempted an assault on an U.S. citizen’s right to peacefully assemble by decreeing that any group of more than four that gathered in the capitol must be a protest and therefore has to have a permit to gather.
Needless to say, there was considerable opposition to this policy. The Department of Administration entered into a game of chicken with of all groups the Solidarity Sing-a-long who had long proven by their peaceable actions, day-in and day-out, that this rule was ridiculous in construct and practice. Soon, the Walker administration was making concessions on their rule, carving out exceptions for the Solidarity Sing-a-long. How are the people winning this fight? All we have to do is sing…Scotty, We’re Coming For You!
The abortive implementation of the “protest permit” rule just reinforced the keystone cops approach that Walker and his allies were using to try and stifle dissent to their policies. Its just another reason why statewide support for their policies, tactics, and ideas continue to erode.