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Wis. Police Arrest Journalist, Teen and Three Grannies During Capitol Sing Along

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Arrested 14-year old says, “I have a right to peacefully protest my government”

Julie Wilson
August 16, 2013

Capitol Police have arrested three grannies, a journalist, a minor and one City Council member for participating in the daily Solidarity Sing Along (SSA) at the State Capitol on Thursday.

Demonstrators have been singing in the State Capitol as a form of protest against Gov. Scott Walker since 2011 when he proposed and passed the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill.

Mint Press News said the bill “cut collective bargaining rights for unions and municipal employees across the state.”

The Cap Times reported that police issued citations to 22 people for assembling at the State Capitol without a permit Thursday.

Journalist and publisher Matthew Rothschild, who appeared on the Alex Jones Show back in 2008, was among those arrested. Rothschild says he was arrested for a second time since 2011 for taking pictures of police arresting three grannies for singing in the Capitol.

According to the Daily KOS, Rothschild said he did not comply with an officer’s order to move from the area. He repeatedly identified himself as a journalist to authorities.

Rothschild was arrested in 2011 for wearing a sign and taking photographs in the Assembly gallery.

The video above shows a man wearing a sign that read:

It may look like I’m just OBSERVING, but in my mind I’m SINGING ALONG. Is that OK?

The police moved towards three elderly women who call themselves The Raging Grannies, (a group that promotes peace, justice, social and economic equality through song and humor), placed them in handcuffs, and escorted them out of the Capitol.

Police have issued 250 tickets for “assembling without a permit” since July 24.

Mark Clear, a Madison City Council member who was in attendance with three other council members said, “An officer walked up to me and said I was participating in an illegal event and told me to immediately disperse. I politely declined.”

Clear said he was in attendance for the same reasons a lot of the other participants were, “to defend free speech rights.”

A 14-year old girl who only identified herself as Lydia said, “I have a right to peacefully protest my government.”

When the Department of Administration was asked for the reasoning behind arresting peaceful protestors, the agencies’ spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said in an email:

“As with all police departments, an individual is told that he/she is being placed under arrest and placed in handcuffs when they are being detained. Standard protocol for police officers.”

When Mr. Rothschild was asked for an interview by Infowars reporter Gigi Erneta, he declined. However, he did tell Erneta that police have been consistently arresting singers after the July 9 ruling that 20 people or less did not need a permit.

Below is an audio clip of Matthew Rothschild on the Alex Jones Show in 2008.

This article was posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

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