Inside the second floor rotunda I wait and check my e-mail and consult with my fellow protesters as we gather until it's time to head to the senate viewing gallery. I'm not sure what to expect exactly this morning, whether we will just witness this or disrupt it or try to shut down the voting if only for another day. Everything has been rammed through contrary to standard due process. The Republicans not even pretending to debate the merits and amendment attachments that could undue some of the damage to the people and image of Wisconsin.
After standing for the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of 'silent prayer' we sit down to watch events unfold. Very little time at all is given to the Democrats to address a bill so dauntingly broad in its scope that even the Republicans who wrote the legislation will admit to not understanding it all. That is how fast things are happening here. Shoddy legislation without any or with very little deliberation is being mass produced and approved without concern for anything beyond the here and now. Amendments to obvious irregularities or vagaries are tabled along party lines by the G.O.P. who show how much respect they have for the office of Wisconsin Senate by sitting back, laughing with each other while wearing children's sunglasses.
As the short time allotted for debate ends calls to close the meeting and other last ditch salvage efforts are crudely shouted down by the ever weaselly voice of Senator Ellis. With a slam of the gavel the ability for African-Americans, Latinos, rural farmers, inner city inhabitants, college and university students as well as all other non-rich white citizens to vote becomes severely compromised.
Like something out of a movie all three wings of the gallery rise simultaneously with a deafening roar, outrage and anger are tangible in the air and every nerve of my body went super-nova. The Republicans showing perhaps even some slight signs of fear (possibly guilt?) rush from the Senate floor and return to their places of celebration and planning of future deception.
Without regard for the greatness or even the fairness of our states democratic processes it is done. Wisconsin has returned nearly completely to where she was in 1849. Years of blood and sweat and toil and tears are swept away just like the social growth and progress that they had achieved. For 94 days through hunger strike, death threat, assault and protest I have remained calm and devoted to our peaceful cause. Now I'm bordering on a psychotic break. Even knowing that this was coming the reality is enough to stagger the strongest of Wisconsin citizens.
With the gallery now emptying out we gather in the rotunda to determine our losses. Senator Grothman passes through symbolically below us in the rotunda. Cries of "racist" and other such epitaphs barely seem to get through to him. Likewise for Fitzgerald and Ellis though Darling seemed rather disturbed by some comments on her agenda and personality as they reach her.
Next its myself and Jeremy Ryan quickly taking our seats in the Joint Committee on Finance meeting. Each of us armed with one of the few weapons we have that seems to rattle and upset the right wingers, the Constitution of the United States of America. Guilt faced Senators and Assembly folk are stared down hard and look away from ourselves and the Constitution, perhaps they are beginning to realise at just what price they have sold their souls in the name of power hunger and greed. Just maybe that is.
There is little time to ponder these questions as the controversial and well documented master of infidelity Randy Hopper (yes that is his name) calls to the Sergeant at Arms and has Jeremy and myself forced from the proceedings for the glaring crime of displaying our Constitution in the former state capitol building. I say former for it is now apparent that this is now (and hopefully only temporarily) Walkers Weasel Warren. An insidious hive of lies and deceit designed to cripple or hurt the bulk of all Americans and rob them of what little they have left to offer sacrifice at the altar of big business and personal interest.
After being arrested, escorted downstairs and being cited and released (lucky for us this time) we instruct the officers on the basics of constitutional law even though most of them have already stated to us that they do not believe in the legality or enforceability of the actions demanded unjustly of them by the Wisconsin Republican Party which is now quite obviously and painfully owned by the Koch bothers and a small handful of ultra-rich out of state business interests.
And remember that we allowed this to happen, even if like many of us you voted Democrat in the last election to ask yourself, did I really do enough to help educate my fellow citizens? Did I put out enough effort or did I sit on the sofa and laughed at the absurd and twisted political commercials put out by the right and laugh at the slow-witted tea party followers who weren't educated enough to think for themselves on these important decisions. And yes I said that! They are not dumb nor evil nor less than human, they just have been victims of a troubled education system too heavily influenced by the self-righteous. Influenced by years of advertising and programming that taught them 'not to worry', 'bad things cant happen in America like other countries' and the abhorrent 'my vote doesn't count' and 'one vote doesn't matter'.
Now we are beginning to see the big picture of Scott Walkers image for the future of Wisconsin. A once great state locked into perpetual wage-slavery. Without proper care or respect for its citizens and with little or no hope of a better future for our progeny.
Once again stay the course citizens of the great state of Wisconsin. Stay the course and through recall and diligence we will take back all that we lost (or gave away) to the G.O.P. And please remember one last thing my friends, when dealing with the Republicans: NEVER FORGIVE, NEVER FORGET.
On Wisconsin! FORWARD!!!!!