Protect Freedom of Speech and Assembly in Wisconsin

Free speech is under attack in Wisconsin by the Walker Administration. The Capitol Police, led by Chief David Erwin, arrested peaceful citizens for singing and holding signs in the Rotunda during the summer of 2013. These arrests include, but are not limited to, participants in the Solidarity Sing Along that has been happening from noon to 1 pm every weekday since March 11, 2011. 

Unintimidated: Wisconsin Sings Truth to Power, a 64 page book with 112 color photographs, tells the story of the Solidarity Sing Along through the words and photographs of the people who lived it.

Order your own book at unintimidated.orgProceeds go to the First Amendment Fund.

Photo courtesy: Leslie Amsterdam

From July 24th through September 6th, 2013, the Capitol Police issued 349 civil forfeiture citations and 18 misdemeanor criminal charges to 186 people for participating in, or observing, the daily Solidarity Sing Along at the Wisconsin State Capitol. 

The tuneful political dissidents targeted by the Walker Administration include:

  • Grandparents
  • Children
  • Veterans
  • Working Press
  • Elected Officials
  • Firefighters
  • Union members

The ages of those arrested ranges from 14 to 85 years.

Photo credit: Leslie Amsterdam

Photo courtesy: Leslie Amsterdam

Ten people were taken to jail with criminal charges. People arrested who were visiting from other states have also been taken to jail. Dozens of spectators and observers were threatened with arrest.

Two at-work members of the press, Matt Rothschild of The Progressive and Dominic Salvia of The Devil’s Advocate were arrested. Madison City Alderman Mark Clear and former longtime member of the Madison School Board Carol Carstersen were issued citations for singing.

Representative Sondy Pope (D-Middleton) was warned to disperse or face arrest as have tourists from the US and Great Britian. The Department of Administration has said that no observers would be arrested, but a provision remains in the Administrative Code allowing for the arrest of spectators to an unlawful assembly.

Civil ordinance forfeitures are being charged under Wisconsin’s Administrative Code and prosecuted in Dane County Court by Attorneys General from the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Members of the Madison Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and many other attorneys are donating their time and services to protect the First Amendment.

Our citizen activists are sacrificing enough by coming to the Capitol to protect our 1st and 4th Amendment Rights. Please donate to help defray the direct legal costs associated with defending these citations and criminal charges. Thank you for your support!

All donations go to the First Amendment Protection Fund. 

Paypal donation confirmation will show the name of Sue Trace, who is on the FAPF Board.

Checks may be made payable to “First Amendment Protection Fund, U.A.” and sent to:

First Amendment Protection Fund
c/o Steve Gotcher
P.O. Box 3141
Madison, WI 53704

All donations are used to defray the direct legal costs associated with defending citations in court including:

  • Jury Fees
  • Serving Subpoenas
  • Printing Transcripts
  • Court Filing Fees
  • Fines 
Photo courtesy Overpass Light Brigade

Photo courtesy Overpass Light Brigade

News Coverage is available at Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative and Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice among other places. To find Solidarity Sing Along directly, please visit their Facebook page. or come to the WI State Capitol from Noon to 1 pm on any weekday.