Madison, Wisconsin is only a couple miles away, I live in a small town adjacent to Madison. Protesting continues in Madison. The Beltline on the southwestern edge of the city has protesters almost daily. The latest being a trucker, local not a big rig, was stopped on the Beltline by protesters. They went up to his side window telling him they would let him though if he said what they wanted him to say. It was never know what! When he tried to move slowly forward, a protestor fell to the ground screaming that he had hit her with the truck. When police and EMT have arrived, they could not get to the protestor because the crowd would not let them through.
When they did manage to get to her, she was transferred to the hospital with “no injuries”. These things are not just in someone else’s backyard, they are covering America like a Locust plague, locust moves from one area t the next destroying all vegetation in their path. I am beginning to think that the peaceful protest are now gone and have been replace by some small out of control movement that is crossing America one block, one road, one business at a time.
Tuesday night, a man was protesting inside a restaurant downtown Madison with a megaphone and a baseball bat. The male protester was using his megaphone to disrupt the peace; the baseball bat on his shoulders was a threat as he yelled at customers and restaurant staff at point-blank range. His arrest looked eerily similar to George Floyd, but this time police were handling him with kid gloves, patient and mindful of what could happen. I believe these protesters are deliberately testing law enforcement, waiting for them to make a mistake.
The man struggled with police and was not cooperating, he did yell I cannot breathe and no one was anywhere near putting this man in such a position. He apparently was using the George Floyd words to call attention to himself. Bystanders demanded officers release him claiming he had done nothing wrong, he was only exercising his First Amendment rights. Bystanders with cameras did not give up, yelling let him go free. He was officially detained for disorderly conduct while armed (with baseball bat), resisting arrest, and attempting to escape.
Two of the officers suffered minor injuries during the arrest. The question…was there a more peaceful way to handle the situation. The customers did feel threatened.
Later in the evening, protesters marched from the county jail downtown to the state capitol, blocking traffic and promising that it would not be a peaceful protest. They tore down one statue called “Forward” the state motto and another of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an abolitionist who died fighting of the Union in the Civil War; they dragged them into Lake Monona.
Later, fury exploded outside the Wisconsin State Capitol as protesters smashed windows at the statehouse, attacked a senator, then tearing down the statues. State Senator Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee took a picture of the protestors.
Protesters, chanting for the release of the man who had been arrested earlier, also broke glass at the Tommy Thompson Center on West Washington Avenue, and set a small fire at the Dane County jail before police arrived just before 1 a.m.
Assembly Speaker robin Vos, R-Rochester tweeted of being sad at the “cowardice” of Madison officials to deal with the thugs. Well, the public and our Nation as a whole have tied the hands of Law Enforcement. They are “fearful” of what may happen to them if they show any force. Listen people, you either want law enforcement that protects and handles “thugs”, or you want “thugs” to be set free or not touched at all no matter what they do, burn, loot, beat up people.
After 1 a.m., a line of about 20 police officers stood in riot gear as a crowd of about 100 remained, breaking into occasional chants; police played a recording stating the gathering was unlawful and telling people to leave.
I have not been out in six months due to health problems, not Covid-19, I do not know if I am lucky or not. However, all of this is what is happening in my neck of the woods along with a few of my own opinions tossed in.