Recently, Madison city council passed a buffer zone ordinance. This buffer zone is a "floating" one creating a somewhat protective bubble of 8 feet around all persons within 160 feet of any health care facility. As with all buffer zone proposals, this one was met with some opposition. Often disguised as a concern for their right to free speech, anti choice groups speak out against these laws but in reality are just looking for a pass to insert themselves into a person's very private and personal decisions regarding their own health care. Amongst the opponents of these laws is a man named Matt Bowman who authored an absurdly argued and misleading op-ed featured in The Wisconsin State Journal.
There seems to be much confusion regarding the first amendment right to free speech and the constitutionality of the floating buffer zone. That’s understandable as our rights are not as clear cut as we’d like to believe.
"If you're looking for role models, don't look for politicians. Look for these people out there protesting every day. I think it's great we're finally 50 years later seeing a crackdown on folk music. I guess if Scott Walker had been around 50 years ago, he could have stopped Bob Dylan before he influenced The Beatles, we'd all listen to Pat Boone still. But I do think you're going to see the real heroes here, and I would love to see the eyes of America turn to those people in the Capitol. They're out there protesting injustice, petitioning for redress of grievances, as the founding fathers did, every single day. And they make me proud to be an American."
The sing along began as the capitol occupation ended. It serves as a place where union members, activists, and citizens can come together and rejuvenate their spirits through song as they fight the dividing actions of Governor Scott Walker and other Republican legislators.
The first Solidarity Sing Along (SSA) occurred on March 11th, 2011. It has happened every weekday at noon ever since.
Consecutive weekday noon hour SSAs at the capitol
citations in the past two weeks alone
people cited in the past two weeks alone
(including Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, Jeff “The Dude" Dowd, Holly Near, Arlo Guthrie, Jill Stein, Len Wallace, Carlos Arredondo, Medea Benjamin, and many more.)
out of town and out of state participants
Hundreds of thousands:
dollars in fines
Please learn more about the Solidarity Sing Along and consider donating to the First Amendment Protection Fund.
All donations are used to defray the direct legal costs associated with defending citations in court including:
Court Filing Fees
And now, a few of my favorite moments from the SSA...
In 1993, in Texas:
I was just months into my first year as a teenager when I found out I was pregnant...
Despite my history, I have never felt it necessary to speak out on this subject until now. I'm saddened that a town as wonderful as Madison has prompted me to do so.
I hope our legislators and residents will consider my words when they are faced with decisions with regards to our homeless citizens.
I am originally from Texas. Austin to be exact which is why I fit in to my new home, Madison, Wisconsin, so well, I think. Many generations back, my family has been born and raised in Texas. I began my working life there and was employed until I left giving me over ten years of working experience in that state. I'm a cook by trade but have also worked as a barista, waitress, dishwasher, prep cook, landscaper, tiling contractor, every position at McDonald's, worked my way up to managing several shops and kitchens, and a few other jobs I'd rather pretend never existed. And I had no idea what a union was until 2010.
A group of fifteen French workers visited the Bainport camp yesterday with a filmmaker, a lawyer, and a journalist in tow. These visitors came to show solidarity with the workers of the Sensata plant. The pain that is being experienced in Freeport is a feeling they know all too well and they wanted to encourage these Americans to continue to fight for their livelihood.
People are camping out under the stars in Freeport, Illinois. Unfortunately, it's not for fun. This rural area is now home to 175 people who will be out of work by Christmas of 2012 and they are reaching out to Mitt Romney and anyone else who might listen. Across from the Sensata plant lies Stephenson County Fairgrounds, which residents, employees and former employees of Sensata Technologies have dubbed "Bainport". Bainport now serves as a place for protest, gathering, and support for soon to be former Sensata employees.