(Update at bottom of diary... new video compilation footage in!)
The Solidarity Sing Along continues to grow in Madison. Walker's palace guards are obviously getting frustrated, as the press is breaking less and less in their favor. Generally speaking, folks don't think that people should get arrested, handcuffed, dragged down the hallway, processed and fined or jailed merely for singing historical protest songs. Instead of dialing their aggression back a little, the police went whole hog today, taking down two young African American singers, and dealing with one of them with a vehemence and force that can only be described as excessive.
video by Jeremy Ryan
Here is a view from the balcony:
video by Rebecca Kemble
Damon Terrell was merely observing when the police approached him. They had just arrested his brother, who sat down passively and continued to sing. Damon put his hands up and visibly tried to back away. As he did, they ran at him, tackled him hard to the marble floor, immobilized him, shouted at the singers who were quite obviously disturbed by the brutality of the handling, and picked him up, running down the hall in a phalanx as if they had just apprehended a violent criminal.
Previous to this treatment, Terrell had been complaining to one of the capitol police about the unlawful arrests of the singers. You can see that footage here. Was his fate sealed at this moment? The cops seem to come into the crowd looking for someone, see his brother and take him down. You can see that footage here. (Sorry, these links are Facebook videos, which do not embed here on Kos). They then go after him, and from what we can see, he doesn't seem to be doing anything out of the ordinary.
They've arrested priests, firemen, old ladies, old men, children, and countless citizens who feel that we shouldn't need to get permission to protest our elected government. The whole thing is beyond embarrassing for the state, and for the United States. Every time they take it up a notch, a score or more singers appear the next day. Is it fair to ask why the police have been unusually brutal (compared with a lot of aggressive arresting in the last month!) with two young black men? Is it because Damon "disrespected" an officer by questioning authority? Is it because they were singing? Is it because the cops have absolutely no idea how to handle the situation, and are looking to try to escalate the peaceful singers to violent response, so they can demonize them?
Be careful, oh peaceful protestors. The machine feeds on violence, and it hopes to engulf you in hot flames of rage.
UPDATE: New video compilation
video by Aurthur Kohl-Riggs