propositions press 2.1 ... moving through the corridors of the radical midwest ... from madison, third report - propositions press... 2.0

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sarah lynn

This is excellent Dan! I'm especially interested in the ideas of space that you evoke-- both the visual space being filmed at the capitol and the space of districts that determine elections.
Also, I would love to come up for the rural/urban meeting. I'm meeting with a farmer on Friday, maybe Sat. will work?

Linda Xx

Please check your history!

THE WI CAPITOL WAS OCCUPIED ON 1985 FOR ANTI-APARTHEID! I WAS THERE! I am not sure of the dates, but I think we took the capitol for longer than this occupation! Learn your history!

Linda Xx

a labor temple, a free speech zone…in the freakin’ state Capitol building! When does that ever happen?! This will not be erased from memory anytime soon

wow ... you already erased the past occupation. We had all this in 1985. Please learn your progressive history!

Linda Xx

After three weeks, we can say definitively: Scott Walker has been the greatest gift to the American left since Richard Nixon, and maybe even since Bull Connor.

Ben Masel said that the Fitzgerald who got appointed to head the state police is the meanest sob on the block -- meaner than Bull Connor. So, I guess we will find out when we see what happens next. But, I advise people to be prepared for some utter nastiness!

oh, and I just corresponded with Ben and he said we held the capitol for two weeks, in 1985.

Dan S Wang

Hi Linda, maybe you could fill us in about the occupation history. I mean, instead of just yelling at me for being ignorant, you know? Also, my information came from Nicolas Lampert, who is a very good researcher and historian of social movements...I'm sure he'd appreciate the story, too.


thanks for this. I have been trying to figure out how to act moving forward, I will make sure that my other activites do not pre-empt my participation in the marches at the capitol.

Linda Ellen

Sorry for the caps.

Some of us were discussing this on our facebook page and we wanted to let you know that the 1985 occupation was also the first internet occupation. Ben Masel brought his computer into the rotunda and blogged to bulletin boards from it while we were there.

The protest was voted to end peacefully by those who were there, although it was a contentious debate and vote. After the vote some were quite upset and said that the students had sold us out -- there was some conflict between the students and the hippies.

One thing the occupation did was to arrange a meeting with a man from a group -- I think the South African Congress -- and the Wisconsin governor. I was in that meeting; it was quite an impressive event (old age has wiped names from my mind, sorry, but pretty sure the group I mention).

Another thing which happened was that the hippies took over the glass bank, because it was a major investor in apartheid. And, the cops hauled people out and to jail. That made the front page of the newspaper.

So, there were different tactics by different folks, which gave a wide variety of events to get involved in. We also had all the drums, and signs, and speakers, and etc. But ... we never got locked down or out!

Once during the event a republican staffer came up to me and said she agreed with us, but couldn't be caught talking to us and then she ran off. That was fun.

I suggested to someone else that they come here and make notes. Maybe they will. The newspapers covered it at the time, check the archives.

My son was interviewed by the newspaper, but I was in the middle of a child custody case so I wouldn't allow his name to be published. The press wrote, "... third graders slept in the rotunda ..." that would be my child. They were some of the few there, not like this time where there are more children. I still have that newspaper somewhere.

This was also the time period when the spear fishing was happening, and a man made a passionate speech about that -- the apartheid of Wisconsin -- the bloody fights at the docks as the Native Americans fought for their rights. It blew my mind, very memorable.

Maybe I will share more later.

Dan S Wang

Thank you for sharing, Linda. We can all use a reminder about the inspiring moments from before. What a great account. I love reading about it because I like to tell my students that in my experience the 80s was in fact a highly political decade, esp on campuses.

Dominic Caraccilo

The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.

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