Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lost Time: Battle for Wisconsin, Day 11

Sometimes technology just fails you. I spent several hours at the capitol today, sending information and photos about the protests to Twitter via my fancy schmancy new phone (specifically through HootSuite), only to come home tonight to find that none of my posts had actually, y'know, posted.

More than a little frustrating, but not the end of the world.

What I saw today was pretty amazing, though - a continuation of the impromptu community that's sprung up in the rotunda, with several tables of free, donated food (including vegan options, natch), a lending library, first aid station, and even a roped off "family area" for kids and parents to hang out and play.

The rotunda is covered in signs of all sorts - some showing solidarity from far away states, some displaying good humor about the situation, some displaying crucial information about events and organizing as well as background facts on the current situation. There's a huge paper banner covered in signatures from people pledging to go on general strike should the bill pass, and a whole wing on the second floor covered with messages from individuals to Scott Walker expressing their opposition.

The firefighters continue to rally to show support and almost always do so with the help of their bagpipe and drum corps. I ran into a gent dressed as the Predator outside on the capitol steps. The first piece of #wiunion related graffiti I've seen in nearly two weeks of action, which shows remarkable restraint, I think.

I'm told that tonight several elected officials are camping out with the protesters in the rotunda. On Saturday there's been a call to hold solidarity rallies at capitol buildings in all 50 states.

It's both strange and wonderful to find yourself in the middle of such an enormous and important historical moment. I have been nothing but impressed and inspired by the fortitude and dedication of the multitudes of Wisconsin residents and out-of-state friends who've committed to seeing this thing through. I can only hope that the momentum remains even after this particular battle is fought and done.

Tomorrow I'm taking an official day off from everything and heading to Milwaukee for a mountain bike clinic at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park. I'm hoping it will go a long way toward refreshing me and rebooting my brain to tackle the days ahead.

Many thanks, too, to everyone on Twitter and around the internet who've been keeping up with all of this and doing what they can to help spread information. When my technology isn't acting up, you can follow me, too, for updates and the like @millbot.


Anonymous said...

so sorry to hear that your posts were lost -- i was actually wondering where in the twitterverse you were today! thought maybe you still had a cold...

i've been taking photos of the amazing "society" that has been evolving in the capitol over the past few days -- you can see them at

please let me know what you think :-)

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your stuff. Been thinking about all my Madison friends. Stay strong!

Anonymous said...

I think it is terrible how the “imported” protesters are treating our state Capitol Building! They treat it like a dump. Their garbage overflows.

The “imported” protesters also behave like animals, using bad behavior inside our state Capital building that is appalling too see. They show of disrespect for the elected officials and the legislative chamber itself is beyond the pail. It does NOT earn my respect for their “cause” it only repels me and everyone I know.

In ANY other state house any yelling screaming or trashing inside the building would have been met with being escorted OUT by Security for disruption of the process in the people’s house.

I think the Sercurity should ask for ID from the protesters inside the building to prove that they are citizens of Wisconsin and not imported union thugs bussed in from out-of-state!

I really do not care what imported out-of-state thugs think about our laws and legal process in Wisconsin.

Emily said...

Anon @ 9am: I'm not sure which capitol building you're talking about, because the one in Madison has been kept overwhelmingly clean and orderly. Here has been no violence, no threats to legislators from those in the building. The majority of the protesters are Wisconsin citizens. I know because I've been down here almost every day.

You may have a beef with the cause itself and that's fine, but it doesn't give you the right to make up outright falsehoods about the actual situation down there.

The Lost Albatross