Citations Issued for Spontaneous Event at Wisconsin Capitol

By Leslie Amsterdam and Nicole Schulte

The recent Wisconsin Capitol crackdown under the leadership of Chief David Erwin has resulted in another round of citations making their way to citizens’ homes via Certified mail. On Friday and Saturday, four more individuals received two citations each for 2.14(2)(k) and (v) bringing the total for September to 20 people and 43 tickets with many more expected. The tickets are the result of a spontaneous event that occurred in the Capitol rotunda on Friday September 14, 2012 after the Solidarity Sing Along finished their noon hour song circle, which was held outside. At least two others received notices for missed Certified mail, so there is an expectation that more participants will receive their pink citation slips.

A spontaneous Speak Out and circle in the Capitol rotunda on 9/14/12. Photo: Leslie Amsterdam

Greg Gordon’s letter and citations from his presence at the Capitol 9/14/12. Photo: Greg Gordon

Greg Gordon, Sue Trace, Karen Kinsley, and Greg Kinsley all received citations in the last 48 hours for an incident that happened on September 14, 2012 when several people began walking in a circle around the rotunda while others read out loud from the Wisconsin State Facilities Access Policy. The ordinance violations are: 2.14(2)(k) Disorderly Conduct  and 2.14(2)(v) Obstruct Access, passage etc. (NO-PERMIT). The citations arrived along with a letter from Capitol Police Officer Davis explaining the determination of issuing the tickets. A State Facilities permit application was included as well, presumably because the citations were issued because the participants of the brief spontaneous event did not have a permit for their activities. All in all, up to 18 individuals walked around the rotunda for several minutes. Some spoke out loud or chanted, while others remained silent. Four high school students visiting the Capitol joined in the circle. The entire spontaneous event was over in about 30 minutes.

CPO Andrew Hyatt videotaping the proceedings on the ground and first floors from the second floor of the Capitol on 9/14/12.

It is unclear how many more individuals have citations coming. Of the 18 participants of the event, 14 have attended the Solidarity Sing Along.  WCMC is not in contact with the four high school students. Four other citations have already been delivered to citizens who were present at the arrest of Dawn Henke, which occurred immediately after the circle in the rotunda dispersed.

Capitol police routinely videotape events and activities at the Capitol and they have stated that their video footage from that day is still under review. The footage is being used to issue citations after the fact to citizens who were inside the Capitol during the events in question. WCMC will update this story as others involved are issued citations.

Watch video of the spontaneous event here:

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4 Comments on “Citations Issued for Spontaneous Event at Wisconsin Capitol”

  1. Barb T (@Barb1024) September 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    I am having a problem even understanding what was being said due to the echo in the building. I don’t know if anyone else can tell what was said, but I sure can’t

  2. tedvothjr September 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Just watched part of 60 Minute’s segment with Gen John Allen, the Marine currently commanding US forces in Afghanistan. I felt déjà vu, harking back to the futile US efforts to conquer Vietnam.

    But even more poignantly I’m put in mind of the current Capitol Police Chief– a former Marine DI, I’m told– and his campaign to free the Capitol of those of us who insist we need no permit to be there other than the 1st Amendment to the US Costitution.

    I quote, lest any of you are ignorant of it:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    We are the ‘natives’, we are the Afghans, if you will, or the Vietnamese, if you please, and the Capitol is Vietnam, or Afghanistan, as you choose. The natives always win an asymetrical war with a smaller, even though technologically superior, doctrinally rigid, foreign invader. I promise you this fight will last exactly as long as you want it to, Erwin, Huebsch, Walker, because we are there, and we will fight you to the end.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity.

    Make it easy on yourself. Quit wasting your officers’ time and driving them mad, and the citizens’ money, and give up. Your cases will all be thrown out of court, or if they aren’t they’ll all go to the long costly jury trials we are going to ask for, more citizens’ money wasted. You are losing; you’re going to lose; you will lose.

    You’re not as bright as we are, as you’re surely beginning to realize. Any one of us can out think 2 or 3 of you. And we are in the right.

    PS, Walker: there is one way you might be able to get us out of your hair: resign.

    PPS, to you of the Media: at least you’re not threatened with the loss of your 1st Amendment rights; you gave them up long ago with your diligent self-censorship. Most people I talk to don’t even know Erwin nearly killed one of us, a young disabled vet with a severe heart problem in the Capitol…

    to my friends; confusion, frustration, and destruction to those who’ve made themselves my enemies and the enemies of my Constitution;

    Jesus is LORD.

    Ted Voth Jr,

  3. tedvothjr September 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Correction: To my friends, all my love <3<3,<
    3; confusion, frustration, and destruction to those who've made themselves my enemies…

    • DawnH October 1, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Tedd, you’re amazing. I have so much love and admiration for you. You are a true hero, and you are a shining beacon of light showing what I wish more Christians would be like. To live in the steps of Jesus is far more important than to follow the steps of a corrupt church. You truly are amazing and I am so glad that you were there to defend me. I am still infinitely sorry for what happened to you as a result, but I can tell you that you and I are brother and sister fighting against this evil regime that would oppress voters, steal elections, endanger innocent lives for infractions that not only are not criminal in nature, but warrant only a ticket (if that, it is easily argued that none of us deserve any of these tickets as they are continually violating our rights).
      I will return to the SSA next week. I am still working out the plans of all I wish to do, but I will keep you in the loop as I think my presence in the Capitol will be a constant one, until Erwin personally apologizes to me (and to you) for the way this situation was handled, and until he personally admits to out right LYING in his interviews, of which there are many, but I will be happy to point out the one where he says people have been warned. I have never, not once, had an incident with a Capitol Police officer. I had never been warned, never been asked to stop what I was doing, never was told that anything I was doing was wrong. I was simply swarmed by CP on my way out of a peaceful expression of our rights where I felt the need to express my discontentment with the way that a sworn officer, and veteran was essentially destroying the constitution. I swore an oath to uphold that both when I joined the military, as well as when I joined the USPS. I will continue to obey that oath and I will continue to be a presence in the Capitol until they change their tactics.
      And responding to Erwin’s lies about how there has been a change in our demeanor, I’d like to ask him specifically, how so? Is it that we are no longer being swarmed by officers the entire time and having video cameras put within 12 inches of our faces (I have the photographs to prove these intimidation tactics)? Is it that the CP took a few steps back after they sent a disabled veteran to the hospital and a loving gentleman to the jail? Just what is it that Erwin has decided has changed? And we are now “holding our banners as we should?” Really? So does that mean that we weren’t holding them before (we were)? And if we are doing what we are supposed to, then why, oh why, are they still being ticketed for holding said banners?
      I like Felix’s idea of adapting the Tom Petty song “I won’t back down” to “We won’t back down.” It’s perfectly fitting.
      I am going to be sure that our voices are heard and I will be consulting with my lawyer before doing so so that I do not hurt my case and so that I do not do anything that the lawyers feel is illegal (though I am sure Erwin will find five different tickets to write, so be it).
      I will be in touch. We did not start this battle, but we will win this war. The Constitution trumps any/all “policies” and “guidelines” that Erwin is citing, so Erwin is going to (eventually) be sent packing with his tail between his legs. And I’d venture to guess that good ol’ Scotty will have a harder time replacing him this go around.

      “You can stand us up at the gates of jail but we, won’t back down!”

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