Madness in Madison – Closing the Capitol

By YeOldeScribe ~ February 28th, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

The previous post on the Budget Repair Bill and cronyism was longer than expected, so we just wanted to finish up the night with one update on a recent development in Madison. Capitol Police had announced the planned closure of the State Capitol building at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27 so that the building could be cleaned. Protesters have filled the building for the previous two weeks, and many brought in sleeping bags and stayed in the building overnight throughout the protests. Capitol Police have been closely monitoring the situation, and made the announcement out of concern for public health and safety. However, many protesters felt that they were being unfairly targeted and planned to refuse to leave, arguing that they had a right to be in the capitol until the Budget Crisis was resolved.

While supports the protesters in Wisconsin capitol (and peaceful protests across the nation pressing the progressive agenda forward), let’s take a look at the facts. There have been tens – and recently hundreds – of thousands of people in the capitol building every day for the past two weeks. Many of those people have been there the whole time, even sleeping in the building. Keep in mind, this is (well, it’s supposed to be) a place where politics takes place – the building isn’t meant to be a campground, nor was it really meant to hold so many people over a prolonged period of time. As anyone who has ever been to a concert before can tell you, a large amount of people in tight quarters doesn’t necessarily lead to the most sanitary conditions. It’s our opinion that the Capitol Police have every right to close down the building overnight on Sunday so that protests could resume safely (read: disease free) on Monday.

Keep in mind this order didn’t come from Governor Walker; it came directly from the Capitol Police – and Madison Police hasn’t exactly been friendly with Gov. Walker as of late. Those who argue that this is just another of Walker’s tactics to silence dissidents are sorely misinformed and really off the mark here – as far as we can tell, the governor didn’t even have anything to do with this decision.

Besides, Capitol Police allowed those who chose to defy the order to vacate the premises to stay in the building overnight, and no arrests were made. While there’s plenty of valid criticism over Gov. Walker’s decisions in the past two weeks, this one shouldn’t be counted against him – First, because it’s a good idea to have a sanitary building for protesters; Second, it wasn’t even his call to close the building; and Third, the whole thing became a non-issue when the protesters were allowed to stay.

While the Capitol Police won’t let you bring in a sleeping bag or air mattress into the capitol anymore, I’m sure they won’t stop you from bringing in some hand sanitizer  and a bottle of Axe. In fact, they might even move you to the front of the line.

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2 Responses to Madness in Madison – Closing the Capitol

  1. Haywood Caffarelli

    I found your site browsing around and really enjoyed clicking around. I wish there were more sites like yours. I’ll be coming back and hope that you continue adding more interesting posts.

  2. YeOldeScribe

    Thanks Haywood! We’ll be adding new posts daily, starting with two fresh ones tonight! Stay tuned, and glad you like the site!


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