Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Prairie Protest Revisited

I am not sure how to get into today's post.  The Prairie Grlz never intended for this blog to be a forum for our political views, although both of us are very passionate about what is going on in Wisconsin right now.  I'll try to sidestep the politics a bit, and focus on the emotions.

Yesterday I came as close as I'd ever imagined to being arrested. In fact, I may have been arrested.  I was told that I had been identified as an unlawful protester. I was asked if I would leave. I said I would not.  My sign was torn from my hands, and then the police officer reached for my hands to cuff me.

That is when a scuffle broke out on the other side of the capitol rotunda, and the officer ran to assist.  I picked up my sign and continued singing.  The police left, taking several protesters with them.  I assumed that they would come back for me, but they didn't.  
After the last protest song echoed through that great expanse, I packed up my sign, and song book, and headed for the door.  I wasn't quite sure if I was evading my own arrest, but no one yelled after me.  I did check over my should a few times.

So I escaped a misdemeanor charge and a $200 fine.  Part of me is relieved.  It is the end of the summer, and I haven't seen a real paycheck since June.  I can't afford the fine.  This was my fifth trip to the capitol, and each time I saw people around me taken away--a 14 year-old, a clergy-person  a firefighter, an 80 year-old. The capitol police force is not substantial enough to arrest all, so they single out up to 20 people a day.  I figured my time would come, and I guess this was the day--sort of.  Disappointed?  A bit. Perhaps more than a bit.  I wouldn't have been there if I wasn't sure of my convictions.

And what was I thinking about as I stood among those lawless Americans?  Well, I thought a lot about my mom.  She was an ardent supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was about ten when she told me about peaceful civil disobedience, and tried to explain how important it is.  How sometimes you have to break a bad law in order to get a better law passed.  How you can't always accept what those in power tell you, even when you are scared. 

I thought about my daughters and grandchildren.  My youngest came with me to the capitol one day.  After the hour-long protest, she joined me from the observers' balcony.  She hugged me and told me how proud she was of me.  What an incredibly sweet moment.

My youngest, Maia, is on the far left with Prairie Eydie.
This was my last day at the noon protest.  Summer break is over, and I have to be in school this morning at 8 AM.  I feel sad.  I will miss the camaraderie, the quirkiness, the essence of Madison.  As I brown-bag-it at my desk, I will be at the capitol in spirit.

And this is a picture of the Wisconsin State Capitol that I took last Saturday.  My farmers' market stand enjoys this view every week.  I love this building and what it stands for.  Inside the rotunda dome is a gorgeous mosaic of Lady Justice.  I've been thinking about her a lot lately. 

In a pensive mood,
Prairie Sherry


  1. I found the videos of Monday's arrests particularly disturbing after seeing the film "The Butler" on Sunday...

    Blessings to all the singers for their courage. Blessings to you for sharing your thoughts, demonstrating your strength and for a gorgeous photo of our Capitol!

  2. I mourn for what that defiled temple to democracy has become. I think of all the times over the years that we have come to worship, practicing the sacraments; lobbying, testifying, protesting, observing. By the sacred name of Eugene Orowitz, we will cleanse that place and make it holy once again. Mark my words.