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,