With One Sweeping Move Dane County DA Violates Rights and Turns Jail Into Concentration Camp

The day was August 25, 2011.   There were hundreds of people in the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda, most left.  Thirteen, including myself, refused to leave.  We were booked into jail under charges of Unlawful Assembly and Disorderly Conduct then released.  Two days later, Robin Vos gets beer poured on his head allegedly by Miles Kristan, one of our brothers in solidarity.  The GOP in Wisconsin goes crazy demanding that everyone be sent to jail.  Well today, they got their wish and with it we lost the one department that has actually upheld justice.  Today in court CJ and Damon Terrell as well as Thi Le went to court, an attorney appeared on behalf of Jenna Pope and myself.  I am not sure whether or not the sixth person showed up.  In court the District Attorneys office asked that a signature bond be set, standard procedure.

What wasn’t standard was that they also requested we sign that we will not break any administrative codes.  Over ninety percent of all arrests by this group were for violations of the constitution.  They arrest us under administrative codes for doing things like silently filming our legislature or holding a sign on the first floor of the rotunda.  Many of these battles we have won.  If we were to sign off to that we would be signing away our First Amendment rights.  So the three that showed up refused.  They were taken to jail immediately for a period upwards of ten days.  This is not justice.  The Dane County District Attorney’s Office has shown clearly that they now want to follow the GOP and turn the jail into a concentration camp for political activists.  I am currently in Washington DC.  I have ten days to turn myself in.  Then I, as well, will sit with the rest of them.

What does it mean to have freedom?  To me it means that you do not follow societal rules and you realize that your personal freedom is located in your rights and upholding them.  If I were to follow unconstitutional orders I would not be free.  I would be enslaved to the very system in which the Government uses to suppress the very rights that our troops die for.  The District Attorneys office has, in one swoop, spit on the face of freedom, democracy, and the Constitution.  I would rather sit in jail knowing I still have my rights then be out of jail following orders that violate them.  Chris Freeman, the District Attorney handling these cases, should be ashamed of himself.  Locking up peaceful protesters for days to months is only done to control us.  It is done because we are viewed as a threat to the system as it stands now.  I will not stand for it and neither should you.  I am putting out two calls to action.  The first, flood the Dane County Jail with bodies.  Surround the building and every square inch of visible property around it until these people are released (I will soon be one of them).  Then flood their phones.  Everyone should call the office at (608)-266-4211 and let them know what you think about them spitting on that which our troops have fought and lost life and limb for.  That which makes our country great.  And make sure you note that you will not vote for District Attorney Ishmael Ozanne if these people are not released immediately.

Jeremy Ryan

Executive Director

Defending Wisconsin PAC



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