Friday, November 24th, 2017

A tale of two protests


Publication:Waukesha Freeman (Conley); Date:May 3, 2012; Section:Opinion; Page Number:8A

A tale of two protests
Occupiers in Madison as May Day marchers rally in Milwaukee

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is no stranger to protesting. He made a name for himself protesting in his adopted city. He’s been arrested and beaten during demonstrations. He even led a student strike in college.

So when Soglin says that the Occupy movement in Madison has become nothing more than “a haven for drug use, domestic abuse, assault and property crime,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal, he’s probably not overreacting.

Cleaning out the Occupy movement from its encampment will not be a simple matter of folding up the tents and filling Dumpsters. Madison is going to treat the campsite as a hazardous waste site due to the needles and bodily fluids contaminating the area.

The Occupy movement has been described as the political left’s answer to the tea party movement. Perhaps, and it’s worth noting that both are representative of their causes.

In the case of the tea party, crowds of people show up at rallies, listen to speeches about freedom and the Constitution of the United States, then pick up their trash and go home. Many of the tea party members go to work the next day or work at their small businesses, generally constituting the productive side of society.

They’re the ones considered dangerous by the media and watched for any signs that they might say something mean or politically incorrect.

The Occupy movement is a bunch of squatters that contaminate their surroundings and demand their irresponsible behavior be indulged. Their squatting villages contribute to crime, disease, vermin, and the general decay of the surrounding area.

In other cities, the Occupy movement is noted for smashing storefronts, violent clashes with police, attempts to disrupt commerce and trade, even stories of rape, violence, and drug use.

They claim to be representative of 99 percent of us, but they’re really just irresponsible people demanding irresponsible public policies and we’re supposed to just indulge them.

The Democratic Party must be so proud of the Occupy movement out there reminding us what would happen if the political left in this country was completely unfettered in pursuing its goals.

But the goals of the Occupy movement are just so noble, right? Well, except for the calls for the destruction of capitalism and Western society. And then there are the calls for general strikes and violent revolution.

It doesn’t matter because the anarchists look so cool in their Che Guevara T-shirts and “V for Vendetta” masks.

But those tea party people. Man, are they dangerous. They’re actually demanding the government live by the rule of law, that it live within its means, and that people should be left alone to pursue the American dream.

What a bunch of radicals!

* * *

I had the opportunity to attend the May Day rallies in Milwaukee sponsored by Voces de la Frontera on Sunday. The rallies were mostly in support of rights for illegal immigrants.

Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk was there, the only gubernatorial candidate in attendance. She told the assembled crowd, “I am proud to stand with Voces de la Frontera and you. And as your governor I will continue standing with you and Voces de la Frontera. Solidarity!”

Voces de la Frontera endorsed Falk in the Democratic primary.

Falk is already known for the deal she cut with the unions for their support when she pledged to veto any state budget that did not include full restoration of collective bargaining for public employees.

So the question is, what did Falk promise Voces de la Frontera for their support? What does “solidarity” mean to her and Voces?

Is Falk in favor of turning Wisconsin into a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants? Will she give illegal immigrants the right to pay in-state tuition at state universities? Will bilingual education become mandatory in the schools statewide? What about driver’s licenses?

Democrats may want to know the full extent of Falk’s promises to special interests around the state before voting for her. If Democrats don’t ask her before the primary, Republicans will afterward should she become the nominee.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)


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