When elected members of the Wisconsin State Legislature resort to this amount of excessive security they might need to take a group retreat and ponder if they are indeed doing the people’s business?
I do not recall security at the Wisconsin State Capitol being as excessive following the events of 9/11, as it has been since Governor Walker proposed curtailing collective bargaining earlier this year. I was not sure if I should be angry or sad on Saturday while watching the grim-faced officers at one of the two open entrances.
Regardless of how I felt it was clear that there was a dramatic flair being put forth to somehow continue to insinuate that labor ‘thugs’ had bad intentions, and only the ever-vigilant law officers could protect the building and all inside. There clearly is a desire to convey a political message with the use of these officers that far exceeds the actual results of their work.
One needs to ask how much political theater is enough at a time when budget shortfalls make almost every issue of the newspaper. How much more do taxpayers need to spend in order for Governor Walker’s administration to feel that they have made their point?
We all get it. Republicans think labor unions are comprised of violent people who are out to create mayhem. The lack of any such violence, however, underscores the reason the over-reach by the Wisconsin Department of Administration needs to be stopped.
Even when tens-of-thousands gathered at the Capitol there was nothing more serious than full-throated expressions of outrage. All the protesting that took place was peaceful. It was only when attempts were made to curtail entrances that some pushed and became unruly.
As I watched my fellow citizens enter the statehouse Saturday, all who looked as lethal as I do, I wondered how law enforcement would handle the children who entered the building. Could they do their work and not smile at the absurdity of making a kid feel like they were just shy of a police lineup?
What were the officers thinking the 8-year-old looking African-American girl was bringing into the statehouse? Radioactive M&M’s? Is that why they not only had her walk through a metal detector, but then pulled her aside to be wanded? Following her standing with arms outstretched she was then allowed to walk into her Capitol. Are they sure she should not be followed and monitored as she laid on her back to look up at the dome in the center of the building?
What I saw again on Saturday offends me!
Over and over the parade took place as scores of taxpayers went through the charade just in order to make entrance to their statehouse. I realize this has been happening every day for many weeks, but to again see this up close makes me wonder how anyone thinks this is logical. More importantly, who will fight to bring this to an end?
At the north entrance many years ago was the office I temporarily worked in while our wing of the Capitol was undergoing remodeling. People came in and out, the halls were alive with lobbyists, school groups, and fellow staffers. There was accessibility and freedom of movement. Now there is a law enforcement set-up that makes me wonder just what type of nefarious plot is hoping to be caught. As I stood there Saturday I pondered the changes that have taken place and wondered how far can we slip into this wave of needless hysteria.
That this is being done for political reasons, as opposed to sound security purposes, should alarm and anger us. If there is something to be frightened over, this hyped-up security for political purposes would be it!