Citations issued to Capitol activists at their homes
Post by Emily Mills on 9/11/2012 9:00am
MADISON - Citations were issued to at least three individuals at their homes Monday afternoon for their actions earlier in the day at the daily protest event at the Capitol.
Jason Huberty and Lisa Wells said officers from the Capitol Police knocked on their door around 4:20 p.m. and presented them with tickets for holding banners over the railing without a permit and obstructing access.
New Capitol Police Chief David Erwin announced in late August that he intended to crack down on protest activity at the Capitol, enforcing Department of Administration rules enacted in December of last year requiring permits for groups of four or more and holding signs in the building, among other things.
The ACLU of Wisconsin had asked then Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs not to enforce the rules until their constitutionality had been established, and law enforcement had mostly allowed the daily Solidarity Sing-Along and other related events to go on without issuing citations.
Twelve people were arrested last week for what police said were violations of
section 2.07(2) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, which reads:
No displays, signs, banners, placards, decorations or graphic or artistic material may be erected, attached, mounted or displayed within or on the building or the grounds of any state office building or facility without the express written authority of the department.
Monday's tickets were issued for violations of sections 2.14(2)(v) - "obstruct access, passage, etc. (no permit) - and "holding signs over railings-prohibited" 2.08(1)(b).
Brandon Barwick, who was leading the sing-along Monday, was also ticketed for obstructing access without a permit. Police caught up to him at the Capitol early Monday evening after first trying to find him at his home.
Huberty said they were given no indication that they would be ticketed while at the event.
"I went to the Solidarity Sing Along like I have for the past 18 months," Huberty said. "I held a banner like we have for every sing along. The police came up to ask me to hold the sign with my hands. I said I was. They asked me not to hold it over the railing since there was a safety concern. I said no and they walked away without warning me about getting a ticket or telling me I was getting a warning."
Capitol Police had not been reached for comment as of press time.
Photo by Leslie Peterson.
Emily Mills is Editor-At-Large for Dane101, as well as Editor of Our Lives Magazine. She is also a freelance writer, photographer, actor, and musician (drummer and singer in local band Little Red Wolf). Originally from several states up and down the Midwest Emily has called Madison home since 2000. Contact her at