Stop Police Harassment of Protesters

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Target: Chief David M. Erwin, Wisconsin Capitol Police

Goal: Stop issuing arbitrary citations to peaceful protestors

Nothing is more reminiscent of a police state than peaceful protesters being hauled off by uniformed officers. The Wisconsin Capitol Police, the department responsible for policing state property, realizes this. Even though they have handcuffed and carried away some of the determined people who continue to protest the way the state treats its public school teachers, they have taken to a more subtle approach.

Many Wisconsin Solidarity Singers, who have made it their mission to aid progressive causes for years, continue to be harassed by the police force and have recently started receiving citations, some of which are delivered in the mail. These citations are given without prior warning and seem to come at random. The citations are for a range of arbitrary code violations and over 80 have been issued to over 30 people.

It’s obvious that the police are simply annoyed with the protesters and are willing to attempt to deter them by bringing them up on trumped up charges. Unfortunately for them, annoying the police is not a crime in America (as much as they would like it to be) and it is in fact a right and even a duty in some cases. The police want to make a minor inconvenience go away by trampling on the democratic process with their constant, unfair harassment. The Wisconsin Capitol Police must stop issuing arbitrary citations to protesters and those already issued should be made null and void.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chief Erwin,

Your department’s continued harassment of protesters is a failure of democracy. Because they are an inconvenience to you and your staff, you deem it necessary to arrest them and issue citations. Can you honestly say that by doing this you are serving and protecting the public? It seems that you are trying to trample upon the rights granted to citizens of this country.

Do you have no respect for the right to peacefully protest? It seems that you and your department do not. These protesters are not causing any harm and are speaking out against something that they feel is unjust. Just because these protests make your job harder is not a reason to treat these activists as criminals, looking to charge them with crimes and violations at every turn. Annoying the police is not a crime and you will never be able to make it one. Stop harassing these protesters and let the democratic process flourish because it is that very system that allows you to maintain such power.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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245 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Marianne Oelman
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Holly Hall
  • Jutta Taraniuk
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  • Ricki Newman
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