The video of the Wisconsin activists who were arrested for using a camera inside the state assembly on Tuesday was posted today on Youtube today.
Considering there is no actual law in the books that makes it illegal to use cameras in the state assembly, the 18 activists were charged with the vague crime of “other conduct prohibited,” which is more of a catch-all charge than the usual disorderly conduct charge you get with these contempt-of-cop cases.
But to be honest, the cops making the arrests appear to be just going through the motions, not allowing their personal feelings to get in the way of trampling on the First Amendment rights of citizens.
Arthur Kohl-Riggs, who shot the video (and who was arrested for disorderly conduct last month for shooting video), said that’s because they have been reprimanded for using excessive force in the past, so “they are on strict orders to be extra gentle.”
Meanwhile, a group of activists who were arrested in March for holding up signs filed a lawsuit on Friday.
A group of Capitol protesters sued the state Department of Administration on Friday alleging that a state administrative rule that bans signs and banners from state buildings is unconstitutional.
The six plaintiffs — Jeremy Ryan, Laurie Harty, Anne Hoppe, Kathleen Hoppe, Jenna Pope and Valerie Walasek, all of Madison — were all cited by Capitol police in March for holding signs inside the Capitol in violation of the administrative rule, which makes it a $500 fine for anyone to display or affix a sign without written permission of the state Department of Administration.
The rule and its enforcement violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit seeks to have the rule declared unconstitutional as applied to holding of signs and to enjoin its enforcement.
The citations against the six were ultimately dismissed by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.