Sunday, January 25, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter But Chris Abele Doesn't Want To Hear About It

On December 19, 2014, Chris Abele quietly had something posted on the Milwaukee County website.  It was done without his usual grandstanding or vain boasting in a vain effort to stop his popularity from spiraling even further downward.

What Abele posted was his new, unilaterally imposed rules about access to the Milwaukee County Courthouse.  As I read through them, it seemed oddly familiar.  They were all about stifling free speech in the courthouse and in other county buildings.

Sure enough, Abele copied heavily from his best buddy and mentor, Scott Walker, and his efforts to squash the protesters and especially the Solidarity Sing Along in the Capitol Building.  Abele even wants protesters to do the permit system like Walker did.  Not only is the verbage nearly identical, Abele even copied the layout.

Oh, there are some differences, of course.  Abele put courthouse in for Capitol.  Abele also included this odd paragraph (on page 4):
This Policy follows the Negotiated Management recommendation of the United Nations:
According to this approach, the task of [law enforcement and government] is to protect rights and facilitate, rather than frustrate, demonstrations; they should help to diffuse tension and prevent a dangerous escalation of the situation. Several countries that follow this approach have also formalized the role of the so-called “safety triangle” during demonstrations, based on continuous communication and interaction between the organizers of the protest, the local or State authorities and [law enforcement], aimed at averting risks and ensuring smooth management of the assembly.
What? Is he expecting riots with hundreds of thousands of people like they have in Europe? Or is it that he saw the words "best practice" and just had to use it, even though he doesn't know the meaning of the phrase?

An even odder statement is on the bottom of the same page:
Peaceful events and exhibits can take place in public areas (i.e. Rotunda and Halls, but not offices and restrooms) of the Courthouse Complex and Courthouse Grounds...
Huh? I try to keep up with the news as much as I can, but I don't recall protests in the bathrooms ever being an issue. However, I do agree that I don't want to see any exhibits in the bathroom, although I haven't heard of that being an issue either.

Another interesting thing about this new policy is the timing of it.  Abele issued this anti-free speech policy just days before District Attorney John Chisholm was to announce that he was not going to charge former police officer Christopher Manney for the killing of Dontre Hamilton.

Another not so fun fact is that on the first day of the policy, Abele sent his other buddy, Sheriff David Clarke out to harass the seekers of justice.  Clarke and the Milwaukee Police ended up arresting 74 people and keeping them in jail for up to 24 hours.

Again, doesn't this remind the gentle reader of the way Walker went after the singers in the Capitol, harassing them and arresting them unjustly?

Abele is just like Walker and the oligarchs that support Walker in that they just don't care and don't want to hear about the injustices and harm they are causing to the 99%.  This is especially true if the victims of their plantation economics are minorities.

Seems to me that it is time to let a red, heart-shaped balloon loose in the Milwaukee County Courthouse.  I also wonder if we could get some singers that know some black folk songs.

Instead of Courthouse Proud, it just might be time for Courthouse Loud.

I can almost hear the chants, "Whose courthouse? Our courthouse!"

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