Today members of the Tea Party harrassed members of the Solidarity Sing Along with one punching a singer in the head and breaking their tooth. This is an account of what happened from a Sing Along participant:
I was at the capitol as a participant in the Solidarity Sing Along today from 12 to 1pm. There were 3 Tea Party protestors there during most of the hour of the sing along. I was on the second floor balcony of the rotunda hanging one of those long vertical banners down. The tea partiers had their “Don’t Tread on Me” snake flag and the two ambulatory tea partiers were walking around, holding up their flag for most of the hour– other people told me this, I hadn’t noticed them until the incident b/c they were up on the third floor for most of the hour and I was busy reading the lyrics from the songbook. Meanwhile the third teabagger was on the ground floor of the singing circle going around, supposedly running over people’s toes in his wheelchair, and people had to step back as he was coming too close to them saying ” Walker should be president”…
The singing went on peacefully as it always does right up until the last few minutes, right before 1pm when the sing along is over. The teabaggers with the flag came onto the second floor and and hung their flag over the balcony and then they began walking around the circle holding their flag over the balcony. As they would encounter a participant in the sing along, they would just continue walking, and would drape their flag right over people’s faces and/or banners if they were holding one. When these two men continued around the circle to where I was standing, holding my banner, I took a few steps away from the balcony edge still holding my banner as a way to prevent these men from putting their flag over me, but they continued to do it anyway.
Just as they were draping their flag across my face, a member of the sing along came over, told the men to stop it, and pulled their flag down. instantly, the shorter tea partier grabbed this guy in a headlock and punched him in the mouth which resulted in a broken tooth. The guy who got punched did not initiate any physical force against either of the tea partiers holding the flag, he just was grabbing and trying to pull down their flag, never touching either of the men until he was trying to get himself free from the headlock. Some more sing along people came over and tried to break up the fight. moments later the police came upstairs to assess the situation. Several eyewitnesses including myself gave statements to the police and everyone who was involved in the assault.
UPDATE: ARREST Made. JSO reports that the Tea Party member who punched a singer has been arrested and charged with battery.
Since February 15 there have been hundreds of thousands of people protesting the Republican legislative agenda being rammed down the throats of Wisconsinites both inside and outside of the capitol. Very few arrests have been made, and no incidents of assault have occurred.
Gun rights activists like to say that guns don’t hurt people, people hurt people. The gun rights activists in the capitol today are the only ones in the last 4 months who have hurt anyone. (my emphasis)