I am a resident of Wisconsin, have been for 35 years now. I am 230 miles from the state capitol building in Madison, but I have spent a lot of time there. I used to exhibit at Art on the Square, and found it a magnificent place to find cool summer comfort and relief, and explore the history of my adopted state.
This building is an inspirational symbol, is a National Historic Landmark since 2001, and has been systematically restored to its 1917 appearance over the last thirty years, inside and out. It is such a source of pride in WI, that a 1990 state law prevents any building within one mile of the capitol from being taller than the base of the columns surrounding and supporting its dome. It can be seen for many miles.
Adorning the building and on the surrounding square are sculptures with names like; ‘Knowledge’, ‘Faith’, ‘Strength’ , and a group called ‘ Prosperity and Abundance ‘ . Capping the capitol dome is the fifteen foot, gold covered, bronze statue named; “Wisconsin”. Her left hand holds a globe with an eagle on it and her right arm is outstretched to symbolize the state motto, “Forward.” She wears a helmet with the state animal, the badger, on top.
This magnificent building was rebuilt at the height of the union movement, when Wisconsin’s existing capitol burned to the ground in an accidental fire in 1904. For many, the grandeur represented the epitome of our rich immigrant heritage, Wisconsin’s union struggles, and the triumph over adversity by the working people of Wisconsin. As a Pagan, what could be more symbolic presiding over ‘Wisconsin’ ; a Goddess holding the Earth, pointing the way ‘forward’, with badger, a symbol of tenacity and determination adorning her head. A temple of, and built by the people of Wisconsin.
This building is being held illegally inaccessible from the people of Wisconsin. It displays a copy of our original state constitution to inspire us. It has been open to the public even before its completion, since 1915. In 1925, Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette lay in state in the Capitol’s rotunda where an estimated 40,000 people paid their respects.
I am outraged.
This building, through many difficult times, has always been open to the people, and a source of inspiration for Wisconsin residents. A place for us to speak to our elected representatives, with the minimum hinderance necessary. The Wisconsin open meeting law (WOML) is one of the best defined in the nation, and by our courts:
“WOML requires each meeting of a government body whose purpose is to conduct official business to be in “open session,” which WOML defines to mean a meeting held in a place reasonably accessible to members of the public and open to all citizens at all times. “
The issues causing nearly 100,000 people to mass at the capitol in one day, and to sustain a presence over two weeks, to express themselves are not minor ones. In the video above children chant, “Tell me what Democracy looks like?” and the crowd roars, “This is what Democracy looks like!“, in response.
I am outraged.
Greater to me is the betrayal to the people of Wisconsin occuring within this, our temple . Every lie is being told, and tactic being used to repel and expel the stubborn badgers within the capitol. Even the police refuse to act as ‘palace guards‘, saying they took an oath to protect and serve the people of Wisconsin.
The press has largely ignored the peaceful Earth centered culture created within the capitol (until testimony and images have appeared). During the full occupation community trash collection, recycling, family zones, food distribution, health services, and a security team supporting the non violence of the community appeared.
I am outraged.
Provocateurs have been reportedly allowed priority capitol access through the staff only Justice building tunnel, and to pack the gallery at last night’s speech. At the Governor’s speech last night 20 token protesters were allowed in the gallery, and then were expelled for ‘disrespect’, although none was visible in audio or video documentation of the speech. In an effort to starve the people from the capitol, windows have been screwed shut, their screw-heads removed, to keep food support from entering. Physical damage to our temple as an attempt to drive the remaining of the 3000 once occupying it, out.
The people of Wisconsin do not suffer this violation well, or quietly. Wisconsin badgers are flooding the electronic airways of facebook, youtube, twitter, and vimeo with documentation of these events. Conservative and national news organizations have been caught creating stories, where there weren’t ones, and being forced to apologize for gross errors in reporting.
I am outraged.
I have learned a lot as a Pagan from badger.
“When Badger shows up it’s time to get yourself grounded and prepare to keep your nose to the grindstone for a time, Badger is going to be pushing you to become very focused on what you need to do to manifest your hopes and dreams“
I once had one living in my milk house and tried to push it out after it had wedged itself in a cement block supporting my water heater. Don’t try to push a badger from his temple.