WI Riot Organizer: 'This Is Not a Peaceful Protest.' So, If That's What You Came for, 'You Are Encouraged to Go Home'

AP Photo/Kevin Hagen
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Police form a line on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower on Sunday, May 31, 2020, in New York. Demonstrators took to the streets of New York to protest the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after he was pinned at the neck by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)


Wisconsin State Journal reporter Emily Hamer covered a “protest” in Madison, WI on Tuesday night and posted a detailed account of the action on Twitter. (Much of Hamer’s lengthy thread appears below.)

Actually, it was never intended to be a protest. Since the event quickly devolved into destruction of property and, at times, into violence, let’s just call it a riot, and the participants, rioters.

At the outset, an organizer told the group “This is not a peaceful protest. So if you came out here for a peaceful protest you missed it.” Those who weren’t on board “were encouraged to go home.”

“If this is not for you go home,” he adds.

So much for the argument that protestors simply get caught up in the passions of the moment. The organizers of this riot knew going in what they wanted to accomplish.

Hamer wrote that the demonstration began at the Dane County Jail because one of their fellow activists had been arrested earlier that day. Chants of “Free Yeshua” could be heard.

The group blocked traffic in the streets surrounding the Madison Capitol building. Several of them yelled at a female driver and poured beer and water on her car.

Next, she tweets:

Protesters are now stopped at the intersection of Henry and Wilson Street and are standing on top of what looks to be a tow truck.

“Whose truck, our truck,” protesters are now chanting while organizers stand on top of the tow truck.

What’s your is ours, right?

An organizer tells the group, “We just got word that the police are gearing up.

“White allies” begin to “form a human perimeter around Black protesters.” The white allies don’t realize that they are being played by Black Lives Matter members.


Hamer sees that the “protesters” have a wheelbarrow filled with large rocks and bricks.

“Should we give ‘em back their truck?” one organizer asks. “No!” the crowd shouts back.

Another says, “I will fight and die for every single one of you. Will you die for me?”

“Yes!” they answer.

A little cultish, no?

“Who [sic] ready to f**k some sh** up?” an organizer asks.

Hamer writes that organizers are telling media to get out of the area, and telling protesters to put all of their phones and Facebook live sessions away.

As they approach the steps of the Capitol, the group is chanting “I’m mad, I’m angry.”

Shortly afterward, they have chains around the Forward statue, and ultimately, it topples. Later baking soda was sprinkled on its face. (Note: “Forward…represents a female figure standing upon the prow of a boat, the figure-head of which is ‘Old Abe.’ The boat is surging through the water, and the figure, poised gracefully but firmly upon the prow, stretches forth the right hand, while the left clasps the American flag to its bosom.”)

Then the group beheads a statue of Hans Christian Heg, an anti-slavery activist and American Civil War soldier, and throws the statue into nearby Lake Monona.

Several group members “beat a man up and smashed the windows of his car, after the man rammed into a person’s bike, then came out of his car walking towards protesters with his fists raised. I saw the man on the ground curled up in a ball.”

Hamer reports:

Protesters just shattered the front entrance windows of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership. You can hear the windows still shattering in the background.

Protesters are outside of the Downtown Madison Police Station and Dane County Jail chanting, “Free Yeshua!”

One demonstrator is trying to knock down a street camera that is attached to a light pole. Someone just said, “spray paint!”

A protester just climbed up onto a light pole and spray painted over a street camera. Others knocked off one camera that was on the side of the Public Safety Building and spray painted a third camera.

Protesters just lit a garbage can on fire and something inside of a window of the Madison Police Station. Fire inside the window was very small. Hard to see in photos.


The Wisconsin Journal Sentinel’s Lawrence Andrea reports that Wisconsin State Senator Tim Carpenter was attacked by a group of protesters and that “the protesters said he provoked them.” Carpenter tells Andrea, “This is the first time I’ve been assaulted.” Carpenter said he had been filming them when the attack occurred.

A rioter is asked why they took down these particular statues. “While they both stood for good causes, those in power are not taking that same stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. Having those statues prominently displayed in Madison creates a “false representation of what this city is.”

The indiscriminate choice of targets by the Wisconsin rioters (and their comrades throughout the country) contradicts the legitimacy of their stated motives.

If the rioters ever had any true conviction in what they claim to be fighting for, they lost sight of it a long time ago.






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