I’ve got your back, bro.

I went to court for singing at the state capitol yesterday. There were many of us singers there. We all requested jury trials. Afterwards, (it was noon, of course), I went to the Capitol to join the singalong. It is always outside on Fridays; however, lately other groups have been pulling permits for the timeframe the singers are normally inside. (The singers always go sing outside if another group has a permit to use the Capitol…they’re respectful that way)

So this Friday, even though it was normally an “outside” day, they had been singing outside all week, and there had been no permit pulled by an outside group, so a splinter group of about 30 people went inside to sing.

10 minutes later, the police got out the LRAD and broadcasted their “this is an unlawful event” warning.

I was still outside at this point…I had gone to court, and didn’t realize there was a splinter group inside.

As I was standing outside singing, I saw a man running from inside out to our group, he told us all that there were 30 people inside, and they declared an illegal gathering, and if anybody wanted to go in and support the group so they wouldn’t be able to arrest everybody before the hour was up….well, he sort of left it at that.

I sang another couple songs outside, I didn’t really want to get arrested again…but then I started thinking about those who put it on the line every day…and I went inside.

I was prepared to get arrested again.

It was amazing. There were at least a hundred people inside. People responded to the rally cry and were THERE. We sang at the top of our lungs, and we lasted through another day, another hour, chanting, “we’re still here!”

And, I was not arrested.

So, I got arrested the other day…

jailbird

Long story. There has been a long-standing protest against our governor, Scott Walker. He doesn’t like dissent. It used to be that the Solidarity Singers were kind of tolerated, cooperated with…until they pushed Chief Tubbs out, and brought Chief Erwin in.

Now, Chief Erwin is pretty militaristic, while Chief Tubbs believed in cooperation and communication.

They have started arresting people for singing.

They wanted the singing to stop. So they laid down the law and started handcuffing people and hauling them to the basement of the Capitol, for the offense of singing (in some cases, out of tune, I will admit).

It had the opposite result…people are swarming to sing now. The crowd HAD dwindled to a few die-hards, but now? It’s got new life. About a hundred or more per day.

I was one of those people who arrived once I heard of the crack-down. I came to show my solidarity, to show the capitol police that they weren’t going to win so easily.

I’m proud of going. I’m proud to say I will be going to court tomorrow. And I am proud to say, I will not give in. My life is based on stubbornness. I’m a fighter…have always been…that’s not going to change now.

Life is full of choices…a person can choose to live a life of ease, or a life of challenge.  I am proud to say that I have absolutely no regrets, even though I may have a criminal conviction….I choose to consider that I am fighting for first amendment rights.

If a person has to get a permit from the government to protest, or to assemble, then you do not truly have that right.  The simple fact of having to get a permit means it CAN BE DENIED.

This will NOT happen on my watch.

Life is for Soaring


zipline

Sometimes I need to chew on something before I publish it.  The title of this blog entry came easily; the post did not.

There is a woman in my life, one I respect.  One that made me who I am.  One who always, always supported my dreams, wild and crazy though they might be.  One who accepts me as an adult, and also accepted me as a child.  She soars.

I had the pleasure of going to visit her in North Carolina, where she treated me to a wonderful weekend.  But, the weekend had sort of a theme.  Soaring.  Not just because I flew there in an airplane.

She took me zip-lining.  It is something I never thought I would experience.  I had the time of my life, and she kicked my butt-she is in much better shape than I am.

We also went to the Carolina Raptor Center.  I love birds of prey, always thought it would be neat to befriend one.  Not OWN one, but just sort of make my balcony a cool hangout for one or two.

This woman has been my inspiration for much of my life.  At family gatherings, I am told quite often that I remind people of her.  I take this as a high compliment.  I always wanted to grow up to be like my Aunt Carol.

Life has many parallels.

I feel a kinship with her.  She is the most vivacious, caring, flamboyant (in a good way) woman I know.

When I was five years old or so, I knew how to read.  Quite well, as a matter of fact.   Don’t ask me how or why, I have no idea.  But she gave me the first book I considered to be “adult” because it didn’t have cartoon pictures in it, it actually had real PHOTOGRAPHS.  It was “The Red Balloon”.  I was thrilled to be given such an adult book at that age.

Then when I was about eight years old perhaps, back when memory books were all the rage, we children carried them around and had people we cared about sign them.  I remember exactly what Carol wrote:  “Hitch your wagon to a star, and it will carry you afar”.

She has always soared.  She has always inspired me to soar.

Life is for soaring.  Thank you, Carol.  Love you much.  Here’s to you, Aunt Carol!

Shifting gears…

So, this blog has been terribly neglected. And it’s because it is trying to be something I am not. I apologize.

I’m an activist. My day-to-day life isn’t beautiful, as much as I want to embrace beauty in this blog. It’s rife with turmoil, fighting, challenge, and courage. So, my blog is shifting to reflect that. Perhaps I will be able to write more frequently.

Beauty is simply not a part of my life, in general.  Challenge and fighting is.  I hope to share that with you, the gentle reader.

Thank you for listening to my rambling.  You will soon read of my current challenges.