This and the rest of the Walker administration's latest effort to squash basic rights can't be constitutional.
The [new] rules require groups of four or more people demonstrating in the statehouse to have permits and request them three days in advance...
Under the policy unveiled last week, Walker's administration also could hold demonstrators at the Capitol liable for the cost of extra police or cleanup and repairs after protests.Free speech and assembly are just that - - free...speech...and...free...assembly.
Says the Wisconsin Constitution, Article I:
SECTION 3. Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right, and no laws shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.Bearing witness against government policies and officials by groups made up of few as four individuals together (Roommates? Pew mates? Family members?) should not have to be planned days in advance, then approved after begging the very authorities whose policies are being protested.
SECTION 4. The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.
And who can jail you for failing for protesting without their permitting approval.
Or who can hand you a bill for their time if they so graciously allow your protest, and presumably arrest and jail you, too, if you do not or cannot pay their charges.
Talk about pay to play.
Maybe Putin's policies are the model for the Walkerite opponents of free speech and assembly.
Note this line in the second paragraph of a Reuters story about demostrations in Russia:
Police said they had detained about 250 people in central Moscow when they tried to stage an unapproved rally..And by the way; why are Republicans in Madison so comfortable with political practice imported from Moscow?