On Thursday, December 13, our host Tony Castaneda speaks with “the most arrested man in Madison,” Jason Huberty. Jason, a political activist, has maintained a steady presence at the State Capitol, receiving 19 citations, around $200 per citation, till date. Although thirteen citations have been dismissed, there are still six that remain. Since July, 112 citations have been issued in total at the Capitol.
Jason explains what the presence around the capital is like. Since March 2011, a solidarity sing-along has taken place each weekday, either within the Capitol Rotunda or outside. The Department of Administration, which sets the rules for how the Capitol is run, has issued that groups of four or more must obtain a permit to hold an event inside the Capitol. Jason reports that there has been a drop in attendance at the Capitol since the new rules have been instated.
Jason explains the change that he has seen since people began protesting in March 2011, “People who came down last year in February and March, they saw a lot of cooperation between everyone who was down there. I’d say that’s still the case, but now, when you go to the Capitol, you don’t know whether or not you’re going to get a ticket, simply for being there. And that’s happened to several people who’ve never had police contact, not while they’re at the Capitol, they’ve just been there exercising their right to speech and peaceably assemble.”
They also discuss the amount of resources the state spends on ticketing and pursuing the individuals at the Capitol. Jason has observed at least ten police officers posted each day, monitoring the solidarity singers, four Department of Justice Attorneys General who are prosecuting the cases; twenty local lawyers and forty citizens involved with the cases. The National Lawyers Guild in Madison helps people find attorneys that are willing to help the individuals who have been cited. Since Chief Erwin has become the Chief of the Capitol Police, Jason says, the number police officers present at the Capitol to monitor the solidarity singers and protestors has grown.
A Bake Sale will be held this Saturday, December 15 at the fountain on State Street to help raise funds for the direct legal costs to those going to trial.
Visit the Facebook page – Solidarity Sing Along
Listen to the interview: