Today I stumbled onto some excitement while downtown Madison. As I went to drop my daughter off at theatre class, we noticed a very heavy police presence on State Street. So, after getting her checked in, I went to investigate. There was a loud crowd of people towards the end of State Street near the capitol square. Many people were marching, carrying signs and chanting.
Apparently, this morning there was a pro-gun Rally at the capitol. During the rally many took to the streets to protest. This afternoon I learned that I arrived just over an hour after the protest had begun. The protesters were still going full steam ahead while taking over the end of State Street and then moving up the capitol steps.
I was surprised by the sheer number of officers present. It wasn’t until I went on the stairs closer to the rally that I felt the tension between both groups especially since many of the rally members were exercising their right to open carry.
A large number of activists held signs reading: Jobs & Publication Not Racist Hate, Anti-Fascists, United Against Fascism, Protect Migrant Rights Abolish ICE, Nazi’s Go Home and Refugee Rights Are Human Rights.
They chanted: No Trump – No KKK – No Fascist USA and No Ban – No Wall – Trump Regime has got to Fall.
People of all ages were out in the cold making sure their voices were heard.
Madison’s police department was not only in between the two groups, but also had a large number of officers at the top of State Street and along the sides of the capitol lawn.
Many of the rally members came down and started verbal arguments with those protesting. These two guys with their assault rifles made a round to stir the pot.
After about a half hour I grabbed a muffin and cup of joe from Michelangelo’s Coffee before making my way back to grab the kid. Originally my plan had been to sit at Michelangelo’s and read while sipping my life juice, but that will have to wait until next week.