Although a protest group wanted to retain the element of surprise, Media Trackers has found out that Mark Rice, assistant state director of EXPO(EX-Prisoners Organizing), is calling on supporters to protest Governor Walker at the Wisconsin Business and Industry Luncheon in Madison on October 16th. The email calls on supporters to “bird dog” the event.
The leaders of the self proclaimed #closeMSDFcampaign protest group announced via email that they will “officially start bird-dogging Gov. Walker,” at the business luncheon that is being hosted by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce association. The email sent out to supporters describes a plan to organize protesters who believe that the Milwaukee secure detention facility should be shut down. Along with their dissatisfaction of the detention facility, they also call for the renovation of the entire statewide prison system. In the email, Rice described:
The CLOSEmsdf Campaign has statewide implications because it is not just about shutting down MSDF but is also about transforming Wisconsin’s unjust revocation process, promoting more humane and restorative approaches to justice, and imagining a future beyond prisons.
The email calls for people to go to Madison to protest at the event, but also asks for people to participate in other areas of the state as well. They mention that along with their presence in Madison they will also have banners, signs, and petitions available. The full email can be seen below:
The organization “The Action Network” also has similar views and called out Gov. Walker directly in their own article about the issue. They added that that re-incarcerating prisoners who have violated a “minor” rule violation in terms of their parole or probation is “a failed policy, a waste of money, and an embarrassment to Wisconsin.”
While this leftist organization is relatively unknown, it seems reminiscent of past protests against Governor Walker, like those he was faced with after he introduced his Act 10 public employees union reform in 2011. One such group dressed up as Zombies and protested during a special Olympics Ceremony he spoke at. The protesters at that event attended in full zombie make-up, and turned their backs to the governor while he spoke during the ceremony. A demonstrator told ABC 27 news that their costumes were “symbolizing how the governor is ‘turning his back on the people of Wisconsin’.”
Protesters against Walker have gone so far as to disrupt a speech he gave in Chicago, and even followed Walker to California to protest him there. In each case, causing disruption and unnecessary commotion for those involved.
Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesman Alec Zimmerman issued this statement on the email:
“Governor Walker’s bold reforms shook up the system and delivered results for hard-working taxpayers, who saw just how desperate the big government special interests and far-left extremists were to block change in the first place. Once again, Democrats are in complete disarray and are turning to the same protest antics of yesterday that Wisconsin voters rejected time and again.”