Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Glenn Grothman assaulted! mobbed! shouted loudly at?

Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman was recently followed and shouted upon by protesters at the Capitol building. Grothman had a difficult time getting into the Capitol, not necessarily due to the protesters' interference (the doors were locked per Scott Walker's order).

Grothman was followed by about 200 protesters who were shouting "Shame! Shame!" Though very forceful with their rhetoric, they never caused harm to the senator, who himself said that he was never afraid of violence during the event.

"I really think if I had had to, I could have walked through the crowd and it would have been okay," Grothman said.

Some on the right, however, are pretending that the crowd "mobbed" or "assaulted" Grothman. The idea of the protesters acting violently is wrong: Grothman was never harmed physically, the victim of a shoutfest and not a slugfest.

In fact, around three minutes into a video of the incident, you can actually see protesters protecting Grothman from the fray, holding up peace signs to silence the crowd and back them away from Grothman. Chants of "Peaceful! Peaceful" overcome the crowd.

At that time, Grothman was joined by Rep. Brett Hulsey, a Democrat. Hulsey came to Grothman's rescue, telling protesters, "This is a peaceful protest. You need to back away."

The actions of the protesters weren't respectable. But they weren't violent either. Some on the right are so fixated on labeling these protests as violent that they ignore the clearly visible evidence that they aren't violent at all. Was Grothman surrounded? Yes. Was he yelled loudly at? Yes. Was he injured in any way? Not at all.

In fact, during the entirety of the protests thus far there hasn't been a single arrest made. One citation has been given, from a protester that spit on someone else -- but that "someone else" was another protester. As far as violent acts goes, nothing of the sort has occurred. The shoutfest against Sen. Grothman was the most heated scene yet during the life of the protests...and Grothman came out unscathed.

Conjuring up images of violence in order to discredit the movement in Madison is a shameful display of misinformation. The protesters have been very peaceful, surprising many of the officers at the Capitol that came from beyond Madison (it's rare, indeed, when protesters actually chant "thank you" to a police presence observing them).

Ignore the voices from the right saying that these protests are violent. They're misinformed generalizations of an event that was indeed non-violent physically.

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