A reader sent in this first hand account of her experience at yesterday’s Sarah Palin headlined Tea Party rally in Madison, Wisconsin.
Please keep in mind that I have been protesting at the capital since the end of February. I have never had such a problem in the past with the “Pro-Walker” people.
My daughter’s friend (Amber) wanted to go to Madison with me. We got there around 10:30am and stop at a shop on State Street, then headed back to the capital…
I saw a crowd gathered around a stage area. I decided to see what was going on. I led the way into the crowd with Amber behind me. The further into the crowd we got, the nastier the comments towards me (and my sign). I realized we walked right into a crowd of AFP/ Tea party people.
I can be seen at the 3:55 mark of the video below holding my sign:
I was very polite and respectful as we were trying to get through. At one point a man grabbed onto the pole for my sign. He said he wanted my sign and I told him no, this is my sign. He wasn’t willing to let go but eventually did let go. There was a man to my left who looked at me and my sign. He asked me where I am from, I told him Wisconsin. We went back and forth because he didn’t seem to believe me (remember this man…he DID help us!).
Right in front of me was a large (tall and wide), over retirement age, man. I said “Excuse me, may we please get through?” He looked me up and down, then at my sign. He said “No” and turned away. I repeated my question and he told me to go around him. I told him I was trying to be polite and not rude. He then turned to face me. He told me he was not going to let me out. There was no way I could safely “push” my way through (I’m 5’8” and smaller built). I was feeling VERY threatened by this point so I got my cell phone out and did the only sane thing possible. I called 911.
The dispatcher asked what my emergency was. I explained my situation. She asked what side of the capital I was on but I didn’t know so I explained there was a platform with a bunch of news cameras on it and that I was a little bit in front of a huge projection screen. I explained the people would not let me out; the men around me seem to realize I really was on the phone with 911. The man that asked where I was from finally spoke up and offered to help us get out of the crowd. I thanked him and he led the way. I asked the dispatcher to stay on the line until I (we) was safe, she agreed. As the man cleared the way for us, asked one lady if she would allow us to get through. She said as long as we don’t touch her because we might have a disease.
Amber right up tight against me and seemed to be pushing me with her body but I couldn’t move because someone smacked their sign against mine. I said “would you please move your sign?” The person pushed a bit more. I couldn’t see who was holding the sign so I followed the stick down. This little old lady…not even 5 feet tall and probably 80-90 years old…peeked her head out between 2 men. She smiled and pushed harder. Again I asked her to stop pushing on my sign and to move hers.
Meanwhile, a man on the other side of me poked his head out and asked if I had any diseases. I didn’t respond to him either. Then another rather large, over retirement age man told me to “get off your phone.” I told him “I’m on the phone with 911″. With saying those word…the sign pulled away from mine and people made room for us to get out of their mob. I told the dispatcher I thought we were safe and that I could see some (capital) policemen. She told me to go to them and tell them what just happened.
I thanked the man who helped us out and also the dispatcher.
On our way to the police, Amber was telling me about the people that were pushing her into me (when she was tight against me). We were both rather shaken.
I explained to the police what happened. He asked if we were pushed. I replied YES! He asked me if I knew who pushed us. I told him I could show him (as I motioned to the mob). He looked in the direction of the mob and looked back at me. He then explained to me that if a person is standing somewhere; he (the police) cannot force them to move. (That pretty much told me I was just wasting my time even talking to him) The issue of being pushed was dropped…I said well thank you anyway…and walked away.