Walker's Wisconsin – Silencing Song

Silencing of Song in Fitzwalkerstan, Whoville, or Estonia

Wisconsin labor leader Marty Beil calls on union members to join Solidarity Sing Along
Judith Davidoff on Friday 08/16/2013 5:06 pm

“This is our fight and our time. We need you standing shoulder to shoulder with other Wisconsin citizens to call out the inequities, corruption and incompetence of the Walker administration. Yours in the union!”

There is a power and spirit in song that sustains the human spirit with an eternal foundation more enduring than the earth itself.

Capitol Police Chief, David Erwin, has embarked on a mission impossible. He has been cast in a role in which he is doomed to fail. Many a predecessor, who have set out to silence the singing voices of an inspired people, have all been defeated by a omniscient power outside the limited authoritarian code. What happened to the “Grinch who stole Christmas” and the kings of psychotic horror, Stalin and Hitler, in face with the power of song? The Who’s of Whoville won out over the Grinch as the people of Estonia smashed the dictators with a most gentle and lyrical grace.


I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
– Leonard Cohen

Yet, out of ignorance or a self righteous zeal for power and purpose, despots have taken aim at the power of angels who, in every instance, are left dancing on the ashes of the villains of history – of the Grinches and dictators who failed in the the fool’s mission of the silencing of song.

The “David” who did not care for music

Chief David Erwin (pictured below) is not the David who played the Hallelujah that pleased, but seems to be a David who really doesn’t care for music, or singing in the Capitol Rotunda. What is it about song that raises the hackles of Chief David? The answer is simple and goes back to the birth of song itself – song flies on the wings of angels and cannot be clubbed or cuffed into submission. Song is the maker of fools; it leaves those who attempt to subdue it stranded on a beech while attempting to collect the ocean in a little plastic pail.

This David, who does not care for music, is the new chief of the Wisconsin Capitol Police who has been shuffling along trying to fill the huge shoes of Chief Tubbs. He is bringing a new approach to law enforcement in the Capitol which includes striking a harsh E flat Major in the silencing of song.

The Song of the Solidarity Sing Along

Regulars at the Solidarity Sing Along have rode the wings of angels in the Capitol rotunda space on most weekdays at noon for 17 months singing old union songs and folk tunes. I don’t know what the original inspiration was, but the daily singing harkens to the touching human story of the “Singing Revolution’ of Estonia.

The Soviets took the Estonians’ farms and their churches and their freedom of speech, but they could not take away the folk songs that had been passed down from generation to generation. Singing their folk songs had always kept the Estonian spirit alive. “We had no weapons but singing,” says one Estonian. “Being together, singing together, this was our power.

At the link below you will find another link to the movie “The Singing Revolution” on Netflix.
Singing Revolution

Journalist, Madison alder arrested as Wisconsin Capitol police broaden crackdown
Judith Davidoff and Joe Tarr on Thursday 08/15/2013 6:52 pm

Rothschild (Progressive editor) says when he told the officers he had a right to be there, one grabbed his arm and told him he was being charged with obstruction.

“I didn’t get close to the officers,” he says. “I didn’t get in their face when we walked down the hall. I was just trying to get in position to take a decent picture.”

Rothschild was brought in handcuffs to the basement offices of the Capitol Police and then transferred to Dane County jail in a squad car. He was fingerprinted, frisked and photographed for a mug shot. He then spent just under 90 minutes in a holding cell with three other inmates.

Let Us Sing!

In their own way and in their own time, and using their voices alone, the people of Estonia fought for their independence. Estonian activist Heinz Valk called it “the Singing Revolution.” He says of that time, “Until now, revolutions have been filled with destruction, burning, killing and hate, but we started our revolution with a smile and a song.”

When their capitol was secure, activist Marju Lauristin stood out on the balcony of the building and thanked the people. “We were sure that if you came to help us that you would do it in the way you did. With your intelligence, your songs, your heart. That is when we are at our strongest. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” And the people of Estonia raised their clasped hands to the sky above, and sang.

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!