Sunday, October 14, 2007

Madison, WI

Dear Scarlet, we've been considering doing some "live freewayblogging", just holding signs on an overpass here in Madison and were wondering if you had any suggestions, especially regarding law enforcement. Yours, Madison

Dear Madison, One of the reasons I don't stand by with my signs is to avoid interacting with the police. The First Amendment gives us carte-blanche to speak our minds politically as loud as we want to however many of our fellow citizens as we want, but not every cop or highway patrolman on the beat can be expected to understand that. My suggestion would be to simply call the police, or mayor's office, highway dept. etc. and simply ask what the rules are - see what they say. If they give you the run-around, say you need a special permit, etc. etc. then consider just doing what I do. Don't let a bunch of local functionaries take away from you what the founding fathers gave. Whatever you do though, try and go big. DON'T stand around with a bunch of small signs done on posterboard with marking pen - make it look like you mean it.
Yours, Scarlet

Hey Scarlet, we decided to do what you said and just called the cops - they said "No Problem!". Got a few one-fingered peace signs, but mostly just lots of honking and waving. It was a blast! We'll be doing it again soon. Yours, Madison WI


Anonymous said...

Cops or no cops, it's more effective to place dozens of signs and leave them, than it is to stand in place with one sign.

There's been some debate on this. Proponents of the human sign-holding say it means more to the drivers when there are people there. Also, more folks eventually join in, as they have been doing with Barbara in California. My guess is, the main reason to do this is to be there for the drivers' response.

My experience, however, is that placing numerous signs in different places is far more effective. The number one reason? It looks like a mass movement rather than a half dozen activists. Not to mention that your message can be seen by 100,000 people instead of 10,000.

Anonymous said...

Live blogging is certainly an uplifting experience!
Check also "Weapons of Mass Instruction"

Anonymous said...

Why are such a pussy that you run from confrontation with the cops? Why don't you stand up like a man instead of run away like a little pussy? Oh - we know the answer to that.

Freewayblogger said...

Last time I had to deal with a cop it was kind of embarrassing: he said that at first he was going to give me a ticket, but then said he started thinking about the men who founded this country and everything it was supposed to stand for. Then he said he started thinking about the blood in the footprints of the snows of Valley Forge and, with a tear spilling from the corner of one eye he said, "So now I just want to shake your hand and thank you... from the bottom of my heart... for being such a good American. Wish to God there were more like you."

Like I said, it was kind of embarrassing.

Plus, why hang around with one sign when you can be off putting up more? Hell of a lot more effective.