Statement of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin Regarding April 14 Demonstration

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 9:09am

On April 14, 2015 people across the country participated in demonstrations as part of a national day of protest. In Madison, approximately 100 residents including both West High School and East High school students walked out of school.

It is worth noting that the majority of students at both schools stayed in class and did not protest. Some West High School students protested outside the school. A small number of East High school students and residents protested on, and blocked East Washington Ave. This action resulted in arrests.

Civil disobedience is a symbolic non-violent violation of the law. The act must be nonviolent, open and visible, illegal, performed for the moral purpose of protesting an injustice, and done with the expectation of being punished. Civil disobedience results in the peaceful and nonviolent acceptance of arrest.

Resistance is not part of civil disobedience. Resistance on the part of the individual arrested or on the part of another interfering with the arrest is contrary to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

The City has received numerous complaints regarding the traffic concerns. Residents trying to get home from work faced extensive delays. Ambulances were blocked.

The Madison Police Department has been very flexible, professional, and patient with protestors who are exercising their first amendment rights. Protesters were given numerous warnings to clear the street before being cited. In the future, while all of these protests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, MPD will not be facilitating extended street closures.

As we look to reduce the number in both physical arrests and citations, we encourage those who violate the law to cooperate in the principles of civil disobedience and not engage in resistance.

Contacts: 
  • Katie Crawley, 608-266-4611