Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WI state Capitol access tighter than airports

I reported on (OK, passed on from person reporting from the scene) a comment the Asst AG made regarding the Temporary Restraining Order to open the Capitol - i.e. the State has been arguing that the Capitol IS open, but access restricted to keep things under control. The Asst AG said that the Capitol restrictions are similar to an airport. “You can't get into an airport without an ID."

My Facebook comment was, "Of course you can. You just can't get to the GATES without an ID, boarding pass and TSA screening." Everyone has experienced going to airports - pretty much anywhere in the US to pick someone up or to catch a flight. You walk into the airport from the outside world - whether you walk, bike, take a taxi, arrive by bus, or drive your own car and park - and there are no restrictions to entering the airport. It's only when you want to get to the gates that the restrictions begin.

Here's a response from Drew Hanson, who entered the Capitol today:
I got into the Cap this morning because I had the printout in hand for a public hearing on some DNR rules. But that doesn't mean it was easy. I was questioned by armed police no less than six times, searched and then escorted to and from the hearing by armed police. When I needed to leave the hearing to use the restroom, two armed police stood outside the door. When I asked if I could stretch my legs after sitting through an hour of hearing testimony, I was directed to walk back and forth between two armed police who could keep an eye on me. It was far more intrusive and far more threatening than anything I have ever encountered in any airport. I cannot believe this is happening in the United States of America. This is not the way law abiding citizens should be treated in this country.

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