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Friday, February 27, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 11.0° F  Fair
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Day one after the recall: Solidarity Sing Along returns to the Wisconsin Capitol
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The Solidarity Sing Along will continue as a weekly event on Fridays.
The Solidarity Sing Along will continue as a weekly event on Fridays.

It was Day 386 for the Solidarity Sing Along at the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison today, and the mood was defiant and spirited, despite Scott Walker's victory.

"Last night might not have gone exactly as we had hoped," said conductor Chris Reeder in an understatement. But he said the victory of John Lehman over state senator Van Wanggaard was a "huge accomplishment," as it tipped the state senate back into Democratic hands.

The Sing Along, which was outside on the State Street corner, began with "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and then "We Shall Overcome," which was especially appropriate. By the time the next song began, there were about 200 people singing "This Land Is Your Land," which included the words: "From Lake Geneva to Madeline Island, Wisconsin was made for you and me."

The jug band, with three guitars, a couple of fiddles, a tambourine, and a few other instruments, kept the lively tunes going, as Reeder led people through "You Can't Scare Me, I'm Sticking to the Union" and "We Shall Not Be Moved."

One person carried a sign that said: "Stop Force-Feeding the Rich."

Another sign said: "Over? You Must Be Joking."

Between songs, Reeder interjected: "John Doe is still going on, so who knows?" This was a reference to the Milwaukee County DA's investigation of Walker's staff while he was Milwaukee County executive, an investigation that swirls ever closer to him.

The group then sang "Which Side Are You On?" and soon thereafter a poignant rendition of "Joe Hill" and a rowdy version of "If I Had a Hammer."

Through it all, there were a few hugs and a few tears, but mostly the belief that the fight goes on.

Before the last song, "Solidarity Forever," Reeder announced that "Friday will be the end of our daily vigil," but that the Sing Along will continue as a weekly event on Fridays.

Just as the Sing Along was ending, there was a commotion off to the side. Two protesters were surrounded by police.

Fred Majer, 64, and Eleanor Maas, 62, were being detained by officer J. Brooks of the Capitol Police, who took their drivers' licenses.

Maas asked what they were being charged with.

"You're not being charged right now," Brooks said. "I'm conducting an investigation."

Brooks said they had to come with him. An attorney was there, and they said they wouldn't leave without her, but Brooks said they didn't have a right to an attorney at that point and that they had to go inside the Capitol.

I asked him under what authority he could disregard the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution, as the attorney and many from the crowd followed Brooks and the couple into the capitol.

"Whose house? Our house!" protesters began to chant.

While Brooks and other officers crowded around, I asked Maas what happened.

"We were just parking our car," Maas told me, "and we just tapped this person's license plate and now she's trying to get us charged with disorderly conduct."

Brooks eventually went back outside with Majer and Maas and gave them their licenses back.

"You backed into another car," he said. "We were called. When you back into someone, you're required to give that woman your information in Wisconsin." And he advised her: "In the future, don't say, 'I suppose you want my fucking information now.'"

Ultimately Brooks said it was just a traffic violation and let them go.

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