Another night in Downtown Madison.
The Werkes subcontracts its on-the-scene coverage of Madison riots for two reasons: one is that the chief groundskeeper has to make bed check at the Stately Manor by 9 p.m. and the other is, quite frankly, we don’t rust ourselves to lay back and watch the terror unfold without getting up close and personal.
So we give it to We Stand With the Madison Police social network:
From the start this event was planned to be violent. Before the event people arrived with gas masks, baseball bats, sticks, helmets and homemade shields. It was obvious they intended to clash with police and cause damage to our city.
There were a few militia type groups armed with rifles which mostly patrolled the Capitol grounds. They caused no problems and we did not see them engage any protesters.
Things started at 10:30 pm with a lady yelling into a megaphone and getting the crowd fired up. It was apparent there was some coordination because suddenly the crowd split up and went in different directions. Groups began lighting dumpsters on fire, spray painting buildings and smashing windows.
The police did NOTHING to provoke these crowds. NOTHING. .. Madison Fire and MPD looked like they worked great together — a big thanks to all of them who were out there keeping the damage from getting worse.
Numerous businesses on State Street were looted again. Historic buildings were vandalized, bus shelters were smashed. Teenagers were carrying away stolen goods left and right. The crowd was fairly diverse, blacks and whites but mainly younger people in their teens and twenties. We were told some mounted patrol (horse) officers were attacked but didn’t see it. They all appeared OK later.
At Gorham and State, a group of a couple hundred rioters confronted a group of police who were there with MFD, yelling “Fuck 12,” and telling them to quit their jobs. The officers withdrew as the fire was out and the protesters followed them for about half a block before moving off again.
The crowd moved a short ways down Gorham towards University Ave, lighting some more fires but businesses on the Ave appeared to be spared.
The crowd then moved down East Washington. This looked like a planned and coordinated move — the crowd moved over there en masse and rather quickly. They looted Chalmers Jewelers at Blair Street and lit a large, dangerous fire. The police issued the crowd several warnings, then launched gas and OC in order to allow the fire department in to put out the fire before it could spread. The crowd retreated back towards the Capitol Square and looted Walgreens.
We talked with a lot of business owners, many of them minorities, while they were boarding things up. Some of them had just fixed the damage from the last riots. They were angry, scared and tired of the constant threat of violent crowds downtown.
‘Here are your premiums’
Ann of Althouse surveyed the damage on Madison’s Capitol Square early this morning (08-25-2020):
Home Savings Bank, 2 broken windows, broken door. The toy store has 2 broken windows. Fromagination [the cheese store] has 2 broken windows and a broken door. Park Hotel… The Post, the restaurant there, has 2 broken windows …. broken window on Merrill Lynch and ‘Here are your premiums.’ Wait, let me get a picture of that….”
We excerpted this from the on-line Wisconsin State Journal
Broken glass bottles and the smell of alcohol littered the 400 block of State Street after looters broke into Badger Liquor and stole bottles of liquor. Looters also took merchandise from Warby Parker, a glasses and sunglasses store on State Street. An hour and a half later at 1 a.m., items were stolen from the Walgreens on Capitol Square after the front doors were shattered. Many more businesses had windows shattered, including bars and restaurant on Main Street, the largely glass US Bank Plaza building and others on the Capitol Square….
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Over 5,000 have signed Freedom Inc.’s petition to Defund the Police. Next, one would think, would be defunding the Fire Department, since they keep extinguishing BLM’s fires.