ive probably been living in one of those self absorbed artist bubbles for years now, shirking the big picture, focused on my version of the world.  but this is un-ignorable, and offends even the most isolated hermits among us.  honestly, i have pretty limited knowledge of the way government works and im not even close to being completely on top of what the current situation is - should i be faulted?  im not sure.  its a sticky zone, and its fuckin complex and confusing.  the only thing i know consistently is where i stand - what my beliefs are.  and im extremely skeptical of everything, oftentimes to my own detriment.  its pretty obvious that things in wisconsin have taken a turn for the worse, for the scary, for the downright ridiculous, and i saw an opportunity to explore the chance of doing something about it - even if it was on a small, singular, negligible scale.  it felt important to do at least something if i could.  i was moved, stirred, compelled.  a friend was going to the capitol to protest.  i had never been to a protest.  i hate what scott walker is doing to the people of this state - strangers, friends and family alike.  i think we should act on our beliefs.  does that action make any sort of difference in the big picture?  id argue yes, and if youre lazy or have no compassion in you, youd argue no.  but thats beside the point.  i think change or not, in the end its the "doing" part that matters most.  if im not doing the things i believe in, im just sort of a waste, right?  thats a simple idea - whether its concerning peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, street skating, or protesting, you better back up your beliefs with some kind of action.  and thats my simple take on going to the protest in madison.

like i said, i went with trevor.  he works at the uw milwaukee library.  his position there is essentially done for if this bill passes.

ians pizza boxes.  people from across the globe ordered pizzas to be sent to the protesters.  solidarity is delicious.

the cameras i took were the canon 5d and a pentax 35mm loaded with 400 speed.  the inside of the capitol is very dim.  lots of long exposures, lots of cameras crammed into eye sockets.  i didnt bring a flash.

pairs of patrolmen walked and stood everywhere.  for the first time i felt like law enforcement officers were nice to have around.  i wish all humans all the time could feel good in one anothers presence.  and i wish for world peace.  and no more homework.

 when i told jomo i was going to the capitol he said "bring your fishbulb."  this is the view from my bed.  we slept on mats.  sleepers were packed along every wall, pillar, into every grand marble-y nook...  it was the most royal sleepover under the least royal circumstances.  this was the view from my sleeping space.

news babe, gettin gussied

walker undoubtedly has angered the badger gods

it is very difficult to judge the approximate age of this man.

not having a flash prevented me from going into photojournalist mode, where i felt like i had to shoot everything that happened - a limitation set into place for that very reason.  im on the fence about photojournalism, with a few more pounds of my manhood leaning to the side furthest from it.

but some sights are undeniable.  you feel like you owe it to the people who cant be there seeing what you are seeing to give them a version of it, and to accurately represent what appears before you.  

occasionally some of the democratic figures would emerge from the offices to get everyone fired up.  i met that girl in the blue shirt at milwaukee zine fest last november.  she was stoked on my photographs.

these images are but a small slice of what all has happened in madison...  parts of just 3 days...  this rudimentary p.a. system required someone to hold the speaker upwards while others spoke into the microphone.  at one point someone devised a pillar using folded up ians boxes taped together, which the handle of the speaker could be rested on.  this girl held the speaker for so much longer than i could have imagined would be comfortable.  

the wi state historical society has retained many of the signs.  i was glad to hear that.  

for so many of them the artist will never be recognized.

we followed the crowd down to where scott walker had by some slimy underground means fled.  he did not emerge.  

all of the cuts to public education would seem to ensure that these little pinkies grow up to be more dull sheep for the few in power to control and neglect.  talk about getting the blood boiling...

a truckload of free water.  a wonderful gesture in spirit but i have to point out that all of the bubblers inside the capitol seemed to be working just fine.

ilford, you bitches

hey walker, come out - we just want to talk

when the los angeles crew barged in the place went bonkers.  i get chills just thinking of the energy swirling around me at that moment.  so much of the time i feel disconnected from the masses - im probably too negative and defensive and put too much emphasis on the ways in which i differ from others...  but these were times i really felt united with hundreds of strangers - people id never know, never speak with, maybe never be able to even get along with - but for this one reason, this one cause, this one belief in one of the most basic principals of humanity - truthfulness and fair treatment - we were locked together in solidarity as one singular force, and i was blown over by this realization, this reminder that we are all in the same boat.  we are all humans.  im just like you.  youre just like me.  we live and we die.  cant we level on that?

money and power are social constructs...

l.a. brought the noise.  it also brought the 13s

just puts a banana in your pocket, figuratively speaking

the girl who held the speaker for hours upon hours collapsed

the noise.  drumming, chanting, shouting, sharing stories.  a hundred people taking the same photo.

this ones for jomo

a lot of the young people who spoke were fully informed, they knew about what was going on up to the latest detail.  i was learning.  

thats the "i just cant believe any of this, man" pose

public speaking is risky biz.  you gotta have a plan, gotta have your head straight.  this girl bit off more than she could chew but more than made up for it with her passion and array of facial expressions.

then t-bird got the call...

and it was go-time...

back to the sickest warehouse in all of wisconsin - the dust bowl.  trevors childhood friend bill is a keyholder.  i broke my toes last time i skated there.  most of the big stuff was under construction so we stuck to the smaller bowl and the spine over to the vert wall.  that was plenty for me - its hard to focus when your options are unlimited.  p-con and charles barrows even showed up.  holy shit what a rad session.  obviously the regulars had the place dialed and blazed unbelievable trails all night.  and yes, a girl did a blunt to fakie...

her name is elyse and she completely shreds - on some of the loosest trucks ive ever seen.  

and according to trevor she does have a boyfriend.  sorry boys.

after the blunt i wanted to shoot her doing a fs rock.  she did a hurricane instead.

i asked if we could get another shot and she declined, commenting that she had more beer to drink.  

the sickest part about skating the bowl was how cool everyone was with us being there.  i was a total stranger to most of these people and they seemed just as stoked as i was that i was skating there - or at least impartial.  such good vibes in that place.  makes me really miss having a backyard ramp...

we stayed at bills house.  i was beyond exhausted.  the next day we returned to the capitol.

days after the 14 fled, the emergence of merch

also perma-merch

updates, cyber facting

drummer, chomping a bratwurst