By Alyson Pohlman
This year while my husband and I shared Christmas Eve with our loved ones, someone else was not celebrating. Instead, they were stealing the Recall banner that adorned our fence. They used a knife to slash the ropes and then to cut our Christmas lights. Not wanting to be silenced, on Christmas morning we used a staple gun to affix handmade signs to the fence and placed landscaping lights on them. After a wonderful Christmas day, we found out the Grinch had returned. Our signs had been torn down. The lights were smashed. And the message was received: free expression is no longer free in Wisconsin. Ours had cost us signs, lights, and the feeling of safety and security everyone wants in their home.
While I passionately disagree with the arguments of the Walker supporters, I have never questioned their right to express them. I find it outrageous that someone would come onto my property and tell me, through force and intimidation, that my constitutionally protected dissent isn’t acceptable. It is a sad commentary of the divisive atmosphere this Administration’s hostile tone has created. Wisconsin used to be known for its pride and sense of statewide community, but no more. I guess it’s just another shame in a year that will be remembered for its shamelessness.
But in the end, the signs throughout the state speak more about the goodness of solidarity, then the venom of conflict. Today we displayed a new sign proudly, “You can steal our banner…but you can never take our voice.”