Soglin: Resistance not part of civil disobedience

Soglin: Resistance not part of civil disobedience

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says those practicing civil disobedience should not resist police.

The statement was in response to protesters who were arrested while blocking traffic on East Washington Avenue in front of East High School on Tuesday as part of a national day of protest.

Soglin noted that most students at East and West high schools didn’t participate in Tuesday’s protests.

East Washington Avenue was closed for approximately seven hours. Police made an announcement to the protesters that they would need to clear the street. Police gave those protesters who remained the option of being ticketed or being arrested. Four of the protesters chose to be arrested. They were taken to the Dane County Jail. Eleven others were cited and released.

“Civil disobedience is a symbolic non-violent violation of the law,” Soglin said. “The act must be nonviolent, open and visible, illegal, performed for the moral purpose of protesting an injustice, and done with the expectation of being punished.”

“Resistance is not part of civil disobedience,” he said.

Soglin said the city received numerous complaints about the traffic problems created by the protest and that ambulances were blocked.

“In the future, while all of these protests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, MPD will not be facilitating extended street closures,” Soglin said.