Wisconsin’s state motto may be “Forward,” but leftist protesters in Madison are more interested in destruction than progress. The statue in front of the state Capitol representing “Forward” was brought down by leftist vandals Tuesday night.
A statue of Hans Christian Heg was also destroyed by the rioters who then threw the statue into Lake Monona. Heg was a Norwegian immigrant, an abolitionist leader, a journalist, a prison reformer, and a soldier in the Union Army in the Civil War. He died at the Battle of Chickamauga.
There were other violent attacks on bystanders as well, including an attack on state Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee). “I don’t know what happened … all I did was stop and take a picture,” Carpenter told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter. “… and the next thing I’m getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head.”
The statue, Forward, is a replica of the original bronze statue created by Jean Pond Miner in 1893. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the statue “is an allegory of devotion and progress, qualities Miner felt Wisconsin embodied.”
The windows of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership were also smashed in the riot. The leftist rioters also attempted to break into the state Capitol through the windows.
As of 1:00 AM, there has been no statement from Governor Tony Evers or Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. The lack of a response by Evers is raising the question of his whereabouts and his awareness of the destruction, including by Assembly Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna).
“This is absolutely shocking,” Steineke wrote on Twitter. “The Wisconsin State Capitol is under attack and the damned Governor of our state can’t be bothered to denounce the behavior, make a statement, call in the Capitol Police or National Guard?”
“The Wisconsin State Capitol is under attack,” Steineke added. “Where is @GovEvers??”
Prior to the destruction of the statues and the violent attacks, the leftist rioters made their destructive intentions clear. According to Emily Hamer, a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal, organizers of the vandals at the Capitol attempted to get the media away from the riotous scene before the statues were torn down. They also made it clear that the ensuing protest would not be “peaceful.”
“This is not a peaceful protest, so if you came out here for a peaceful protest you missed it,” one organizer said, according to Hamer. “We’re done being peaceful. Now we demanding justice.”
On the march to the Capitol, Hamer reported, the intentions of the Leftist rioters was made even more clear:
In a series of posts on Twitter, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) condemned the destruction of the statues and other violent acts by the leftist rioters.
“So this is now what is acceptable in Madison? Where are the police?” Vos asked. “Did the Mayor instruct them not to engage the criminal protestors earlier? This is a world run by the mob without police protection. Beyond ridiculous.”
On June 5, fifteen Republican state legislators wrote a letter to Governor Tony Evers demanding more protection for the Capitol from leftwing rioters in the city after previous incidents of vandalism.
“We are calling on you to ensure that people have a house free from vandalism and the effects of rioting, a house to visit and conduct business upon its re-opening,” the letter stated. “As governor, you have the authority to mobilize plans and people, taking the necessary steps to ensure this does not continue, beginning immediately.”
However, as the events Tuesday night showed, Evers did not take extra steps to ensure the protection of the Capitol.
State Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) posted on Twitter the cost of repairing damages from the rioting would be taken out of the annual state aid to Madison.
“Every single penny Wisconsin taxpayers pay to restore our property, especially the Veterans museum, will come out of Madison’s shared Revenue,” Kooyenga wrote. “This isn’t even liberalism, it’s anarchy Madison.”
However, not every public figure opposed the destruction of the statues of the Capitol. Nada Elmikashfi, a Democratic candidate for state Senate in Madison, justified the destruction in a series of Twitter posts Tuesday night.
“Lady forward is the symbolic gatekeeper of an almost all white capitol that legislates in racism,” Elmikashfi posted. “Knocking it down made so many allies uncomfortable tonight, it showed the extent of white fragility. That is effective protest.”
“Fuck your statues,” Elmikashfi added in another Twitter post.
Elmikashfi is running to replace Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), the longest-serving member of the Wisconsin Legislature. Elmikashfi, running on the slogan of “a better Madison,” is currently a member of the Sustainable Madison Committee, appointed by Rhodes-Conway. She is a former member of Evers’ staff who served on the “Gubernatorial Appointments team” and a former legislative fellow for former Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse).
The latest Democratic member of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission Scot Ross, appointed by Shilling right before she left office, dismissed concern over the destruction of the statues and the violence Tuesday night by blaming Vos:
However, Steineke (R-Kaukauna) put the blame for the violence of Tuesday night back on Evers:
Steineke added on Twitter regarding the attack on Carpenter: