Fury exploded outside the Wisconsin State Capitol on Tuesday night as protesters smashed windows at the statehouse, attacked a state senator, and tore down two iconic statues — including one of an abolitionist who died trying to end slavery during the Civil War.
The unrest began earlier Tuesday following the arrest of a Black man who was arrested after bringing a megaphone and a baseball bat into a Capitol square restaurant.
It prompted Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday to put the Wisconsin National Guard on notice to protect state buildings, including the Capitol.
During the melee late Tuesday, Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter was assaulted after filming the protesters.
"I don't know what happened ... all I did was stop and take a picture ... and the next thing I'm getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head," Carpenter told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter following the assault.
This is what happens when you ally with a racist mob. You may be their ally, but they're not your ally. Your life doesn't matter.
Senator Tim Carpenter, of Milwaukee, had been showing his support to the protesters and continued taking photos with them before a group approached him and started beating him. A graphic picture shared by a Twitter user showed a man, believed to be the senator, collapsed and laying on the grass. Carpenter later confirmed it was indeed him in the snap and shared another video in which two people can be seen running towards him and forcing him to stop recording them. He also shared that the attack had left him with quite a few injuries.
"I took this pic – it got me assaulted & beat up," he wrote. "Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussion, socked in left eye is little blurry, sore neck & ribs. 8-10 people attacked me. Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked- stuck in office. Stop violence now. Plz! [sic]"
Plz! Maybe Tim shouldn't have stood with a mob whose very name asserts that his life doesn't matter.
Protesters, chanting for the release of the man who'd been arrested earlier, also broke glass at the Tommy Thompson Center on West Washington Avenue, smashed windows and lights at the state Capitol, and set a small fire at the Dane County jail before police arrived just before 1 a.m.
In Madison, statues of Wisconsin's motto "Forward" and of Col. Hans Christian Heg were dragged away from their spots guarding the statehouse.
Heg was an anti-slavery activist who fought and died for the Union during the U.S. Civil War. His nearly 100-year-old sculpture was decapitated and thrown into a Madison lake by protesters.
The original Forward statue was first placed in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol in 1895. Protesters tore down a replica that was commissioned in the 1990s.
Forward is "an allegory of devotion and progress," according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Year Zero is going really well. The mob is destroying statues of any white people, no matter their politics, and then any statues left over from the ancien regime, and beating the pathetic liberals who think they're allies.
I understand Democrats that believed they were exempt from all the leftist mobs just by proclaiming allegiance, they maybe didnt know any better, and simply saw this as a political opportunity. The Senator should have thought of the ramifications of what could happen when he was egging on the mobs.