WisFAN’s first Quaker Witness presence was held Oct 17, 2013 at noon at the State Capitol, to support the right of people to protest nonviolently our government’s actions that they feel are immoral or unjust. We chose to not participate or take sides on issues, but to stand in silence, in support of the right to protest, and to hold everyone there in the light, including law enforcement.
We wore identifying badges and gave out flyers explaining what we were doing there (see below). Protesters sang in the rotunda until a permit-holder arrived to read from the Constitution. Some of the singers joined in the reading; others went outside to continue singing. We grouped around a perfect circle in the middle of the rotunda for silent worship, where we were joined by some others. It was very powerful, quietly invoking the spirit in this not-so-silent building. As one witness remarked, “this building could use more of god’s presence.” Now that the arrests have stopped we are no longer appearing regularly in the Capitol rotunda, but we will be ready if there is a need in the future. We hope that our presence will contribute to the quest for truth, justice and understanding. If you are interested in forming a Quaker Witness team or learning more about our process, please contact us by email (click here).