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Andina and Rich: Blog

Making A Joyful Noise For Justice!

Posted on March 10, 2011 with 0 comments
Last night I was finally able to be a direct part of something AMAZING! My musical partner, Sandy Andina, and I have been on tour for most of the last month. I left Madison on February 13th; the day before the protests on Capitol Square began. It’s been making me crazy to not be in Madison to participate directly. However, Sandy and I had contractual obligations and verbal commitments which we had to meet.
I’ve been doing what I could by remote control. I’ve been passing along information from one sub-group of protesters to another and trying to help keep them in contact with one another in the hope that what little I could do would help to create a more focused and powerful effort for the whole. It has troubled me that I could not do more. I felt as though I was missing a great moment in history.
While driving home last night I got a call from my wife, Ingrid Fances Stark. She has been on the Square through most of the past few weeks. She was out there last night to protest against the idiotic and illegal end run that the State Senate had tried to make around the Wisconsin 14. She called me to tell me that she might not be home when I arrived. She also told me about the motorcade around the Square. When she said that I knew that, although I had driven that far from Wauseon, Ohio yesterday, I had a bit more driving to do before my own arrival at home.
By the time I arrived Uptown the motorcade had been moved from the Square to the Outer Ring. People were driving in a huge circle honking out the rhythm of the statement “This is what Democracy looks like.”
“Honk, Honk, Honk, Ha-Honk, Ha-Honk, Honk, Honk!” is how it sounded. When I arrived on the Outer ring the car horns were a cacophony. As we all pulled up to the first stoplight the sound evolved into a wonderful call-and-response pattern.

One horn would sound, “Honk, Honk, Honk, Ha-Honk, Ha-Honk, Honk, Honk!”
Dozens would respond, “Honk, Honk, Honk, Ha-Honk, Ha-Honk, Honk, Honk!”

As traffic moved on the honking would again dissipate into cacophony only to reorganize at the next stoplight.

One horn would sound, “Honk, Honk, Honk, Ha-Honk, Ha-Honk, Honk, Honk!”
Dozens would respond, “Honk, Honk, Honk, Ha-Honk, Ha-Honk, Honk, Honk!”

At times I was the caller. At others I was part of the response. It didn’t matter which. If one caller missed the cue there was always someone ready to jump in. We were all making a Joyful Noise for Justice! That was what was important.
I’ll be at the rally surrounding the State Assembly’s hearings @ 9:00am. The battle isn’t over. The Political Right is busy waging this war against us in many other states the worst and most draconian of which is in Michigan. The link below will explain. The one thing that I have been telling people as I have traveled in recent weeks is that I have never been prouder of the State of Wisconsin and its people than I have been since this all began last month. I tickled that I am finally able to be an active part of it. Better late than never, I suppose. This whole effort proves what was written on a sign held by one of the protesters in Michigan.
“Divided we beg. United We DEMAND!”

Solidarity Forever!
Stephen Lee Rich