Scott Walker: Marginally less oppressive than the Islamic sultan of Brunei | Wis.Community

Scott Walker: Marginally less oppressive than the Islamic sultan of Brunei

[img_assist|nid=113643|title=Royally screwed|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=229|height=166]An item on politiblog A Tiny Revolution popped up today. It was entitled: Scott Walker, Sultan of Wisconsin. It's so good I have to reproduce the second half of the post here. Blogger Jonathan Schwarz notes that the Walker administration just promulgated rules limiting political protests and other gatherings in or around the Wisconsin State Capitol and other state facilities.

For example, Schwarz noted that under the Walker rules, groups of four or more people must in most cases obtain permits for all activity and displays in state buildings and apply for those permits at least 72 hours in advance. The policy requires permits for 100 or more people outside the Capitol.

Schwarz then proceeded:

When reading that I guessed that the State Department's annual Human Rights Report would criticize countries with similar policies, and thanks to Google, I quickly found out I was right:

Under the emergency powers, the [Brunei] government significantly restricted the right to assemble. According to the Societies Order, public gatherings of 10 or more persons require a government permit, and police have the authority to stop an unofficial assembly of five or more persons deemed likely to cause a disturbance of the peace.

Note that (1) Brunei is ruled by a literal Sultan and has been under martial law since 1962, and (2) its restrictions on freedom of assembly are in some respects LESS ONEROUS THAN WISCONSIN'S. Hopefully the State Department will soon release a Human Rights report examining the conditions in the sultanates of the upper midwest.

UPDATE: LorenzoStDuBios points out that I'm being too generous to Brunei, since their permitting requirement apparently restricts any kind of public gathering, whereas Wisconsin's new rule about four or more people gathering just applies to the inside of public buildings. I will change my proposed tourism slogan for the Badger State from "Wisconsin: More Oppressive Than Brunei" to "Wisconsin: Pending Further Changes, Still Somewhat Less Oppressive Than an Islamic Sultanate!"

—Jonathan Schwarz

Published

December 9, 2011 - 6:48pm

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