State Troopers Parked Inside the Fence at the Proposed Youth Jail Site on Madison

Today’s ride took me down the hill for a quick stop at the proposed site of the new youth jail to see if there was any Schools Not Jails action afoot. I had planned to ride around for awhile longer, but the wind! Once I took my left on Center and felt the bike getting pushed out from under me, I decided to punk out and make it a short ride. I climbed up to the site and saw the place empty except for an overwhelming presence of state troopers. The cops have been clear that there will be no public demonstrations here, that passing through the gates will result in arrest, and that they will follow through on those threats. Organizers are still doing tons of actions, but the troopers are sitting on this spot, hard. I snapped this picture as the troopers in their vehicles read the paper and generally looked bored. I walked my bike while talking to my brother on the phone and thought about how due to the timing of the phone call it could look like I was reporting and planning something. And that seems to be all it takes–you look like you might be up to no good, and the eyes are on you. But that’s the thing, the eyes are pointed the wrong way. There’s something wrong with a system that thinks the best way to solve social problems is to build more cages. I rounded the way and got back on the bike, a quick stop at the coffee shop/bookstore to pick up some books for students, and then battled the wind back up the hill to home, one revolution at a time.

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