The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

On Yesterday’s ‘Zombie’ Protest of Governor Walker

The ZRC’s twitter feed exploded yesterday with news of a controversial protest of enormously unpopular and markedly Anti-Zombie Governor Scott Walker yesterday. There were a lot of quite frankly hysterical accusations that the protesters, dressed up as Zombies, had ‘shouted down’ the governor at an event for the Special Olympics.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and in the digital age any decent protest is up on Youtube by the end of the business day:

The State-Journal confirms that this SILENT protest was in fact not at all disruptive of the Special Olympics event and part of a larger day of campaigning:

Earlier in the day, the group was part of a “Die-In and Zombie March” by about 50 people protesting cuts to student aid and a new voter ID law that critics say will make it harder for students to vote, said Erika Wolf, field organizer and lobbyist for the United Council of UW Students, an advocacy group that represents about 150,000 students throughout Wisconsin.

Participants wore zombie makeup and red-streaked T-shirts stating “Students are as good as dead” and lay on the steps of the Capitol while a “eulogy” was read and other protestors, dressed in black, posed as “mourners,” Wolf said. The group then marched through the Capitol and later stood near a crowd outside where Gov. Scott Walker was addressing a group from Special Olympics Wisconsin.

Kelly Kloepping, vice-president of communications for Special Olympics Wisconsin, said the protesters were respectful and caused no disruption.

There was even a somewhat touchingly Zombie Friendly sentiment to the protest:

With the zombie theme, the group was trying to do “something funny and interesting and eye-catching, and show that even if they’re going to have their rights stripped from them, they’re going to rise up,” Wolf said.

Precisely so; if beaten down by injustice and/or Death, you should rise up, as a Zombie if possible, and have fun. Global Reanimation Block Party!!

As to the negative media coverage and attempt by many conservatives on Twitter especially to demonize this protest:

Ok, listen. The ZRC is non-partisan, in that both Republicans and Democrats traditionally have oppressed the Differently Animated. Recently, especially at the local level, some Democrats (like our own mayor here in Madison, Paul Soglin) have come out strongly in favor of Zombie Rights, and we support them for that. Still, the national parties have both been strikingly silent about Zombies. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that this particular organization in the Z-Rights movement has thrown in formally with a national party.

At the same time, however, the Walker administration in Wisconsin has been particularly Anti-Zombie, with voter suppression policies tailor-made to suppress the student vote (and completely eliminate the homeless vote) hitting the Zombie voter hard either intentionally or as collateral damage. His attacks on the basic principle of collective bargaining, a core value in the Zombie Community as seen in their nearly-total membership in representative unions popularly called ‘hordes’, is also alarming.

Wisconsin GOP Gives Zombies a Bad Name

It’s natural that Zombies would want to protest the Governor, and at least understandable that Living people might avail themselves of the trappings of Zombie culture to engage in similar protest.

Zombie Protest

The ZRC cautions Living individuals, however, to be sensitive to the Zombie Community when walking for a day in their Undead shoes. First, your actions can and may be misinterpreted, even lied about, and these lies used to undermine Zombie Rights, which is an equally worthy goal by any measure. Second: if you don’t put a bit more effort into your makeup, you look kind of silly.

Seriously; torn white t-shirts and a little karo syrup with food coloring doesn’t make you look ‘Zombie’, it makes you look like a college kid who just ate a watermelon on laundry day. If Zombiism posed no greater difficulty than a bit of red on you and a torn shirt, the ZRC would hardly be necessary. Not all Zombies are afflicted with obvious gore, of course, but this is political theatre we’re talking about. Don’t demagogue, but don’t trivialize either, and get some spirit gum and latex going for Pete’s sake.

Alternately you could just invite some actual Zombies, you know! They turn out if you ask nicely, and so does the ZRC:


We even have relevant literature about Zombies and their relationship to Governor Walker’s radical politics that you can peruse.

In summation: The ZRC supports yesterday’s peaceful, non-violent and respectful protests at the Capitol featuring students dressed up as ‘Zombies’. We simply ask for continued respectful treatment of the Zombie Community and an awareness amongst protesters of the potential fallout for actual Zombies from protests using the symbols of Zombie Culture.

A little mutual understanding goes a long way. Zombie-Living Solidarity!

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


7 Responses to “On Yesterday’s ‘Zombie’ Protest of Governor Walker”

  1. Ben says:

    Yeah, it’s not so much that it was “non disruptive” but the fact that you would use a time that is supposed to be used to draw attention to the achievements of handicapped individuals to draw attention to your own political machinations. If you’re gonna protest, get your permit, go to their town hall and protest with your zombie make-up there; not at an already sanctioned event funded and used by the special Olympics.

  2. Brad says:

    I love it! Taking a blocking position between the stage and the audience is only “standing near the crowd”, and not disruptive or disrespectful at all. Yep, video doesn’t lie, but the State-Journal certainly does. Loved the raised fists too. A charming touch to add to the ceremony and a nice reminder of the protesters true red character. Long live the Revolution!

    Why not disrupt the Special Olympics? Mere collateral damage in the higher cause of “social justice”. After all you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs! I’m sure the families of the children there thought so.

  3. John Sears says:

    Ben: You seem to be confused about something. This event took place in the United States of America, on public ground just off the Capitol. There’s no permit required for standing on a public street or sidewalk with signage to protest something. It’s protected First Amendment speech.

    Why protest here and now? Because if you haven’t been paying attention, Gov. Walker only scurries out of his spider hole to speak to private audiences of campaign donors and inside public schools where he thinks he can dodge the press and protesters; this Special Olympics event was a rare exception to the rule. He’s a coward, won’t face his critics or the voters, and his personal praetorian guard in the Capitol Police and the highly politicized State Patrol have taken to assaulting credentialed journalists inside the Capitol itself. Some of the video that’s emerged is harrowing.

    Given all that, I’d say he politicized the event in the first place by holding a very rare public appearance on the Capitol Square directly across from the *permitted* Walkerville protest.

  4. John Sears says:

    Brad: Everyone who disagrees with the conclusion you already reached is a liar. That’s a fantastic example of epistemic closure. The paper’s full of liars, the Special Olympics spokeswoman is a liar, all the protesters are secret commies, the government’s putting poison in your teeth and sending broadcasts into your fillings, etc.

    Bonus: It’s not a crime to be a ‘red’ or Communist in the United States; never has been, hopefully never will be, even accepting for the moment the laughably childish and ill-informed proposition that a raised fist is a signifier of communist ideology and nothing else.

    Extra-extra bonus: This wasn’t the ‘Special Olympics’, this was a press conference where Walker gave a canned speech. A bad one, from the video; that man couldn’t stand up to a high school debate team. Yikes. Functionally illiterate.

    Super-extra bonus: I’d wager that Walker’s massive cuts to the education budget and his illegally segregated school voucher scheme, which funnels special ed kids into ever-poorer public schools because most private schools WILL NOT TAKE SPECIAL ED KIDS EVEN WITH A VOUCHER would have more of a negative impact on the people served by the Special Olympics than a few silent protesters.

    Not that you’d read any of it, but you can see the impact of Walker’s policies, say, here:

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