Black Lives Matter activist Yeshua Musa, also known as Devonere Johnson, was violently arrested for disorderly conduct after entering the outdoor seating area at Cooper’s Tavern with a bullhorn and a bat.
Johnson has been active in the Madison Black Lives Matter protests over the past month, speaking at the very first protest held at the Capitol after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police.
Black activist held to ground, arrested for disorderly conduct outside Cooper’s TavernContent warning: this article contains details of a violent arrest. A Black activist was arrested for disorderly conduct outside Cooper’s Read…
Johnson led an open mic that occurred at this May 30 protest, inviting crowd members to come up and speak.
When one speaker said they were tired of worrying about what they would see on the news every morning, Johnson said, “Am I next?”
Johnson’s recent arrest prompted protestors to fill the streets last night, demanding his release.
Protestors tore down the Forward statue outside the Capitol as well as the statute of Col. Hans Christian Heg at the top of King Street. They also broke the windows of several other city buildings. Johnson’s words over a month ago mentioned this potential for destruction.
“We didn’t divide us by calling each other Black and white,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t Black people who did that, so it’s not up to Black people to fix that. If you want us to fix it, we gonna burn everything down out of emotion, out of pain.”
Protestors said they will continue to gather outside of the Dane County Jail throughout this week.
Johnson encouraged this type of continued action at the May 30 open mic, asking the crowd to speak up when witnessing injustice.
“We can’t sit around and be silent … you sit around and see somebody do something, and you sit back and watch, you did it too. You are complicit,” Johnson said. “So my brothers and sisters are in Minneapolis right now — I decided to stay back because I live in Madison — there’s a lot of things going on here that are under the table, and we need to pay attention to them.”
Johnson currently remains in the Dane County Jail as protestors continue to demand his release.