ESPN Wisconsin

War's Over, Man...So's Mifflin Street

May 06, 2012 -- 7:48am

by Bill Johnson (


Montee Ball's ticket at the Mifflin Street block party was nothing serious. When it is listed off among the transgressions of UW football players (probably by fans of a rival Big Ten school) please mention that immediately. 


All do respect, the Mifflin Street Block Party is over. Or it should be.


It started in 1969. The Mifflin Street neighborhood was the hub of anti-war sentiment in Madison. The original party turned into a confrontation between student demonstrators and police. The lasting image is that of Paul Soglin, the many time and current mayor of Madison, then a student leader, bleeding from the head after an interaction with a policeman's billy club. While there were some troublemaker's in the crowd and some that just came for the party, the anti-war movement in Madison was serious, and Mifflin Street was it's Gettysburg.


Now, like so many other things in Madison, Mifflin Street has become just another opportunity for the over privileged, puffy student body to act like idiots.


The original Mifflin Street worked because everyone believed in the cause.


Today, residents are putting up No Trespassing signs. What would the 5 Man Electrical Band say? (or Tesla for that matter?)


With the spirit of the event gone, it's just an unwanted gathering of drunken morons. There's nothing wrong with that, but you can do it anywhere on any weekend. (just go to any Badger football game.)


It's time to give Mifflin Street back to the '60's and find someplace else for the children to play.

Return to: Bill Johnson Blog