March 23 — UW-Madison suspends face-to-face instruction.
April 7 — UW-Madison students Elena Haasl and Max Prestigacomo both win their respective races for government office.
Haasl assumes the District 5 seat on the Dane County Board with 55 percent of the vote and Prestigacomo wins his uncontested race for the District 8 seat on the Madison Common Council.
April 24 — A “Freedom Rally” takes place outside the Capitol building to protest the ‘Safe-at-Home’ order.
An estimated 1,500 protesters gathered in downtown Madison just outside the Capitol building to protest Gov. Tony Evers’ extension of the ‘Safer-at-Home’ order Friday. At the rally, several speakers also claimed the quarantine was more hazardous to the health of Wisconsinites than the COVID-19 virus.
Daily Cardinal reporter Jackson Mozena covers the protest.
May 18 — Public Health announces “Forward Dane” plan and encourages businesses to prepare for re-opening.
May 30 — Peaceful protests honoring George Floyd’s death descend into chaos as windows are broken and businesses are looted. MPD tear gasses protesters and bystanders.
Five days after the death of George Floyd, a peaceful protest was scheduled to take place in downtown Madison. After five and a half hours of marching and demonstrations, the protest turned into a riot as a SWAT team arrived and MPD sprayed tear gas. Businesses were broken into and looted, including Goodman’s Jewelers. Beloved Madison street performer Paul Schlosser was gassed as well as Tony Robinson’s sister, who was at the time pleading with protesters to let the police be. A cop car was driven down the road and set on fire by protesters.
It is later confirmed that UWPD aided MPD with personnel and chemical ammunition.
Daily Cardinal reporter and sports editor Nathan Denzin covers the protest.
May 31 — Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway declares a state of emergency and imposes a curfew on Madison’s Isthmus.
Artists begin painting murals on boarded-up stores and city buildings to celebrate the lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
June 1 — Protesters gather in front of the Dane County Jail to demand Black inmates be released. From there, the group moves down to John Nolan Drive, where they sat and blocked traffic coming in and out of the city.
After 13 hours of peaceful protest, riots break out once again on State Street.
Daily Cardinal reporter and sports editor Nathan Denzin covers the events.
June 14 — Over 80 artists and countless youth muralists paint over 100 distinct pieces of artwork
June 16 — Alder Prestigacomo sponsors an amendment that removes $50,000 in funding for the MPD that would have been allocated to purchase projectile launchers. The amended resolution passes unanimously.
June 19 — A leaked video shows Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway praising the recent efforts of the Madison Police Department.
Rhodes-Conway apologizes to the MPD for not expressing her gratitude earlier, angering protesters as the contents of the video is spread on social media.
“I spoke with an officer in the CCB garage recently who said that they hoped I know how hard it is and that you are not who the protestors say you are,” Rhodes-Conway said.
June 25 — Phase 2 of “Forward Dane” is adjusted as positive cases increase.
June 23 — Protests break out after activist Yeshua Musa arrested downtown.
Musa, whose legal name is Devonere Johnson, had been a leader and constant presence at protests and gatherings in support of Black lives in Madison throughout the summer. Video of the incident showed Musa entering Cooper’s Tavern on the Capitol Square with a megaphone and baseball bat before being arrested by a group of MPD officers. Protests that erupted later that night resulted in property damage, the assault of State Senator Tim Carpenter, and attempts to set fires at Madison’s City-County Building. Musa is charged with two counts of federal extortion and faces up to forty years in prison.
The “Forward” statue is knocked down by crowds outside the Wisconsin Capitol building.
July 13 — Dane County’s mask ordinance takes effect.
On the same day, Helbachs Coffee Roasters posts a sign on its front door declaring the coffee shop a “mask-free zone.”
July 14 — Alder Prestigacomo proposes an ordinance banning harmful crowd control tools including tear gas and impact-projectiles. He also calls for an end to the 1033 Program that allows MPD to acquire surplus military equipment.
July 15 — Public Health Madison & Dane County sends a health inspector to Helbachs. The shop owners calls the Middleton police to the scene and report harassment.
July 16 — Madison Teachers Inc. demands the Madison Metropolitan School District begin the school year virtually.
July 17 — MMSD announces that they will concede and start the year virtually and move to in-person learning when it is deemed safe.
Protesters begin to gather outside Helbachs coffee shop during business hours in defiance of the shop’s no-mask policy as well as homophobic and racist posts that owners have allegedly made on social media. Later protests feature demonstrators handing out free snacks and coffee in front of the shop.
July 21 — The Madison City Council rejects a proposal to put $250,000 towards State Street and other local businesses facing damages from protests Downtown.
July 27 — The Madison Professional Police Officers Association announces a “declaration of no confidence in the leadership of Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.”
August 5 — Kanye West’s presidential campaign misses the deadline to submit nomination papers by 14 seconds at the Wisconsin Elections Commission building in Madison.
August 13 — The Dane County Board approves a resolution making Juneteenth an official holiday for county government employees.
August 21 — Public Health & Dane County issues an order requiring all county schools, public and private, to begin the year with virtual instruction for grades 3-12.
August 25 — Over 1,000 demonstrators gather in the downtown Madison area late Monday night to protest the police shooting of 29-year-old Black man and father of three, Jacob Blake.
During the unrest, protestors lit several dumpsters on fire and damaged a number of buildings throughout the downtown area before being confronted with tear gas and pepper spray by Madison Riot Police.
Daily Cardinal reporter Jackson Mozena covers the protest.
August 31 — Helbachs closes after the shop’s landlord refuses to renew their lease. Before the shop’s closing, Helbachs had received three citations for violating the county’s public health order and was also put at risk of losing its food and drink license.
September 2 — UW-Madison begins the school year with majority-online classes.