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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:41 AM
Original message
need help from my fellow WI du-ers
Yesterday my fellow war protester got a ticket for obscene language for a sign that said "This War Is Bushit".
Some idiot complained that he was offended by the sign's obscene language-it isn't even a real word.
Officer Max LaPorte talked to the city attorney Nagle and the lawyer decided that it was worthy of a ticket. Officer LaPorte didn't seem to thrilled with having to write the ticket and even called his supervisor. He did take the sign with him when he left.
Clearly Bushit isn't an obscene word, George Carlin didn't even have it listed in his famous 7 that he got arrested in Milwaukee. Does anyone know what happened with that case?

When I can get the phone numbers and or addresses of the city attorney would any of you be willing to call there next week?

I posted this on the discussion-politic thread last night after it happened and one response was that one person was offended by the word bush.
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Oversea Visitor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. Tranfer this to LBN
You get alot of support there and its deserving of breaking news
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. It's not LBN unless there is a news article and link
but it is an outrage. I hope your friend fights this.

RL
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BrainRants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Where in Wisconsin? n/t
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
4. I want a piece of this. Where in Wisconsin?
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. It made the local newspaper
now I can post it on LBN

Sign wordplay nets protester citation

By Jessica Bock
Wausau Daily Herald
jbock@wdhprint.com

A Mosinee man who frequently protests near the Marathon County courthouse against U.S. policy in Iraq has been cited for violating the city's ordinance against obscene language.

http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/wdhlocal/3079518658444...


I just wanted to straighten out a few things about the Bushit sign incident.

There was one complaint, and it was an older man that said the sign upset his grand-daughter. There was no one in the car with him so I dont know how it upset his grand-daughter. He had stopped to complain to Mike and Wayne before I got there, but there was not enough time for him to take his grand-daughter home and come back in the short time Mike and Wayne were there before my mother and I arrived. Both Mike and Wayne said they saw no one in his car with him.

The sign has been in use every Friday for at about two years; there was a partial picture of it the Herald on July 31, 2004.

Mike said that it wasnt a real word; nothing was said about it not being in the dictionary.

In March of 2003 when they threatened to give Mike a ticket for disorderly conduct they were blowing smoke, one officer told Mike that he would not protect him in the future if he continued to display a flag upside down. The Chief of police set that officer straight the officer was not to let his personal beliefs not interfere with his job duties. I was there and there was no way that a DC charge would have been upheld against Mike as he was passive, he didnt even defend himself when Mr. Krasowski was kicking him.

I havent talked to Mike yet but the test the boundaries quote doesnt sound like him.

If the paper can print it without repercussions then it cant be too obscene of a word.

We have been protesting since the Bush administration started lying during the run up to the invasion. We will be there until the conclusion of this illegal, immoral war on Iraq ends.


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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Contact the Wisconsin chapter of the ACLU
Obscenity laws are a first amendment issue and they are the best prepared to handle such a case. If not, they will at least refer him to an attorney to defend him in court.

http://www.aclu.org/Affiliates/SubsiteDetail.cfm?Subsit...

ACLU of Wisconsin
Executive Director: Christopher Ahmuty
207 E. Buffalo Street, Suite 325
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: 414-272-4032
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BrainRants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Let's help this guy reframe his message
What about Bushitte? or Bush-it?

or my personal favorite: "Bush Shiite"

What is "Bushit" in Pig Latin?
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BrainRants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. This story made it to Green Bay radio today.
The sounbite mentioned that an law profosser at UW Madison said the officer was out of line and the county is in the wrong.

Paraphrasing what I remember:

"The Supreme Court ruled that negative politcal speech is constitutionally protected by the first ammendment, and further they determined that protection includes slang and profanity."

I'm not a lawyer, but sounds pretty open and closed.
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. Does that mean every Bushit bumpersticker gets a ticket, too?
I can't see that happening. Gee, that "Shit happens" bumpersticker must've been some cashcow for law enforcement....
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theshadow Donating Member (618 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
10. I'm not a lawyer...
... but I've been a cop for 28 years (God, I'm getting old) and a periodic member of the ACLU (to establish my DU credential, thank you). Bad ticket. No brainer. Idiot city attorney. The ticket will never see a court date, believe me.
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Viking12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. Not obscene nor illegal
See defintion of obscene as established by SCOTUS in Miller v. CA 1973. See also discussion of "profanity" (specifically the use of "Fuck the Draft") in politcal discussion in Cohen v. CA 1972.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
12. In the paper again
There is also a great editorial in the same paper.
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/wdhlocal/2918113782804...

Tue, Jan 11, 2005

City reviews obscenity ticket
ACLU attorney: Ordinance could be unconstitutional

By Joel Christopher
Wausau Daily Herald
jchristo@wdhprint.com

The city attorney's office is considering whether it should dismiss a public obscenity citation given to a war protester who displayed a sign that reads "This war is Bushit."
The protester, Mike Wallschlaeger, 41, of Mosinee was cited Friday near the Marathon County Courthouse after a passer-by complained to police about the sign. Police seized the sign.

City attorney Bill Nagle, who told police they could cite Wallschlaeger, said Monday that he will make a decision in the next day or two after he and his staff study relevant case law and consult with other city attorneys.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
13. The city decided to drop the charges but
I don't think Mike is going to let it drop, at least I hope not.

It's like an employer that knowingly tromps all over their employee and when they get caught they say oops, let's forget about it. Until they do it again. This isn't the first time but if Mike chooses to pursue it, it may be the last time.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. I hope he does pursue it.
This may not be the first bad act on the part of members of the local police but it should be the last. At the very least a whole lot a bad press will insure that they behave but unless a lawsuit is pursued to the end, I'm afraid they'll be back at it when memory has faded.

It's clear that Central Wisconsin needs a lesson in civil rights and I'm sure there are a few Wisconsinites who would like Mike to deliver that lesson. There might even be a few of us who would contribute to a legal fund for that very purpose. (hint, hint)
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 06:40 AM
Response to Original message
15. Yet another editorial
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/wdhopinion/30682032106...
snip
The story struck a chord around the world. Scores of e-mails have arrived bearing comments from Australia, Norway, Switzerland and Canada, and many parts of the United States. With perhaps two exceptions, the comments have supported Wallschlaeger's right to protest using the language of his choice.
snip
Thanks to any DUer that took the time to write or e-mail.

snip
When Managing Editor Joel Christopher called Wausau City Attorney Bill Nagle for a follow-up story, Nagle said, "I don't like this line of questioning. It sounds like you're trying to make this a First Amendment issue."
Nagle was absolutely right, of course. The attempted suppression of political speech is a First Amendment matter.
snip
This part was just too funny and at the same time pathetic so I had to include it here.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Was that in Sunday's paper? It's been too cold to venture out to
the paper box to get it.

I think it's interesting that this is going on in Wausau and yet the Marshfield paper has said absolutely nothing about it. Not one word! As they are both Gannett papers, you'd think they'd be scrambling to actually have a story to run with. But nothing. I gives me the impression that they are trying to keep it quiet and I find that quite disappointing.
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