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One of the first things that should have set off protests in the streets was 'free speech zones'

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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:00 PM
Original message
One of the first things that should have set off protests in the streets was 'free speech zones'
This was a totally unacceptable infringement on the rights of all citizens everywhere.

We should not accept it today, and we should challenge it as the unconstitutional violation of our rights as citizens.

It is the institutionalized version of crowd control that dictators use the world over.

And now we find that it was planned by the White House and included in a manual of how to control crowds at public appearances by the President.

I guess they forgot that the President is the President of everyone, not just repubs and supporters.
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JeffR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks for posting this
A topic that should provoke a lot more discussion and a lot more activism.

Bravo.

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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Absolutely true, Blackhatjack.
This should never have been tolerated, ever.

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DemGa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. I was outraged
Especially at the zero media coverage.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's fascist creep...
by the fascist creep.
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. LOL,, But urinating in a jar to get or keep your slaving job
Is just fine with most Americans..

Meh..
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
24. It INFURIATES me to have to do it...
It's one of the reasons I'll keep a job I don't even particularly like rather than go somewhere else. EVERYONE wants you to pee in a cup these days, pre-employment. I WILL NOT work for a company that thinks they can just randomly test people, though. Won't do it. My wife finds that aggravating, since it means I can't get the better paying jobs in certain sectors, but that's okay. I am NO ONE'S slave.
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. Ever wonder..
When they are going to get around to drug testing politicians?

If they don't then politician's jobs can't be very important.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. It's been brought up...
Back towards the end of the Clinton Administration, I think... Congress shot it down. Get this--they said it would "violate their privacy."

No shit.

Totally blew my mind when I heard that.
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. Now that you mention it..
I do seem to recall that..

Clinton was no friend to freedom, drug arrests skyrocketed during the "I didn't inhale" administration.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #34
42. To make it worse
he said after he left office that he thought marijuana should be legalized.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. When a policy can't stand up to criticism....
the alternative is to silence dissent.

I was outraged by the very idea of moving people so they couldn't be heard within earshot of the

Chimpster! What a P.O.S!
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. It'd be a start if we didn't use them at the Democratic National Convention
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patrioticintellect Donating Member (490 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I'm all for that
But will the Democrats be for getting rid of "free speech zones"?
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
27. Wasn't that the Boston Police's idea?
That's what the story seems to indicate.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
8. um, free speech zones aren't a neo-con invention. they are a result of trying to keep anti-abortion
Edited on Sun Aug-26-07 08:17 PM by KG
idiots away from clinics.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:26 PM
Original message
Fear not - the usual DU suspects will pile on anyway...
Sometimes the truth gets swept under the rug here.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 01:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
30. Got a link on that?
Thanks.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #30
38. Links
Edited on Mon Aug-27-07 08:49 AM by Flatulo
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C00E5D6...

The government also started to invoke RICO statutes against abortion protesters.

http://www.rutherford.org/resources/briefs/H01-Abortion...
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. So they weren't protest pens, they were, what injuctions requireing they stay
30 and 60 feet from the clinic? That means they could stand across the street.

The pens during the bush admin. seem to be a new creation. And also carried out without a court order.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. So some free speech zones are OK? Sheesh.
Abortion clinic protesters also had to leave their bullhorns home so the target of their protests could not hear them.

Don't get me wrong, clinic protesters are among the most annoying people I have ever met. But this is where things got started.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. I didn't say I agreed with shutting down protests, whether at clinics or at Walmart.
Edited on Mon Aug-27-07 04:13 PM by John Q. Citizen
But there is a difference between protesting, say, chinese imports vis a vis Walmart, and petitioning our government officials through peaceful assembly, and protest.

Also, the fact that a court injunction was obtained in the case of clinics is also different than arbitrary free speech pens set up by police Depts.

Certainly, if the anti-choicers wanted to walk down the street, tail candidates and officials and protest them to change the law, they should have the constitutional right to do that.

There is a difference though when their goal is to disrupt the legal delivery of health care services, or disrupting the legal selling of Chinese made goods at Walmart, and peaceful free assembly to demand our Elected officials outlaw the sale of Chinese made goods in the US, for instance.

So in some very real ways, their is big difference in protest pens at say a bush rally, and the court order issued in the clinics case.

They aren't equivalent forms of freedom of speech and assembly from a constitutional perspective.


(edited for clarity)
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-28-07 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. I agree that many clinic protesters commit assault by
getting into people's faces and impeding their progress.

Many others simply kneel and pray. There's a difference there. I think the 'in-yer-face' people should be forced to cease and desist the impeding of lawful foot traffic. The prayers seem to be pretty harmless.

Many many years ago, my wife was getting regularly harassed by some guy who kept shoving a picture of a fetus into her face. She had the poor fortune of working in a builing in which Planned Parenthood was a tenant. She worked for a law firm.

I go so pissed I walked her to work one day and when this dude accosted her I slipped around behind him and got him in choke hold - the kind you absolutely can't get out of. I completely immobilized him until he promised to leave people alone.

There was a cop there - he just watched. This was before the 60 foot restrictions took effect.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #8
33. Started during the Clinton years, true
Although I don't think they were only used at abortion clinics.
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YankmeCrankme Donating Member (576 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. I agree
That was the first step that helped initiate where we are today. The acceptance of "free speech zones" by citizens did two things. One, it showed that the people weren't serious about their rights and would not challenge in a meaningful way restrictions placed upon those rights or the outright loss of those rights. Two, it signaled the powers that be, that they could ignore the voice or will of the people with minimum or no effect. Will we have the courage and be willing to sacrifice to demand, with meaningful consequences, the restoration our Constitutional rights as individuals or do we continue down the road to perdition.
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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Right on all accounts. The ball really is in our court.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. But what gets me
It seems like the discovery of a "How to" manual by the WH has turned into a punch line.
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Has there been any legal challenge?
Edited on Sun Aug-26-07 09:22 PM by snot
If not, why not?

I don't get why abortion protestors can lay siege to doctors' private residences, but we can't be seen by the Prez during his photo opps.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Lots of ACLU challenges, none upheld.
Bush has greatly expanded the use of them.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
14. Did everyne miss post #8?
Edited on Sun Aug-26-07 09:24 PM by Flatulo
Abortion-clinic protesters were the first group to be herded into 'free-speech'zones.

This happened on Clinton's watch.

You gotta love the irony of it all.
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. People are good at ignoring that which they do not wish to see..
Note that my post about pissing in a jar got somehow overlooked too.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Yeah. I had to piss into a jar to keep a job I had for 25 years.
You'd think there would be some other way for the company to figure out if my work was good enough than by sniffing my pee.
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. It's one of those subjects no one wishes to discuss...
Of course, the only drug they can find after a day or two is pot..

Which is what it is really all about.

They are just checking to see if you believe the government lies, if you don't then you can't possibly be a good little employee..

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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. The first time a job changes their policy so we have to undergo
"random" testing, I'm going to walk in with a jar of piss and pour it all over someone's desk. "Test that, fucker. I quit."
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. LOL, I'm with you...
But the majority of Americans are sheeple who will do what they are told.

Drug testing is so entrenched in the culture I doubt it will ever go away.

The same way I doubt the drug war will ever go away.
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Yes, it WILL go away......such things are 'cyclic'......
how do I know how to spell these things ..... b/c I had a GREAT TEACHER, 'back in the day'. There's no reason that we shouldn't have great teachers NOW, except well, some of these teachers have been "left behind".

GOOD education is the beginning of sanity......not just "pc" (politically correcti) education like our children are getting now......
ick, ick, ick...."spit"
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. It's been around since the end of Alcohol Prohibition..
If that's "cyclic" then it is one damn long cycle is all I can say.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #35
46. Ever read "Smoke and Mirrors" by Dan Baum? It's a concise history of US
domestic drug policy friom Nixon (who coined the war on drugs term) to the first day of the Clinton Administration.

He interviewed Haldermann (Nixon's chief of staff) and Haldermann told him straight out that the decision to continue marijuana prohibition (even as they ignored thier own commision repot on pot) wasn't based on public health concerns in the slightest, but rather on political considerations. He said something to the effect of "We knew marijuana didn't pose a significant public health threat, but we couldn't outlaw being young, being black, long hair or rock music, so we outlawed the common denominator."

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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. But in that case protesters were still within sight and earshot of
Edited on Sun Aug-26-07 09:56 PM by guruoo
of their objective, not miles away.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
40. There is, of course, an *EASILY-DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE*...
Edited on Mon Aug-27-07 10:19 AM by Tesha
There is, of course, an *EASILY-DISCERNABLE DIFFERENCE*
between placing restrictions on a group's ability to
harass individual private citizens as they go about
their business and the ability of a citizenry to
petition their elected public officials.

And obufscating that difference helps the other side.

Tesha
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-26-07 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
16. The problem is it is a twist of a law we crafted
The law used to establish free speech zones is the one written to protect women's clinics from being blocked by protesters. The law was written to establish a zone in which they must allow for free access so as not to impede business. The free speech zones are just an extreme representation of this law. It posits that in an open air format oppositional speech impedes the events free expression. Thus by establishing a zone in which protesters can actively speak their mind they side step the fact that they are limiting speech and it is no longer free.

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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #16
23. The best laid plans o' mice and men..
Gang aft agley. -Robert Burns
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Gonzo Gardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
20. Doubleplusungood brother
But, who are we to question the Decider?

Heed his mighty words...

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator. ..."



Apparently this practice of restricting protesters in free speech zones goes back a few decades but, has been used increasingly since the WTO protests of 1999.

According to Wikipedia:
'Many colleges and universities earlier instituted free speech zone rules during the Vietnam-era protests of the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, a number of them have revised or removed these restrictions following student protests and lawsuits.'

It's worth looking into these cases to find successful ways to combat the further infringement of our 1st Amendment Rights.



Remember these folks? ...'Feds pay $80,000 over anti-Bush T-shirts'.

This was wonderful news and may set some kind of precedent in other cases. I believe that this ruling may dissuade, at least, local law enforcement from dragging any other citizens away in cuffs for wearing clothing deemed unacceptable.

It's worth testing.



Generally, what I gather from reading the few un-redacted sections of the 'Presidential Advance Manual' is that the Secret Service, and other law enforcement agencies are essentially instructed to look for people with SIGNS and GROUPS of protesters and move them to designated free speech zones. They really seem to be focused on the SIGNS and GROUPS who seem likely 'hecklers'.

Read the rest here: http://www.aclu.org/pdfs/freespeech/presidential_advanc ...

***There is an un-redacted section on pages 33-US 18 & 34-US 19 about Preventing, Preparing, Handling, and Being Aware of the 'DEMON'TRATORS'.



I really like the 'Orange Revolution' call: http://www.democrats.com/orangerevolution

What would happen if we all went on 'Orange Alert' and dedicated ourselves to regularly wearing orange t-shirts/clothing & accessories with dissenting messages?

Well, I plan hit the public sidewalks in my state capital wearing a 'special' orange t-shirt on Sept. 11 & 15 & 21. I won't be with any organized group, I won't carry a sign and if I meet up with others doing something similar I may choose to join them in a stroll. Oh, and I mustn't forget the camera!






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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
21. the worst thing about that, IMO
was the very small number who showed up to protest. If 2000 people show up to hear him speak and to cheer him. Then it really does not matter where the 200 protestors go.

Maybe blue states had better luck.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 01:04 AM
Response to Original message
26. actually, I remembered something else kinda funny in that regard
I went to protest a Bush visit to KCMO. I was one of the first there and first had to walk past a line of people waiting to hear him speak. They had set up a free speech zone on the square with barricades and stuff, so I went up there and sat around waiting for other protestors to arrive. A woman about my age showed up with a Dean sign and a paper, so I wandered over and asked if I could share her paper and mentioned that I, too, was a supporter of Dean. We read the paper for a few minutes and then she went to join a group of other Deaniacs which had just arrived.

My main point was that the other protestors ignored the Free Speech Zone and formed a group in front of each of the entrances (albeit across the street). Neither group seemed very large to me, maybe thirty people each, although I did not try to count or estimate, and other DUers there gave larger estimates when I talked about it here afterwards. I still thought it was disappointingly small, and would have been more effective if that square had been jammed with thousands of people. I had no interest in seeing him or his entrance and did not care if he saw us. I wanted the media to see us and the TV audience to see us.

I joined the group at the front after I thought he had passed and was a little unnerved when a fleet of limos escorted by motorcycle cops zipped past about ten minutes after I joined the group. I couldn't decide if I should give a nazi salute, flip the bird, or just turn my back. So I kinda stood there like an idiot and did not get turned around until half of his 'fleet' had passed.
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BuelahWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #26
37. Was this in 2003?
Edited on Mon Aug-27-07 07:00 AM by classicfilmfan
I was there! I was one of the Dean people, but not the one with the newspaper..
On edit, I wanted to say how surprised I was that they let us get so close to the front. I had heard about the Free Speech Zones and thought we'd get stuck on a back street. And these were times before it was cool to hate Bushco...
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #37
41. I can't remember the date
google cache tells me it was 4 Sep 2003

http://kcindymedia.org/media/index.php?limit_start=243

and this quote confirms my story

"Officer directing that the protesters move into the gated area above. Protesters stayed put. September 4, 2003"

"Officer explaining that the Secret Service has directed that the protesters move up into the gated area above. Protesters stayed put. September 4, 20..."

I still was hoping for a much larger crowd, considering Kansas City is a big city, and then figuring people like me who drove 40 miles to get there (and you as well).


There was a much bigger crowd in Lawrence in February. I am guessing you were there too. That was like the coldest day of the entire winter too, but we still topped 1000 anti-war protestors.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
36. Only the protesters knew.
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EnricoFermi Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
44. Well, it is free speech if you support the president
Those people tend to get VIP seating.

I can almost guarantee that Bush doesn't see a problem with that statement, nor do the plethora of Bush supporters who think we are all communists and America haters. The fact of the matter is that those openly criticizing the administration are the most patriotic souls out there, liberal or not. Our government has been hijacked, constitution nearly shredded, and no one seems to mind.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with breaking these stupid laws that are unconstitutional, or any law for that matter, so long as ethics are intact and you have witnesses. It is amazing how often the police will back down when they know they are on tape.

Always bring a camera, keeping track of faces and names, while documenting and speaking publicly about what you go through. We've seen what good it did in Canada, and I have optimism about what happened in KC during the CBS event.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
47. ITA!! It was OUTRAGEOUS that we acquiesced!! THE USA IS A FS ZONE!!!
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-27-07 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
48. President Clinton had nothing to do with LOCAL abortion protests or any police action pertaining to
Edited on Mon Aug-27-07 04:51 PM by WinkyDink
them. This is a specious argument, at best, and a canard, at worst.

President Bush IS USING the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT in DENIALS of FREE SPEECH.
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