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'Impeach Bush, Cheney' highway blogger exonerated

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:37 PM
Original message
'Impeach Bush, Cheney' highway blogger exonerated

Highway blogger exonerated
Judge rules man with anti-Bush signs not a danger
by Clarke Morrison


ASHEVILLE A judge found highway blogger Jonas Phillips not guilty Thursday of breaking a city law when he hung a sign from an overpass urging the impeachment of President Bush.

Phillips, 36, of West Asheville, had been charged by police with blocking a city sidewalk on the Haywood Road bridge over Interstate 240.

The defendant testified during his trial in Buncombe County District Court that he didnt impede traffic on the sidewalk or the roadway when the dangled the sign reading Impeach Bush, Cheney for several minutes shortly before 8 a.m. Aug. 15.

His attorney, Bill Auman, told Judge James Calvin Hill that Phillips was selectively prosecuted because of the content of the sign. Others who have displayed signs over roadways have not been charged, he said.

This is political speech, Auman said. This is his right to hold up a sign.

He wasnt blocking the sidewalk. (Highway) blogging is no more distracting than billboards or cell phones or bird droppings.

more...

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=...
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:44 PM
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1. All right! Score one for the citizens of NC!
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bluerum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:56 PM
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2. One small victory. Good for him - and us.
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lame54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:05 PM
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3. Here is what The Freeway Blogger inspired us to do...
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:05 PM
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4. Keep it up folks
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Smart wombat.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:10 PM
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5. I think I'm in love with the attorney...
..."(Highway) blogging is no more distracting than billboards or cell phones or bird droppings.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. Why are you guys happy? The suppression was a success!
They stopped his political speech and it cost them nothing. The cops will do it again next time, since there seems to have been no permanent injunction issued against them.

Any time cops get away with arresting someone on a bogus charge, they win.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. No, not at all. Be happy.
First, the "suppression" resulted in several newspaper stories at a minimum (dunno about other local TV coverage, etc...). Consequently, they got the impeachment message out to many thousands more people than a few minutes of sign waving would have.

It also revealed the identities of the political persecutors, thereby tainting any future efforts at suppression. And it punished them with the public humiliation of being tossed out of court on their ear (which is a "de facto" injunction).

They didn't "get away" with anything. It "cost them" plenty.

---
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. It cost them, huh? So do you think that will be the last such episode?
I don't. Compare http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9903EFDD... for an example of what should have been done.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Yes, it cost them plenty.
Will it be the last episode of thuggish policing? Of course not. But the last arrest for holding a political banner for traffic to see? It may well be the last in that jurisdiction -- and even many others.

And sorry, but I'm not seeing what's so different about the NY homeless case that makes it "what should have been done." Both judges told the police to stop pretending there was a law-enforcement issue just because they didn't like what some people were doing.

The freeway blogger had no reason to request a restraining order, as the church and NCLU did in a situation like theirs.

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