Monday, July 19, 2004

Protest the protesters, or arrest them.

Activists planning to demonstrate against the upcoming GOP convention should be on the lookout for young conservatives gearing up to protest the protesters.

To show that there is a group of people out there, there are Republicans that will protest them right back," said Tom Paladino, who leads the New York chapter of the newly formed Protest Warriors.

"We are the right-wing freedom fighters — we are out there and are just as animated as the protesters can be," said member Jason Sager, of Brooklyn.
Protest Warriors, which claims about 3,000 members nationwide, expects about 200 in New York for the four-day convention, which begins Aug. 30 and is expected to draw tens of thousands of opponents of President Bush.

Leaders say they know they won't have equal representation, but hope the contrast helps them stand out. They will be armed with their own picket signs and T-shirts, even video cameras to capture their mission."

(http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=536&ncid=536&e=2&u=/ap/20040719/ap_on_el_pr/convention_protests)

Well, while the right wing "freedom fighters" are trying to shout down their opponates the Secret Service is busy arresting protesters...

I got this via www.smirkingchimp.org:

"A husband and wife who wore anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's
Fourth of July appearance aren't going down without a fight: They will be
represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union as they
contest the trespassing charges against them Thursday morning in
Charleston Municipal Court.
Police took Nicole and Jeff Rank away in handcuffs from the event,
which was billed as a presidential appearance, not a campaign rally. They
were wearing T-shirts that read, "Love America, Hate Bush."
Spectators who wore pro-Bush T-shirts and Bush-Cheney campaign buttons
were allowed to stay.
"We weren't doing anything wrong," said Jeff Rank. The couple, who said
they had tickets just like everybody else, said they simply stood
around the Capitol steps with the rest of the spectators.
"We sang the national anthem," Rank said.
...The American Civil Liberties Union has documented dozens of instances
in which police removed people with anti-Bush signs from Bush
administration public appearances, while people visibly supporting the
administration were allowed to stay. Here is a sampling:
March 27, 2001: Kalamazoo, Mich.
Feb. 6, 2002: Evansville, Ind.
April 29, 2002: Albuquerque, N.M.
Aug. 23, 2002: Stockton, Calif.
Sept. 2, 2002: Neville Island, Pa.
Sept. 22, 2002: Trenton, N.J.
Sept. 27, 2002: Phoenix
Oct. 24, 2002: Columbia, S.C.
Nov. 4, 2002: St. Louis
Jan. 22, 2003: St. Louis
June 17, 2003: Washington, D.C.
June 23, 2003: Richmond, Va.
Jan. 8, 2004: Knoxville, Tenn.
July 4, 2004: Charleston

Reprinted from The Charleston Gazette:


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