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Others Arrested For Anti-Bush T-shirts


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#1    dnb420

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:55 AM

Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young Aren’t the First to Get Booted for T-shirts
By Matthew Rothschild
February 2, 2006

Progressive.org

The booting of Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young from the Capitol during the State of the Union Address because of their T-shirts was not an isolated event.

In the Bush Age, such hostility to free speech has become all too common. Students have been booted from school, shoppers from malls, protesters from Bush rallies, simply as a result of the shirts on their fronts.

Stephen F. Downs, the chief lawyer for New York State's Commission on Judicial Conduct, was arrested on March 3, 2003, for refusing to take off a peace T-shirt in a mall near Albany.

The shirt said "Peace on Earth" on one side and "Give Peace a Chance" on the other. He had just purchased the shirt in Crossgates Mall, the same mall that ordered him to remove it.

When the mall's security guards told him to take the shirt off or leave the premises, Downs refused. They called the police, and he was handcuffed, arrested, and charged with trespassing.

Downs pleaded not guilty, and the mall later dropped the charges.

Bretton Barber was a junior at Dearborn High School in Michigan on February 17, 2003. That day, he was wearing a T-shirt that had a picture of Bush on it and the words "International Terrorist." "At lunch, the vice principal came and said I had to turn it inside out or go home," Barber told The New York Times on Feb. 26. Barber went home--and called the ACLU.

A judge later ruled that Barber must be allowed to wear the shirt in school.

Nicole and Jeff Rank were in Charleston, West Virginia, on July 4, 2004, to protest a visit by President Bush to the state capitol.

The Ranks, who are from Corpus Christi, Texas, gathered outside the capitol. People near them "wore pro-Bush T-shirts and Bush-Cheney campaign buttons, some of which were sold on the capitol grounds," according to the Charleston Gazette.

Not the Ranks. They were wearing T-shirts that read "Love America, Hate Bush," the Gazette reported.

The police evidently did not take kindly to that.

"Law enforcement officers told the couple to take the shirts off, cover them, or get out," AP reported. "When they refused and sat down, they were arrested." Two weeks later, the city apologized.

Jayson Nelson is a county supervisor in Wisconsin. On July 14, 2004, President Bush came to Wisconsin and gave a speech in a town called Ashwaubenon, and Jayson Nelson wanted to hear him.

He was wearing a "Kerry for President" T-shirt underneath his buttoned up blue denim shirt.

As he approached the final screening point, Nelson says a Republican event staffer demanded that he step out of the line and take off his top shirt.

"At first, I thought she wasn't even talking to me," he recalls, "because who tells you that stuff? So I ignored her and kept going forward and then she told me again, 'You, you, you, step out of line. You've got to take off your shirt.' "

She told the police to look at his T-shirt, and the police told him he couldn't be there and to get going, Nelson remembers.

On his way out, the Secret Service also stopped him. "They took my driver's license and wrote down my Social Security number and telephone number," he says. "I started to ask, 'What's going on here? Is a T-shirt illegal?' ”

My favorite story, if you can call it that, is of three teachers in Oregon who were sent packing from a Bush rally for wearing shirts that said ”Protect Our Civil Liberties.”

On October 14, 2004, they decided to attend a Bush rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds near Medford, where they teach. They wanted to see their President, and they also wanted to stand up for First Amendment rights, since they had heard on NPR that the Bush campaign was curtailing such rights all along the trail.

So they came up with an ingenious idea. They obtained tickets for the event, and they made and wore T-shirts that said, "Protect Our Civil Liberties." Alas, they were not allowed to hear the President. In fact, they were threatened with arrest.

I talked with two of the three teachers, Tania Tong and her sister, Candice Julian, both of whom teach special education to elementary school children in Medford. The third is a student teacher named Janet Voorhies, who works with Tong.

"We didn't want to come up with anything that was offensive or antagonistic," says Julian, who says it was her idea to have the shirts say, "Protect Our Civil Liberties."

"We were concerned about stories we had heard about people trying to go to participate in rallies and being denied access because they had paraphernalia that said something about Kerry," Tong explains. "We wanted to voice our opinion in a way that wasn't degrading to anybody.

The shirt was really kind of benign."

At the fairgrounds, they showed their driver's licenses and tickets at the first checkpoint. Campaign officials "were scrutinizing our T-shirts," Julian says, but they let the three in.

At the second checkpoint, which consisted of a metal detector staffed by the Secret Service, more questions arose.

"People came up and said, 'Do you know this is a Bush rally? We're concerned about your T-shirts,' " recalls Tong.

"We asked them why.

"They said, 'We don't want anything that's going to cause a disruption.'

"Then they asked, 'Are you going to vote for Bush?'

"And I said that I was undecided and my sister Candice said she was choosing not to answer because it's a personal decision."

The campaign officials said they could go in if they could guarantee they would not make a scene, Tong says. "We assured them that we did not come with any intention of being disorderly, so they said fine and said they respected our differing opinions," she recalls.

At that point, the three teachers assumed they were in, and that they could take their seats and listen to the President.

No such luck.

Campaign officials soon told all three women to leave.

One official called their shirts “obscene,” Tong recalls.

The police then threatened them with disorderly conduct if they didn’t take off.

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#2    Nadal

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:58 AM

This is totally ridiculous, I believe this goes against the freedom of Free speech.  You shouldn't be judged for what you believe in, what the colour or heritage of your skin in blood is, or of your sexual orientation.  Bush and primarily the conservative party is really starting to bend the rules on the constituation.

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#3    Iorning_Board

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:09 AM

Wow its really sad when the officials of an "elected" president of a "democratic" country begin to "dictate" what is and is not appropriate to wear, to be discriminated against for wearing shirts promoting non offensive political views and peace messages is quite pathetic and in a way verging on scary... unsure.gif the iorn fist of republicanism???

Edited by Iorning_Board, 07 February 2006 - 04:11 AM.

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#4    Glacies

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:12 AM

I used to remember hearing something the states had...freedom of....oh what was it....speech? yeah I think that's it. sheeesh.

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#5    Luziadus

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:02 AM

Could be signs of a dictatorship?  disgust.gif

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#6    Rykster

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:20 AM

I'll have to admit.  This is getting scary.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.”

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#7    dnb420

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:37 AM

Quote


I'll have to admit.  This is getting scary.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.”


It's: "Those who trade freedom for safety deserve neither."

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#8    Rykster

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 10:42 AM

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It's: "Those who trade freedom for safety deserve neither."

*Moan...*

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#9    bathory

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 11:55 AM

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It's: "Those who trade freedom for safety deserve neither."


actually it was more along the lines of "those who trade freedom for temporary safety deserve neither" but hey


#10    Rykster

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:01 PM

Quote


actually it was more along the lines of

OK, I'm a skeptic and I am anal about alot of stuff, but the point came across regardless of the semantic details.  Going off on tangents like this only serves to detract from the point.  Do you still remember the point ?  Does anyone?

Endymion raises a good one in the simple post...

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Could be signs of a dictatorship?


That concerns me far more than the exact phrasing of a quote from more than 200 years ago.

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#11    evil_kenshin

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 01:01 PM

its no suprise, theres no such things as true democracy anymore (its been bent for "anti-terrorism" laws which also seem to affect non terrorist related things)


#12    Rykster

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 01:04 PM

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which also seem to affect non terrorist related things)

That is what happens when you use dynomite to kill ants...

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#13    sofia

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 02:15 PM

How, exactly, can they justify that as being 'Disorderly Conduct'?  Expressing an opinion in a polite and civil manor is not only legal, but also protected in the bill of rights.  I could understand asking them to leave had they been jumping around, screaming "f*** Bush!" and harassing other attendees, but threatening them with arrest over a political t-shirt is fairly ludicrous.

And why should only Bush supporters be allowed to attend his speeches?  The president is there to serve everyone, not just the people who voted for him.

Attacks on Freedom of Speech really piss me off, even if using a shirt as a means of conveyance is rather immature and futile.

Quote


Could be signs of a dictatorship?  disgust.gif


I'm curious as to how, exactly, the American government works.  I was far too young to understand it when I lived there and I'm in another country now.  Does your system allow for minority governments?  If so, do the Republicans currently hold a majority?

Majority governments are generally a bad thing, often creating a 'friendly' dictatorship within a country.  It basically allows to ruling party to do as they please, which is an unfair representation of what the general public wants.  

Obviously, I'm basing this on Canadian politics. I'd appreciate it if someone could enlighten me to your crazy American ways.


#14    joc

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 02:40 PM

Quote

Wow its really sad when the officials of an "elected" president of a "democratic" country begin to "dictate" what is and is not appropriate to wear, to be discriminated against for wearing shirts promoting non offensive political views and peace messages is quite pathetic and in a way verging on scary...


What if you threw a party at your house and it was supposed to be a formal gathering and a bunch of people showed up wearing inappropriate attire.  Would you ask them to leave?  Or does freedom of speech mean I can wear anything I damn will please to your party whether you like it or not?  And if you ask me to leave and I say 'Screw you...I ain't leavin'!
...are you just going to say okay?  Or will you call the police?

This isn't a 'public' event.  It is invited guests only...and if an invited guest isn't behaving appropriately, what is the big deal if they are asked to leave?

The other thing is....How completely crass and low-class minded of anyone to go to such a function not dressed up to the hilt!  Shehann should have known better...the Senator's wife most definitely should have known better.  Grow up People!

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#15    Rykster

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 02:43 PM

Quote





That is a valid point.  Private, public.
Even has some back-up from the US Supreme Court.

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