Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
odinsgrl

Couple Arrested for Wearing Anti-Bush T-Shirts

19 posts in this topic

‘We weren’t doing anything wrong’

Couple in anti-Bush T-shirts were arrested at president’s speech

By Tara Tuckwiller

tara@wvgazette.com

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 Ranks hardly fit the image of rabble-rousers. Jeff Rank, 29, has a master’s degree in oceanography. Nicole Rank, 30, has degrees in biological science and marine biology. They have been married for seven years.

Nicole Rank arrived in Charleston soon after the Memorial Day floods. She was working as deputy environmental liaison officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, making sure cities and counties obeyed federal environmental laws as they repaired roads and bridges.

After police arrested the Ranks, fingerprinted them and took their mug shots, FEMA told Nicole Rank she was no longer needed in West Virginia.

“I have not been fired per se,” she said. “But I was released from this job. And when they release you from a job, you no longer get paid.”

The Ranks started to go home to Corpus Christi, Texas, but they only got as far as Roanoke, Va., when it occurred to them that they might not be able to contest their arrest if they weren’t in Charleston on their court date. A phone call confirmed their suspicions. So they turned around.

“We’ve been living in motels ever since,” said Jeff Rank, who spent Tuesday evening in his motel room with his wife, their cocker spaniel Feinman, and their marmalade cat Rowr.

“It’s extremely difficult [financially]. We can only afford to do this for so long.”

But they had to stay and fight the charges, he said, “because we didn’t think we were guilty.”

Since Bush took office in early 2001, people have been banned from displaying anti-Bush messages at dozens of Bush appearances across the country. In September, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against the Secret Service, seeking an injunction against the Bush administration for segregating protesters at his public appearances.

The Secret Service agreed that such censorship was wrong, said Witold Walczak, one of the lawyers that filed the lawsuit.

“They had an internal memo dated September 2002, saying they couldn’t treat protesters differently or worse” than anyone else at a presidential appearance, Walczak said. “The judge said any agent responsible for doing so could be held liable for damages.”

The Secret Service had been telling local police to sequester anyone displaying an anti-administration message, usually in areas completely out of sight and earshot of Bush. Because the Secret Service agreed with the ACLU that it shouldn’t be doing that, the judge dismissed the case.

“Prior to filing our suit in September, we’d get a couple of confirmed ‘protest zone’ complaints every month,” Walczak said. “After we filed, there were practically none. We had two documented incidents between September and March: one in Little Rock, Ark., and one in Knoxville, Tenn.”

But now, lawyers like Walczak are carefully monitoring cases like the Ranks’ — and two similar incidents recently in Pennsylvania.

“We’re trying to assess what is going on at these appearances ... whether these ‘protest zones’ are resuming,” he said.

“We are continuing to monitor all campaign events by both Republican and Democratic candidates. We’re prepared to go back into court if we see discrimination occurring.”

Because Bush’s Fourth of July stop in Charleston was billed as an official presidential visit, not a campaign rally, “That makes it an even more glaring violation of the First Amendment,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of the ACLU of West Virginia.

“It’s an Orwellian way to keep speech out of sight of those the speech is intended to critique ... We want to nip this in the bud before it becomes a habit of future administrations.”

A Bush spokesman did not return a telephone call seeking comment on the necessity of the “free speech zone.”

To contact staff writer Tara Tuckwiller, use e-mail or call 348-5189.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now this is just stupid and wrong. Do they really think if the President was in danger it would come from people in a "Hate Bush" T-Shirt?

I know capitilism is a popular thing, but most assassins don't advertise..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their next piece of attire could read, 'I got busted by over-zealous feds, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And we call this the land of the free???????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An entire family was arrest locally about a year ago for wearing Anti-bush, anti-war shirts at a local mall..

It's been kinda hush hush since.. but last i heard, the settlement was HUGE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charges dropped.

Source

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stupid... rolleyes.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is always more to these stories than meets the eye. I remember back in Johnson's administration when a woman was arrested for saying that she hated Johnson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Their next piece of attire could read, 'I got busted by over-zealous feds, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.'

laugh.gif funny cuffy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In western Europe we have this thing called freedom of speech. Until Bush took over, didn't the US have something similar? huh.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In western Europe we have this thing called freedom of speech. Until Bush took over, didn't the US have something similar? huh.gif

You have the freedom to say whatever you want here. As long as it is popular and mainstream...

If you have a difference of opinion with how the country is run you are on your own...It will be hit or miss as to how you are received.

I used to hate the ACLU for some of the cases they took, flag burning type of cases. Not until I actually looked into what they were doing did I understand that they were trying to defend the consitituion...Some of the lawsuits go a bit far for my taste, but dang it seems like freedoms are being chipped away a little bit at a time...

It seems like when people talk about freedom of speech they mean as applied to what they say and not necessarily what the other guy says...

It all makes me very sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have the freedom to say whatever you want here. As long as it is popular and mainstream...

Over here you can say anything and nothing happens. Like Hamza in London who spent the last few years asking Islamics in the Uk to rise up and kill white people, and stating that 9/11 was a great event. huh.gif

... not only did the government provide him £500 a week not to work, they ignored public outcry, ignored MI5's warning that he had terrorist links, gave him police bodyguards and currently are funding his defense against deportation to the US on terrorist changes with tax-payers money. disgust.gif

So US has to little free speach, and we have to much wacko.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in light of this..

I went to tshirthell.com and bought an anti bush shirt.

time for some experimental mall wandering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
in light of this..

I went to tshirthell.com and bought an anti bush shirt.

time for some experimental mall wandering.

Call me if you need bail.

Joc, there may be more to the stories like you say. But a tresspass arrest means they were somewhere they were not suppose to be. If they had tickets, then they had just as much right to be were they were as any other ticket holder.

The fact that they seperate folks who support Bush from those who don't violates the first amendment anyway you look at it. If we did the same thing to blacks we are called racist. Why is bush and his administration so damn afraid of hearing anything other than the things they want to hear?

He may not like it, but he SERVES everyone in this country, supporter and protester alike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

time for some experimental mall wandering.

LOL laugh.giflaugh.gif

Tell us how it goes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great man Bush is.

His advisors are now worried that he'll be outwitted by a T-Shirt.

Damn those inanimate object's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His advisors are now worried that he'll be outwitted by a T-Shirt.

By advisors we all take it you mean the oil companies who are pulling his strings grin2.gif

Yes, huh.gif at this point they probably are wishing their candidate wasn't just a gorilla they'd shaved and put in a suit. tongue.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ha ha ha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By advisors we all take it you mean the oil companies who are pulling his strings  grin2.gif

To quote Bush himself, "The haves, and the have mores."

OR

"I prefer to call you my base." -- Addressing a black-tie event of campaign contributors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.