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|Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries|
|Wednesday, 12 December 2007 02:21|
It's a nice sunny day so you decide to go anti-war protesting with your friends.
You will be arrested.
If you obey all the rules, demonstrate peacefully, don't trespass or block building entrances, or obstruct public sidewalks or impede auto traffic, or destroy property and don't run with scissors, you will still be arrested.
You may be arrested for kneeling or shrugging or leafleting or wearing a plain T-shirt or holding a bucket of paste.
It has become illegal in the USSA to unknowingly break unknown, never-before-heard-of laws while protesting war.
It will be impossible for you to know what these laws might be. The only way you can find out what is illegal is to simply do something and then see if you get arrested for it.
To help you plan your day of protesting (never leave the house without clean underwear) you should thoroughly familiarize yourself with the following true-life events, amassed from the mass media over the past 18 months or so.
Associated Press: Police arrested demonstrators for kneeling on the sidewalk at a rally near the United Nations. The article never mentions why kneeling is illegal. So be very careful how you address an untied shoelace the next time you're walking along on a public sidewalk.
During the same rally, a person wearing a Bush mask was arrested. City councilcrats apparently sneaked a law onto the books making it illegal to impersonate a Republican president. President masks are commonly sold in party stores during Halloween. Be prepared for SWAT raids.
UPI article: A black minister was charged with disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer during a Washington, D.C., protest. The story never identified what conduct was disorderly. Breathing while black, perhaps?
However, the assault charge was explained. A police officer placed his hands on the minister's shoulders and the minister shrugged them off. One can easily imagine the officer's courtroom testimony: "The perpetrator assaulted me with a violent shoulder shrug."
Washington Post: During an attempt by demonstrators to post signs on public property advertising a protest march, a woman holding a bucket of paste was arrested. It isn't explained how bucket-holding is threatening to civic tranquility.
Ah, but Agence France-Presse reports the rest of the story: Washington citycrats claimed the posters were stuck up with adhesives that didn't meet city code, while the protesters were there specifically to prove that their paste was legal.
So what was the bucket-holder charged with? Possession of a bonding agent with intent to apply?
From an anti-war Web site: Two activists wearing T-shirts that read "Iraq Veterans Against the War" approached Fort Benning gate guards to ask about access. They were promptly handcuffed and arrested. A third activist removed his politically incorrect T-shirt and replaced it with a plain T-shirt. He approached the Fort Benning gate guards to ask about access. He was promptly handcuffed and arrested.
Moral: Gate guards will not tolerate T-shirts.
CBS Chicago: Six anti-war activists were arrested for passing out leaflets during a food fair in a city park. No further explanation was offered. Is leafleting illegal in Chicago? Were they guilty of leafleting without a hall pass? Were they charged with possession of leaflets with intent to distribute? Coercive leafleting? Threatening to paper-cut someone?
After conducting exhaustive professional Googling for this article, no evidence could be found indicating that a single pro-war demonstrator has ever been arrested. There are two possible explanations for this: (1) Pro-war demonstrators are absolute models of law-abiding citizendroids, or (2) Nobody ever, in history, in any country, gets arrested for supporting a sitting president's pet war.
A final note: You will now be arrested for reading this subversive libertarian screed.
Sorry about that. Hope you're wearing clean underwear.
More of Garry Reed's writing can be found at (http://www.freecannon.com).
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