Sunday, September 09, 2007

Editorial: You should be very angry

Today, in DC at one p.m., Tina Richards (Grassroots America) and Adam Kokesh (Iraq Veterans Against the War) will hold a press conference at 1247 E Street SE.

What's going on? The same old question during life under Bully Boy: What the hell's happened to this country?

The backstory, September 15th (see A.N.S.W.E.R. for more information) a mass protest will be taking place in DC and IVAW will lead a "die-in". This will be part of a several days of action lasting from the 15th through the 18th. September 17th IVAW will kick off Truth in Recruiting. CODEPINK will be conducting a Peoples March Inside Congress (along with other groups and individuals) on September 17th. United for Peace & Justice (along with others) will begin Iraq Moratorium on September 21st and follow it every third Friday of the month as people across the country are encouraged to wear and distribute black ribbons and armbands, purchase no gas on those Fridays, conduct vigils, pickets, teach-ins and rallies, etc. And those are only some of the upcoming actions.

Simple enough, right? No. The DC police have harassed A.N.S.W.E.R., threatened A.N.S.W.E.R. and, last Thursday, you got a sign of just how ugly life in America is under the Bully Boy.

What happened? Tina Richards explains, "On September 6, 2007 I arrived at a press conference where Adam Kokesh and I wanted to demonstrate the legal application of the September 15 coalition. An attorney scouted the area prior and this utility box was chosen to be in legal compliance with the law. As this coalition doesn't have millions of dollars to advertise like Ari Flesher's latest campaign, putting up lawful posters is a way to inform the grassroots cost-effectively. "

Now the mainstream media likes to look the other way when these incidents happen, they like to pretend that it's a he-said/she-said case and there's no way to determine which side is telling the truth.

In our modern age, where every moment can be captured and transferred, the answers can be found in a video anyone can check out by visting YouTube.

What do you see?

You see Kokesh, Richards and others in a public place speaking to the press in Lafayette Square. You see the DC police rush in to attempt to bust up the peaceful press conference. You watch as Tina Richards's container of wheat paste is jerked from her, after her arm is jerked repeatedly and a DC cop calls for backup, you'll hear a DC cop start chattering nervously about "national security".

Richards was attempting to post a flier, with an attorney supervising and vouching it was legal, for the events beginning the 15th. She and Kokesh continued to post them (Richards hands had paste them, allowing the fliers to stick). Richards will be arrested. Kokesh, after the non-armed Kokesh and non-violent Kokesh attempts to post a flier, has his left arm pulled behind his back and is man handled. (Was it good for the cop? Did it provide him with nightime fantasy material?) Ian Thompson will be arrested as well.

As C.I. explained, "The three were charged with 'defacing public property.' Desecrating the Constitution is a-okay in DC which is why Bully Boy's still sitting pretty and not facing impeachment."

As bad as that was, it wasn't the end of it. The detained Richards is speaking to the press, she notes that her son, Iraq veteran Cloy Richards, wasn't fighting in Iraq to see rights destroyed in this country. She was speaking, with the press paying close attention, about the importance of free speech in this country. How to silence her? Send in a mounted cop.

Those at least one squad car had already arrived, suddenly a police officer on horseback comes charging up, frightening the people gathered peaceably, screaming, "Back up, folks, back up, back up, back up, back up!" He's damn lucky no one got hurt and should have his ass busted down to meter patrol.

The Times of India reported, "The charge caused a peaceful crowd of some 20 journalists and four or five protestors to scatter in terror, an AFP correspondent at the event in Layfayette Square said." And if you're thinking it can't get any worse, Paul Schwartman (Washington Post) reports, "A few feet away, Kristine Klein, 13, Richards's daughter, started crying. She said that another officer had grabbed her arm and pushed her. As Richards tried to call to her daughter from the cruiser, another officer closed the window."

Tina Richards has declared, "I have been asked if knowing all that would happen, the intimidation, the injuries and pending legal costs, would I do it again. 'Yes,' I have answered. 'Any day is a good day for the first amendment'." Which reminds of us the Native American proverb: "Today is a good day to die." We're not being sarcastic. We are noting that the 1970 Kent State massacre in Ohio didn't just happen. A White House that regularly sent signals that citizens didn't matter, that assaults on their rights were fine and dandy, set the stage for the murders at Kent State.

Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming,

We're finally on our own

This summer I hear the drumming

Four dead in Ohio.

-- "Ohio," written by Neil Young

"We're finally on our own." Not "Oh my goodness, we're on our own!" The Kent State massacre didn't just happen, there was a huge lead up to it over many years. The Bully Boy's administration has practiced the same dirty tricks and, yes, crimes as Tricky Dick's administration. More importantly, they've repeatedly sent the message that they are above the rule of the law.

What happened to Richards, Kokesh, Thompson and the rest -- including the press -- should be seen as the seminal moment it is. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention. And if you don't call this out, be prepared for the next Ohio because it will come bit by bit.

Get angry. And don't use stuff the anger, let it fuel you to make demands of your elected representatives, to practice civil disobedience and to insist that the illegal war be ended and Bully Boy be impeached. If you don't know where to start, many trying to make a difference will be gathering in DC on September 15th.

The illustration below is of Kokesh.

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