Monday, September 19, 2005
Cindy Sheehan, Unplugged:
Cindy Sheehan may be the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement. But that didn't stop members of the New York Police Department from marching into the crowd of about 150 people gathered in Union Square Monday to hear her speak and yanking away the microphone.UPDATE (via the one-and-onliest Avedon Carol): Our esteemed colleague Screwy Hoolie notes that the religious right has not so far managed to generate much outrage on behalf of these persecuted Christians:
The NYPD pulled the plug just as Sheehan was calling on the audience not to lose heart in the fight to end the war in Iraq.
"We get up every morning, and every morning we see this enormous mountain in front of us," said Sheehan, speaking on behalf of the other parents and family members of fallen soldiers who have taken up the crusade to bring the troops home.
"We can't go through it, we can't go under it, so we have to go over it," she continued, just as the cops rushed the makeshift podium.
Police dragged away Paul Zulkowitz, a.k.a. Zool, an organizer with “Camp Casey NYC,” the small encampment that he and other activists set up a month ago in Union Square in solidarity with Sheehan’s vigil outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. The New York branch existed much to the ire of the city’s Parks Department. Today, Zulkowitz was arrested for failing to obtain a sound permit—a charge that normally warrants no more than a summons . . . .
Inspector Michael McEnroy, commander of the 13th Precinct, insisted the shutdown order had nothing to do with the content of Sheehan’s speech, but was instead about the "provocation" caused by Zulkowitz. “This has been going on for much longer than today,” McEnroy said, adding of Sheehan, “I don’t even know the woman.” That last part prompted one pissed-off onlooker to shoot back: “Haven’t you watched the news or read a paper in the last three months?”
Four peace activists face up to eight years in federal prison and $275,000 fines each for their non-violent protest of the Iraq war if convicted of the federal charges filed against them in U.S. District Court. The trial, which begins September 19 in Binghamton NY, is the first time the Federal government has pressed conspiracy charges against civilian Iraq war protesters . . . .Categories: Sheehan, protest, NYPD
The St. Patrick's Four have been charged with "conspiracy to impede an officer of the United States by threat, intimidation and force" and other lesser charges for their actions at their local military recruiting station on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2003, two days before the US military invasion of Iraq began.
The four peace activists, all parents and members of the Ithaca Catholic Worker Movement, entered their local military recruiting station, knelt, said a prayer for peace and then carefully poured a small amount of their blood on recruiting center posters, walls and flag to symbolize the violence of war and the sanctity of life.
"International law demands that we try to avert our nation's aggressive criminal behavior. If we do not, we become guilty of the crimes of our nation," wrote the St. Patrick's four in an Ithaca Journal Op-ed article. "We long for the day when the killing of people upsets us as much as the sight of blood poured on the flag."