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Please take your free speech to the designated protest zone.

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Quarantining dissent
How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech
James Bovard
Sunday, January 4, 2004


When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us."

The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech.

The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path. Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign.

Neel later commented, "As far as I'm concerned, the whole country is a free-speech zone. If the Bush administration has its way, anyone who criticizes them will be out of sight and out of mind."

At Neel's trial, police Detective John Ianachione testified that the Secret Service told local police to confine "people that were there making a statement pretty much against the president and his views" in a so-called free- speech area.

Paul Wolf, one of the top officials in the Allegheny County Police Department, told Salon that the Secret Service "come in and do a site survey, and say, 'Here's a place where the people can be, and we'd like to have any protesters put in a place that is able to be secured.' "

Pennsylvania District Judge Shirley Rowe Trkula threw out the disorderly conduct charge against Neel, declaring, "I believe this is America. Whatever happened to 'I don't agree with you, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it'?"

Similar suppressions have occurred during Bush visits to Florida. A recent St. Petersburg Times editorial noted, "At a Bush rally at Legends Field in 2001, three demonstrators -- two of whom were grandmothers -- were arrested for holding up small handwritten protest signs outside the designated zone. And last year, seven protesters were arrested when Bush came to a rally at the USF Sun Dome. They had refused to be cordoned off into a protest zone hundreds of yards from the entrance to the Dome."

One of the arrested protesters was a 62-year-old man holding up a sign, "War is good business. Invest your sons." The seven were charged with trespassing, "obstructing without violence and disorderly conduct."

Police have repressed protesters during several Bush visits to the St. Louis area as well. When Bush visited on Jan. 22, 150 people carrying signs were shunted far away from the main action and effectively quarantined.

Denise Lieberman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri commented, "No one could see them from the street. In addition, the media were not allowed to talk to them. The police would not allow any media inside the protest area and wouldn't allow any of the protesters out of the protest zone to talk to the media."

When Bush stopped by a Boeing plant to talk to workers, Christine Mains and her 5-year-old daughter disobeyed orders to move to a small protest area far from the action. Police arrested Mains and took her and her crying daughter away in separate squad cars.

The Justice Department is now prosecuting Brett Bursey, who was arrested for holding a "No War for Oil" sign at a Bush visit to Columbia, S.C. Local police, acting under Secret Service orders, established a "free-speech zone" half a mile from where Bush would speak. Bursey was standing amid hundreds of people carrying signs praising the president. Police told Bursey to remove himself to the "free-speech zone."

Bursey refused and was arrested. Bursey said that he asked the police officer if "it was the content of my sign, and he said, 'Yes, sir, it's the content of your sign that's the problem.' " Bursey stated that he had already moved 200 yards from where Bush was supposed to speak. Bursey later complained, "The problem was, the restricted area kept moving. It was wherever I happened to be standing."

Bursey was charged with trespassing. Five months later, the charge was dropped because South Carolina law prohibits arresting people for trespassing on public property. But the Justice Department -- in the person of U.S. Attorney Strom Thurmond Jr. -- quickly jumped in, charging Bursey with violating a rarely enforced federal law regarding "entering a restricted area around the president of the United States."

If convicted, Bursey faces a six-month trip up the river and a $5,000 fine. Federal Magistrate Bristow Marchant denied Bursey's request for a jury trial because his violation is categorized as a petty offense. Some observers believe that the feds are seeking to set a precedent in a conservative state such as South Carolina that could then be used against protesters nationwide.

Bursey's trial took place on Nov. 12 and 13. His lawyers sought the Secret Service documents they believed would lay out the official policies on restricting critical speech at presidential visits. The Bush administration sought to block all access to the documents, but Marchant ruled that the lawyers could have limited access.

Bursey sought to subpoena Attorney General John Ashcroft and presidential adviser Karl Rove to testify. Bursey lawyer Lewis Pitts declared, "We intend to find out from Mr. Ashcroft why and how the decision to prosecute Mr. Bursey was reached." The magistrate refused, however, to enforce the subpoenas. Secret Service agent Holly Abel testified at the trial that Bursey was told to move to the "free-speech zone" but refused to cooperate.

The feds have offered some bizarre rationales for hog-tying protesters. Secret Service agent Brian Marr explained to National Public Radio, "These individuals may be so involved with trying to shout their support or nonsupport that inadvertently they may walk out into the motorcade route and be injured. And that is really the reason why we set these places up, so we can make sure that they have the right of free speech, but, two, we want to be sure that they are able to go home at the end of the evening and not be injured in any way." Except for having their constitutional rights shredded.

The ACLU, along with several other organizations, is suing the Secret Service for what it charges is a pattern and practice of suppressing protesters at Bush events in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere. The ACLU's Witold Walczak said of the protesters, "The individuals we are talking about didn't pose a security threat; they posed a political threat."

The Secret Service is duty-bound to protect the president. But it is ludicrous to presume that would-be terrorists are lunkheaded enough to carry anti-Bush signs when carrying pro-Bush signs would give them much closer access. And even a policy of removing all people carrying signs -- as has happened in some demonstrations -- is pointless because potential attackers would simply avoid carrying signs. Assuming that terrorists are as unimaginative and predictable as the average federal bureaucrat is not a recipe for presidential longevity.

The Bush administration's anti-protester bias proved embarrassing for two American allies with long traditions of raucous free speech, resulting in some of the most repressive restrictions in memory in free countries.

When Bush visited Australia in October, Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mark Riley observed, "The basic right of freedom of speech will adopt a new interpretation during the Canberra visits this week by George Bush and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao. Protesters will be free to speak as much as they like just as long as they can't be heard."

Demonstrators were shunted to an area away from the Federal Parliament building and prohibited from using any public address system in the area.

For Bush's recent visit to London, the White House demanded that British police ban all protest marches, close down the center of the city and impose a "virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protesters," according to Britain's Evening Standard. But instead of a "free-speech zone," the Bush administration demanded an "exclusion zone" to protect Bush from protesters' messages.

Such unprecedented restrictions did not inhibit Bush from portraying himself as a champion of freedom during his visit. In a speech at Whitehall on Nov. 19, Bush hyped the "forward strategy of freedom" and declared, "We seek the advance of freedom and the peace that freedom brings."

Attempts to suppress protesters become more disturbing in light of the Homeland Security Department's recommendation that local police departments view critics of the war on terrorism as potential terrorists. In a May terrorist advisory, the Homeland Security Department warned local law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on anyone who "expressed dislike of attitudes and decisions of the U.S. government." If police vigorously followed this advice, millions of Americans could be added to the official lists of suspected terrorists.

Protesters have claimed that police have assaulted them during demonstrations in New York, Washington and elsewhere.

One of the most violent government responses to an antiwar protest occurred when local police and the federally funded California Anti-Terrorism Task Force fired rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders at the Port of Oakland, injuring a number of people.

When the police attack sparked a geyser of media criticism, Mike van Winkle, the spokesman for the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center told the Oakland Tribune, "You can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that protest. You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act."

Van Winkle justified classifying protesters as terrorists: "I've heard terrorism described as anything that is violent or has an economic impact, and shutting down a port certainly would have some economic impact. Terrorism isn't just bombs going off and killing people."

Such aggressive tactics become more ominous in the light of the Bush administration's advocacy, in its Patriot II draft legislation, of nullifying all judicial consent decrees restricting state and local police from spying on those groups who may oppose government policies.

On May 30, 2002, Ashcroft effectively abolished restrictions on FBI surveillance of Americans' everyday lives first imposed in 1976. One FBI internal newsletter encouraged FBI agents to conduct more interviews with antiwar activists "for plenty of reasons, chief of which it will enhance the paranoia endemic in such circles and will further service to get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox."

The FBI took a shotgun approach toward protesters partly because of the FBI's "belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps toward the possible ultimate commission of act which might be criminal," according to a Senate report.

On Nov. 23 news broke that the FBI is actively conducting surveillance of antiwar demonstrators, supposedly to "blunt potential violence by extremist elements," according to a Reuters interview with a federal law enforcement official.

Given the FBI's expansive definition of "potential violence" in the past, this is a net that could catch almost any group or individual who falls into official disfavor.

James Bovard is the author of "Terrorism & Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice, and Peace to Rid the World of Evil." This article is adapted from one that appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Conservative.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/01/04/INGPQ40MB81.DTL
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
I wonder if he really knows how many people hate him or if he actually believes he's doing a good job. If he cant see the protesters maybe they arnt really there.
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
^^^^^^ Perception is reality. That fucker actually thinks he's following God's will. Reminds me of that Manifest Destiny thing.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Mike Richards
Do protests really accomplish anything anyway (besides wasting time)?
nope totally ineffective. All they o is give authorities practice in dealing with crowds and give them reasons to buy the equipment. In essence each time we have a protest we lower the value of the act its effectiveness and its ability to occur.

protesting is the last ditch option. Unfortunately with a generation raised by teachers who grew up in the 60's all historic perspectives have been lost. Protesting has been glamourized.


It does provide entertainment in the post rave years, and its the only way chicks who don't shower can get laid.
 
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KickIT

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hi i'm God
I wonder if he really knows how many people hate him or if he actually believes he's doing a good job. If he cant see the protesters maybe they arnt really there.
What's he care? He only answers to God and orders he receives from him.

*c*
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by KickIT
What's he care? He only answers to God and orders he receives from him.

*c*
I didnt tell him shit. Infact he's not coming here when *blank* assinates him.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hi i'm God
I wonder if he really knows how many people hate him or if he actually believes he's doing a good job. If he cant see the protesters maybe they arnt really there.
when %90 of the population agree with you, you know you've one smething wrong


Trudeau




Protests have involved a smaller percentage of people and the numbe of flowers given to the US after 911. People should be angry, and he should ignore them. If popular opinion ran ever decision we would still be doing public executions and abortions would still be illegal.
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
If popular opinion ran ever decision we would still be doing public executions and abortions would still be illegal.
Good!


Ps. I'm just pushing buttons there ^^ ignore it.
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
nope totally ineffective. All they o is give authorities practice in dealing with crowds and give them reasons to buy the equipment. In essence each time we have a protest we lower the value of the act its effectiveness and its ability to occur.

protesting is the last ditch option. Unfortunately with a generation raised by teachers who grew up in the 60's all historic perspectives have been lost. Protesting has been glamourized.


It does provide entertainment in the post rave years, and its the only way chicks who don't shower can get laid.
Two points:

1) In a democracy, what's important is the right to protest, regardless of its effectiveness.

2) The effectivity of a protest is in direct proportion to the amount of serious attention given to the concerns of the protestors by the media and the government. The mere act of protest is not a measurable quantity, generally. Therefore, those in power (media, government and otherwise) are what we should be scrutinizing.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
nope totally ineffective.
Wrong, in general, protesting does nothing to correct anything immediately, but over the long term, positive effects can distinctly be seen. The Seattle WTO protest was a good example, the smaller 3rd world nations viewed the protestors as an element of solidarity to their position. So by the time Cancun came around, they grew a backbone that effectively caused the talks to completely colapse when the major Industrialized nations came at them with the same gameplan. This was seen as a MAJOR victory as a direct result of the anti-globalization protest in Seattle.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
those in power (media, government and otherwise) are what we should be scrutinizing.
... and I would add that a portion of the general public does start scrutinizing the media and government's handling of a given issue, and the issue itself only after they're aware of a protest.

Vietnam...
The American Civil Right Movement...
GANDHI!!!!

Any one of those topics ring a bell?

The Iraq protests are also interesting. Notice that more and more Democrats are comming out in opposition to the war? Why do you think that is? Are they pillars of morality? Maybe. Or maybe seeing millions of people protesting gives them the balls to take that stand? Maybe seeing millions of protestors around the world gives them the ammo to say shit like "Bush's handling of foreign policy has been a disaster... everyone hates us".

What about Canada in Iraq? Do you think the protests had zero effect on the governments actions? Why do you think Chretien was all secretive about our little passive involvment over there?

Polling and gathering general public opinion is one thing, but to actually see tens of thousands of people willing to march around in the freezing cold just to tell you how pissed off they are is another. Also, who do you think is more likely to vote? A random protest marcher, or an apathetic self centered scrub?

Every politician knows this shit and that's why they pay attention. In fact, I'm willing to wager that the only living person on planet earth who doesn't know this is Ditto Much.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
Wrong, in general, protesting does nothing to correct anything immediately, but over the long term, positive effects can distinctly be seen. The Seattle WTO protest was a good example, the smaller 3rd world nations viewed the protestors as an element of solidarity to their position. So by the time Cancun came around, they grew a backbone that effectively caused the talks to completely colapse when the major Industrialized nations came at them with the same gameplan. This was seen as a MAJOR victory as a direct result of the anti-globalization protest in Seattle.
Wow good point. I never really thought of it that way

Maybe Brazil's little shit fit about the fingerprinting is the same sort of thing?
 
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Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by 416
Maybe Brazil's little shit fit about the fingerprinting is the same sort of thing?
I had a good chuckle reading about Brazil's new program. Too funny... but so deserved.

(For those who haven't read it yet, Brazil has begun fingerprinting and photographing American tourists since the U.S. is doing it to theirs.)
 

Mike Richards

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
Wrong, in general, protesting does nothing to correct anything immediately, but over the long term, positive effects can distinctly be seen. The Seattle WTO protest was a good example, the smaller 3rd world nations viewed the protestors as an element of solidarity to their position. So by the time Cancun came around, they grew a backbone that effectively caused the talks to completely colapse when the major Industrialized nations came at them with the same gameplan. This was seen as a MAJOR victory as a direct result of the anti-globalization protest in Seattle.
Let's add up the man-hours spent protesting times the number of people times minimum wage (maybe I should start a protestor union :p ) equals a crap load of money that could've been spent on (IMO) much more effective and less expensive methods of showing popular disapproval!
 
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SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040106/CHRETIEN06/TPNational/Canada

Chrétien shows up at 9 sharp

By JANE TABER
With a report from Canadian Press
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 - Page A5


OTTAWA -- A punctual Jean Chrétien reported for work at his new job at 9 o'clock sharp yesterday morning at the Montreal law offices of Heenan Blaikie, impressing everyone, especially his new boss.

"I tell you I'm very impressed," the firm's chairman Roy Heenan said. "He was here at 9 o'clock this morning, right on the button . . . He says, 'You know I like to work'

Mr. Chrétien, who turns 70 on Sunday, will serve as legal counsel to the national law firm.

Although he will work mainly from the firm's Ottawa office, he will spend one or two days a week in Montreal, where he is set up in Pierre Trudeau's former office.

Mr. Trudeau worked as counsel at Heenan Blaikie from 1984 until his death in 2000. Mr. Heenan, who gave one of the eulogies at Mr. Trudeau's funeral, offered the office to Mr. Chrétien, who was apparently moved by the gesture.

Mr. Chrétien, who retired Dec. 12, has wasted little time in establishing himself in his new career.

"He said he would stay busy and here is a perfect example of his work ethic," said his former aide, Senator Jim Munson.

Mr. Munson said Mr. Chrétien, who is also planning a speaking tour in the United States, spent his Christmas holiday taking long walks at his cottage near Shawinigan and catching up on his reading.

Mr. Heenan said he approached Mr. Chrétien about joining the firm about six months ago. Mr. Chrétien, he said, did not want to put himself in a conflict of interest and refused to make any commitments while he was prime minister. However, he was interested and they were in touch shortly after Mr. Chrétien stepped down.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
protests are useless. you definitely get more attention sitting on your ass with a bag of doritos in front of the hockey game. it's the new form of dissent.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
first...

Otis that is possibly the most blind western thing I have ever seen you write. Protests began long before Seatle they began in Switxerland at the GATT inaugeration and before that in Montreal and in Toronto at the Nafta signings, each time people walk peacefully and made there point. Seatle was the Nikey protests, litterally sales of nike gloves went through the roof, and they were bought in the suburbs, they were suburban kids who were bored had nothing to do and joined the cause of the day. There was ample reasons for demonstration I agree, however to suggest that this protest and not the 2 dozen french ones, or tokyo suggests something abut your news sources.


Originally posted by Boss Hog
protests are useless. you definitely get more attention sitting on your ass with a bag of doritos in front of the hockey game. it's the new form of dissent.
I suggest that there are many options of much stronger effect than a protest.

Legal challanges don't get press because they don't need it. they prove the point legally and they set the precident under which business is forced to operate. A single legal win will be quoted hundereds of times in new cases, they also set the frame work for future cases. To challange the minimum wage law for instance it would be a far more cost effective and politically effective choice than a protest.

Protests aren't subtle enough in the long run. America supported a draft during the height of the protests in the 60's. It wasn't untill the major newscasts with embedded journalists stopped bullshitting that people were forced to admit a reality they were already well aware of. All the protests did was damage propperty.

I suggest that demonstrations are different than protests, the million man march was not a protest it was a demonstration, much of what solidarity did was demonstrations rather than protests.

I suggest that a demonstration is FAR FAR more effective than a protest. To place 50,000 people around a builing in total silence will always be more effective than what 1000 people rioting will deliver. The inherit difference between the two is simple, in a demonstration peace, law and order are accepted and upheld. to agree to all of the condiions of the opposed party is actually acceptable. they can be planned long in advance and in complete public view. A protest is a much more focused event.

The reason a demonstartion is more effective is simple. Power is held and decided by an older segment of the population. Rage does not appeal to them, tears of the victims work, cool and rational works, but screaming and yelling turns them off. They will sign a petition if it comes to there door and its explained to them by a coule with a child in there arms, but will ignore twenty peopl with igns. They will read anything that comes home in there kids lunch box, but when water cannons appear on the screens they turn off the TV before there children ask to many questions. They change the channel and the TV stations know this so they don't play it.

Completey illogical laws will get passed when 50,000 mothers walk down the streets a single time. This can be used for good and for evil. all protests do is inspire the parties who are damaged by them to get even and thus hurt things more. Bono did more for africa by convincing two major politician to listen than seatle, quebec, mexico, itay all put togther accomplished. Ghandi did more with salt and cotton than could have been achieved using any amount of protest.



good ideas are able to be explained in a way that is logical, they are good bcause they do the right thing and convincing somebody to do the right thing should never necisitate protesting in the street. Protest should occur infrequently in my opinion.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Mike Richards
Let's add up the man-hours spent protesting times the number of people times minimum wage (maybe I should start a protestor union :p ) equals a crap load of money that could've been spent on (IMO) much more effective and less expensive methods of showing popular disapproval!
Yes two months of all the bilboards along the gardner. Each one showing a different thing that is being done wrong by the group you want to protest.

This will convince voters, get news coverage, get newspaper front pages. And it is so peacefull nobody can be angry back at you, you don't come off like a madman you come off as a profit of common sense.

Appealing to people with mello and hill is always more effective. get kids to sing songs about the evils of SUV's and yu will do more to cause change than any amount of protest.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Two points:

1) In a democracy, what's important is the right to protest, regardless of its effectiveness.


As a point of order I support the right to protest and the right to freedom of speach. I can thus argue against any protest using my freedom of speach and you can protest my freedom of speach if you should so see fit.



2) The effectivity of a protest is in direct proportion to the amount of serious attention given to the concerns of the protestors by the media and the government.
I argue that we have to think of both the negative and positive spin it causes. Protests naturally cause many people to feel threatened and thus they create an opinion based on fear, this is a counter effect of a protests in that it creates an us versus them mentality. If I don't know what a protest is really about I might very well change the channel before I find out simply because it is unappealing to me. You have to remember what people who are 46 think, they are the ones who vote.


The mere act of protest is not a measurable quantity, generally. Therefore, those in power (media, government and otherwise) are what we should be scrutinizing.
Spins are used to sell, but common sense oesn't need to be sold, its searched for and bought. the easiest way for me to sell smething is to make you want it. The media knows this they use it for there selfish gains, rarely will supporting protest be in there greater interests. Nore is it in the interests of those who can afford to cause real change.

they are the ones you have to appeal to, the mothers with two 12 year olds, the guys with 15 years at the same job, the ones who just bought there secnd home to use as a rental property. These are a more valuable target 8 year old girls collecting for greenpeace caused more change than seatle in the grand scheme of things!
 
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