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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 11:19 pm:   

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday night before the start of the president's State of the Union address. A guest of California representative Lynn Woolsey, who has called for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, Sheehan was handcuffed in the House chamber for wearing an anti-war T-shirt.
http://villagevoice.com/news/0605,nation,72033,6.html
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Neal Asher
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 01:10 am:   

Similar to the arrest (under the Terrorism Act) of 82-year-old Walter Wolfgang at the Labour Party conference: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4291388.stm It seems that dreaded neocons don't have the monopoly on authoritarian heavy-handedness.
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simon
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 02:17 am:   

Labour Party at the moment being, of course, profundly committed to left leaning principles.

Ha (pause) Ha. (sigh)
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Neal Asher
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 03:43 am:   

I don't know, when either left or right are in power isn't the principle: DO AS I TELL YOU.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 11:56 am:   

Actually, Ms Sheehan was allegedly creating a distubance, besides wearing the shirt. Doing so gets one tossed out of the visitors' gallery no matter what your politics.

What's the big problem with the arrest? Civil disobedience isn't disobedience if it doesn't violate a law. Are we to expect police to not arrest us, simply because our cause is pure? Cindy had her say, she was arrested as expected (as, indeed, she was counting on), and she got her headlines. Though, tactically, she should have held her piece until the President was on the podium.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 12:03 pm:   

Actually, Ms Sheehan was allegedly creating a distubance, besides wearing the shirt. Doing so gets one tossed out of the visitors' gallery no matter what your politics.

What's the big problem with the arrest? Civil disobedience isn't disobedience if it doesn't violate a law. Are we to expect police to not arrest us, simply because our cause is pure? Cindy had her say, she was arrested as expected (as, indeed, she was counting on), and she got her headlines.

Tactically, she should have held her piece until the President was on the podium. Did she chicken out or was she warned?
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 12:39 pm:   

Allegedly. There are othe witnesses who say security simply rushed her out of the room when she took her coat off. Here's Cindy's account:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/2/1/31944/23746

However, the key difference is: Cindy's shirt violatd the rules of the chamber... she was arrested. Not ejected from the chamber. Not dissallowed re-entry. Arrested.

A congressman's wife was wearing a pro-war shirt, and was asked to leave because her shirt violated the same regulation -- she argued loudly with the security gaurds (by all accounts, creating a far greater disturbance) and was NOT arrested. she was simply ejected.

Reguardless of weather the rule is silly or not (or constitutional... there seems to be some case law suggesting it isn't), there was a double standard in enforcment.
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 01:42 pm:   

"In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the mere public display of fuck is protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and cannot be made a criminal offense. In 1968, Paul Robert Cohen had been convicted of "disturbing the peace" for wearing a jacket with "FUCK THE DRAFT" on it (which was to do with conscription in the Vietnam War.) The conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeals and overturned by the Supreme Court. Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971)."

This seems about as on-point as it's possible to get.

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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 03:42 pm:   

And now charges are being dropped against Sheehan.

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