News Cindy Sheehan arrested

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Nope. As we've established, you don't have to have a permit as long as you're on public property and you're not obstructing anyone. For all those who are interested, here's the quote from the MSNBC reporter:

"...and they were moved a bit a farther down the street, and they were put behind barricades which had been on the street all weekend. It was at that point that Cindy Sheehan and others sat down on the sidewalk."
 

Astronuc

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Sheehan could be engaging in 'civil disobedience', and if so, she should expect to get arrested, and it seems that is the plan . . .
On Monday, Sheehan and several other parents of fallen soldiers were among some 300 activists arrested in a mass civil disobedience on the sidewalk outside the White House.

While right-wing critics like Rush Limbaugh like to suggest she's being bankrolled by Move On, Michael Moore, and other elements of the "limousine left," Sheehan's crusade is still very much a grassroots affair. When she and the rest of the Bring Them Home Now tour hit Washington this week to challenge Bush to meet with them and put the heat on Congress for funding the war, they crashed on couches and slept on bunkbeds at an international youth hostel.
http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0539,ferguscd,68201,2.html [Broken]
 
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Astronuc said:
Sheehan could be engaging in 'civil disobedience'
Normally, civil disobediance involves going limp and passively being carried away. However, in this picture Sheehan can be seen groping the two police officers who are carrying her, and almost reaching one's Glock with her right hand.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/Iraq/2005/09/26/1236538-ap.html [Broken]

http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/gun_retention.html
"By going for my gun, the kid gloves have come off."
 
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Evo

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Manchot said:
Nope. As we've established, you don't have to have a permit as long as you're on public property and you're not obstructing anyone.
"Sgt. Scott Fear, spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said they would be charged with demonstrating without a permit, which is a misdemeanor."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/26/wardemonstrations.ap/index.html [Broken]

As you can see from the picture, they're clearly obstructing pedestrian traffic. How can "hundreds of protestors" not be an obstruction?

As Astronuc pointed out, it's considered civil disobedience. They knew they would be arrested.
 
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russ_watters said:
MaxS, the bottom line here is that you are unwilling to accept the fact that all rights have limits, even the right to freedom of speech. Whether in this specific case, the protester stepped over the line isn't really important to whether or not such a line exists. And it does (and must) exist.
This is absolutely wrong.

The role of the government is to protect my fundamental rights and liberties.

Any time the government impedes or restricts those rights it has failed its duty.
 
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Evo said:
First, stop with the personal attack.

Max, since you seem not to understand laws in the US, perhaps you should read up before continuing in this thread.

Here's a test - can anyone tell me what loitering means? Seems no one has a grasp on that one either. :rolleyes:
I DO understand the laws of the United States.

Where do you go off thinking that I am ignorant as to the law?

I am pointing out that those laws are WRONG.
 

Moonbear

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Pengwuino said:
I think im the only one here realizing there have been rights that have been infringed upon for the last 2 centuries. How can one be so ignorant as to think that people should be allowed to do absolutely anything and everything they want to do without an insignificant bit of restraint?

Hell what if I wanted to protest the government by not paying taxes? What if everyone did it? Government collapses, the country collapses.

Protest by parking my car in the middle of Interstate 5? Tremendous traffic jam, possible accidents, possible loss of life.

Yell fire in a crowded theatre? Well I think most of the people here know the answer here!

Are you people just so naive as to think that society can run in anarchy?
She was charged for not obtaining a permit, that is my objection. If she had been charged with obstructing traffic, creating a public safety risk, assaulting a police officer, disorderly conducting, inciting riot, etc., then I would not be here arguing over it. But just the fact that someone is sitting in an office deciding who can or cannot protest by requiring a permit, that is a violation of the first amendment and I have a BIG problem with that. Are these permits free? Does EVERYONE who applies for one get one? If so, why require them in the first place? If not, then that is limiting people's Consitutional rights. If there was nothing they could have charged her with if she did have a permit, then why would she need it other than to suppress her rights?

I am not taking this position because of who she was protesting, but because of the restriction placed on ALL OUR freedoms by requiring a permit to protest. You should be allowed to stage a counter protest if you want without a permit. If someone were out on that same sidewalk protesting liberal policies and were arrested under the same charges, I would still be upset over it.

It's entirely possible there were other reasons for the arrest, such as lining up the protesters in a way that did impede pedestrian traffic or required pedestrians to step into the street to get around them, but then why wasn't that the charge? I realize this woman is on a crusade against Bush, and may have purposely been antagonizing the cops to get herself arrested and make it a bigger news story, in which case the arrest may have been justified (in fact, when I first saw the headline, that's what I expected to read and wasn't feeling sympathetic toward her at all), but that still does not mean the charge of protesting without a permit is a justified or constitutional charge.
 

Evo

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Actually, there could be multiple charges against her and the others. They picked the least of the charges, it's a ticket, which a judge will probably dismiss. I can't believe the fuss over this.

Also, demonstrating in front of a Federal building can bring federal charges. Not sure how the White House is classified. They knew they needed a permit and probably didn't get one intentionally. People are rarely denied a permit AFAIK.

Moonbear, they were asked three times to disperse and they refused. They were given fair warning. The authorities had no choice and this had to be done, otherwise a group like the KKK could do the same and expect not to be made to disperse.
 
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Moonbear

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Evo said:
"Sgt. Scott Fear, spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, said they would be charged with demonstrating without a permit, which is a misdemeanor."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/26/wardemonstrations.ap/index.html [Broken]

As you can see from the picture, they're clearly obstructing pedestrian traffic. How can "hundreds of protestors" not be an obstruction?

As Astronuc pointed out, it's considered civil disobedience. They knew they would be arrested.
I hadn't seen the photos earlier. Is protesting without a permit the ONLY charge? This is the part that still makes no sense. Were the police indicating they were sympathetic to the protest by choosing that charge? If the reason the permits are required are to provide notification to the police to help regulate traffic flow around the protest, then why not just require the protest be registered rather than issue a permit? A permit suggests you need permission, whereas registration would indicate you don't need permission, anyone could protest, but you just have to let someone know your intentions so they can accomodate the crowd and ensure the safety of the protesters.
 
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Evo

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Moonbear said:
I hadn't seen the photos earlier. Is protesting without a permit the ONLY charge? This is the part that still makes no sense. Were the police indicating they were sympathetic to the protest by choosing that charge? If the reason the permits are required are to provide notification to the police to help regulate traffic flow around the protest, then why not just require the protest be registered rather than issue a permit? A permit suggests you need permission, whereas registration would indicate you don't need permission, anyone could protest, but you just have to let someone know your intentions so they can accomodate the crowd and ensure the safety of the protesters.
See my above edit.
 
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Evo said:
Here's a test - can anyone tell me what loitering means? Seems no one has a grasp on that one either. :rolleyes:
I don't see what loitering has to do with demonstrating?
 

Moonbear

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Evo said:
Moonbear, they were asked three times to disperse and they refused. They were given fair warning. The authorities had no choice and this had to be done, otherwise a group like the KKK could do the same and expect not to be made to disburse.
I'm not disputing whether they made a public nuisance and there was likely an arrestable offense there. It doesn't matter if it's a war protest or the KKK, as long as the protest is peaceful. We don't get to pick and choose whose rights are protected and whose aren't just because we agree or disagree with their message. Sitting down with signs sounds peaceful to me. The risk is that all it will take if someone doesn't like the message of a protest is to send some cops out to tell them to disperse, whether the request is justified or not, and if they don't listen and continue protesting, they get arrested. It's a rather quick way to end a protest, even if the charges later get dropped (often that is the case, which means they then can't be challenged).
 

Evo

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Smurf said:
I don't see what loitering has to do with demonstrating?
The point is you can be arrested/ticketed for loitering. People were saying it's not illegal to stand around in a public place. Yep, it's called loitering.

according to Merriam Webster

Loiter

Main Entry: loi·ter
Pronunciation: 'loi-t&r
Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: Middle English
1 : to delay an activity with aimless idle stops and pauses : DAWDLE
2 a : to remain in an area for no obvious reason : HANG AROUND b : to lag behind
 

Evo

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Moonbear said:
I'm not disputing whether they made a public nuisance and there was likely an arrestable offense there. It doesn't matter if it's a war protest or the KKK, as long as the protest is peaceful. We don't get to pick and choose whose rights are protected and whose aren't just because we agree or disagree with their message. Sitting down with signs sounds peaceful to me. The risk is that all it will take if someone doesn't like the message of a protest is to send some cops out to tell them to disperse, whether the request is justified or not, and if they don't listen and continue protesting, they get arrested. It's a rather quick way to end a protest, even if the charges later get dropped (often that is the case, which means they then can't be challenged).
Well, that's my point, I would expect any group that acted in this manner to have been arrested. I'm not surprised that they were. I'm sure they wanted to be arrested to get more press.
 

Moonbear

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Evo said:
The point is you can be arrested/ticketed for loitering. People were saying it's not illegal to stand around in a public place. Yep, it's called loitering.

according to Merriam Webster

Loiter

Main Entry: loi·ter
Pronunciation: 'loi-t&r
Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: Middle English
1 : to delay an activity with aimless idle stops and pauses : DAWDLE
2 a : to remain in an area for no obvious reason : HANG AROUND b : to lag behind
Yeah, that's another law I never understood. Of course it only gets enforced when someone doesn't like the look of the person standing around. It seems if you stand outside in a business suit, people assume you're waiting for your ride home or for an appointment with someone inside, but if you stand around wearing ripped jeans, have a few tattoos and your lip pierced, someone's going to call it loitering. Mostly it's used in areas with a lot of drug dealing or prostitution to keep the "bad elements" off the streets, but that means you're arresting people for looking suspicious or standing around the wrong place, not because they've actually done anything wrong.
 

Moonbear

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Evo said:
Well, that's my point, I would expect any group that acted in this manner to have been arrested. I'm not surprised that they were. I'm sure they wanted to be arrested to get more press.
If their intention was to practice civil disobedience, as Astronuc's posts have indicated, then they may have been doing it for more than just the press (though I'm sure that was a big part of it). They may be prepared to challenge the laws requiring permits or otherwise restricting their right to protest, but you have to suffer some damages as a result of the law (such as having your arrest plastered all over the news) before you can challenge it.
 

Evo

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I doubt that their intention is to protest permits. The last thing the Bush admin wants right now is more bad press on this and Sheehan's group knows that and they also knew that their behavior would give the authorities no choice. It's so transparent. It's all part of the game.
 

Evo

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Moonbear said:
Yeah, that's another law I never understood. Of course it only gets enforced when someone doesn't like the look of the person standing around. It seems if you stand outside in a business suit, people assume you're waiting for your ride home or for an appointment with someone inside, but if you stand around wearing ripped jeans, have a few tattoos and your lip pierced, someone's going to call it loitering. Mostly it's used in areas with a lot of drug dealing or prostitution to keep the "bad elements" off the streets, but that means you're arresting people for looking suspicious or standing around the wrong place, not because they've actually done anything wrong.
Unless it's a large gang of meninhats. :tongue2:

Laws are enacted because someone wanted them. Laws are repealed when enough people don't want them.

If a group of drug dealers & prostitutes started congregating outside of our homes, we would love this law (well, some of you might not mind :tongue: ). Ok, what if it was a group of bible thumping, born again, ID pushing, hell fire & brimstone evangelists? :surprised
 

SOS2008

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The freedom of assembly in order to protest sometimes conflicts with laws intended to protect public safety, even in democratic countries: in many cities, the police are authorized by law to disperse any crowd (including a crowd of political protesters) which threatens public safety, or which the police cannot control. The idea is to prevent rioting. Often local law requires that a permit must be obtained in advance by protest organizers if a protest march is anticipated; the permit application can be denied. Sometimes this bureaucratic power is abused by lawmakers if the protest is not a popular one in the community or with the local government, with the permit process in some cities taking a great deal of time, organization, and even money required before a permit is issued -- and then, when issued, time and location restrictions are sometimes added.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_assembly
 

loseyourname

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Protests of the 2000 DNC in Los Angeles are a great example of the above. Groups were restricted to "free speech zones" several blocks from the actual convention where neither the delegates nor the press paid any attention to them. The worst part is that Staples Center is surrounded by leagues of huge parking lots, and the Los Angeles Convention Center, which each could have afforded large spaces set aside for the protesters to demonstrate. Instead, they sent them over to Pershing Park, which stands on the other side of several blocks worth of 50 story skyscrapers from Staples!
 

Evo

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loseyourname said:
^
Protests of the 2000 DNC in Los Angeles are a great example of the above. Groups were restricted to "free speech zones" several blocks from the actual convention where neither the delegates nor the press paid any attention to them. The worst part is that Staples Center is surrounded by leagues of huge parking lots, and the Los Angeles Convention Center, which each could have afforded large spaces set aside for the protesters to demonstrate. Instead, they sent them over to Pershing Park, which stands on the other side of several blocks worth of 50 story skyscrapers from Staples!
I have a problem with the designated "free speech zones" aka outer Siberia. :grumpy:
 

Moonbear

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Evo said:
Unless it's a large gang of meninhats. :tongue2:

Laws are enacted because someone wanted them. Laws are repealed when enough people don't want them.

If a group of drug dealers & prostitutes started congregating outside of our homes, we would love this law (well, some of you might not mind :tongue: ). Ok, what if it was a group of bible thumping, born again, ID pushing, hell fire & brimstone evangelists? :surprised
Hmm...given the choice between meninhats, drug dealers and prostitutes, or evangelists, I think I'll take the drug dealers and prostitutes. :biggrin:

But, seriously, if it's a public sidewalk, they have a right to be there even if I don't like it. I was never fond of the teenagers hanging out with their pants around their knees and their underwear sticking out in my last neighborhood, but they had every right to be there. If they come onto my property, then I can have them arrested and removed for trespassing. It's one of those laws that probably wouldn't hold up if it was challenged, but since the people charged with it tend to be indigent, they can't afford to challenge it, or don't have the education to realize they could or should challenge it.
 
It's pretty obvious that the permit process can be abused by the government but there is good reason for the permit process to exist. By going through a permit process the city can determine if the nature of the protest will be a problem such as say a KKK rally going on in Compton. Yes maybe KKK members have the right to say what ever they want but if they stage a sit in on the sidewalk in Compton, peaceful or not, there are going to be problems and legally such problems would be the fault of the KKK members because it was their activity that caused a disturbance. So there is one.
Two... The city can coordinate itself so as to minimize potential problems in the way of traffic jams, foot traffic, safety of the protesters, safety of the public at large, ect ect... If they know when and where such a gathering will be taking place they can have more police officers present and make sure not to allow other similar activities that may cause conflict in the same location at the same time.
Regardless of anyone's rights I don't want to have to deal with the problems resultant from a KKK rally setting up next to a gay rights march, the problems that could arise from such a thing being an infringment upon the rights of the public at large and their pursuit life liberty and happiness.


On the matter of loitering, this as far as I can tell is mainly to protect business owners. If I own a shop and there is a large group of people gathered outside my store which is detering paying customers from entering my establishment I'd liek to have some manner of taking care of that.
My friends and I had a guy working at a seven eleven tell us that he was going to call the cops on us if we didn't leave his parking lot. We had bought refreshments in the store and were playing chess on the hood of my friend's car. Really nasty scary people we must be huh?
 

SOS2008

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Evo said:
Ok, what if it was a group of bible thumping, born again, ID pushing, hell fire & brimstone evangelists? :surprised
You mean like this?

Anti-gay church protests at soldiers’ funerals
Associated Press
Aug. 28, 2005

SMYRNA, Tenn. - Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.
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The church members carried signs and shouted things such as “God hates fags” and “God hates you.”
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The church members held protesting permits, and counterprotesters in Smyrna turned their backs to Westboro Baptist members until time expired on the protest permits.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9102443/
 

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