Wednesday, February 01, 2006
2,245 and how many more?
I didn't watch/listen to the State of the Union last night -- I couldn't stand it. I still can't: I haven't even read the transcript. (I've read summaries, which is the most I could stomach. If you're having a similar problem, perhaps it will help if you read the speech translated into pirate slang.)
But I have to say that I am appalled -- though not in the least surprised -- by Cindy Sheehan's arrest last night. She was arrested for wearing a T-Shirt with the phrase in this post's title to the State of the Union (she had been given a ticket by a Democratic representative). The charge was "unlawful conduct"; she was led away in handcuffs before the speech began.
John Aravosis rightly notes the relevant Supreme Court precedent: Cohen v. California (1971), which ruled that someone wearing a T-shirt which read "Fuck the Draft" in a courthouse was constitutionally protected speech.
So much for the first amendment.
Of course, as I said, I'm not in the least bit surprised. Bush has been having people removed from his speeches for wearing T-shirts and like offenses -- even for the bumper stickers on their cars -- for years. And, yes, some of those were public events, paid for with public money, to which the citizens in question had a ticket. So no surprise. But I am appalled -- as we should all be appalled at all of many ways in which civil liberties have been curtailed during Bush's reign.
Bush's America: a land where free speech is "unlawful conduct".
Impeach Bush; impeach Cheney. Do it now.
(Update: More Sheehan commentary from Digby. And follow the links: Digby links here, which in turn links here. Elsewhere, John has Cindy Sheehan's version of the evening, and a picture of the shirt, here.)