23 Replies to “Illegal T-Shirt”

  1. So, do you give any odds that Ms. Sheehan will have an accident sooner rather than later, or do you think they’re that far gone/stupid yet?

  2. Between this and Blair’s cronies tackling an octogenarian heckler, the fucking wuss factor of the leaders of the so-called free world is getting up there…

  3. Wow, I was just commenting on this on someone else’s blog, saying the same thing. “Unlawful conduct” they say? I want to know how arrest is justified.

    This is not to say that the whole thing wasn’t a stunt on Cindy Sheehan’s part… she clearly hoped to draw attention to herself and her cause. But is the line now that we can be arrested for our attire? If she sits quietly in her t-shirt with its opposition slogan, that’s something a citizen can be arrested for now?

  4. I’m not sure that’s true. Bush obviously cares, or he wouldn’t be directing people to look out for her specifically. He hates being questioned or made to look bad. Ms. Sheehan may not be capturing most of the media attention, but I have very little doubt that she has his, however much he may try to ignore her. He’s not listening, but she has his attention — or at least that of his handlers.

  5. totally off the subject-HSA

    Since my e-mail didn’t get to you I thought this would.

    Next Meeting
    Wednesday February 8 – 7:30 PM at the Charlesworth Hostile

    Inventory/Potluck
    (Tentative Date)
    Saturday March 11 – 2:00 PM at the Charlesworth Hostile
    We will conduct a complete inventory of Safety stock and equpiment
    so that we can order for the upcoming festival.

    April Meetings
    We will meet regularly in the month of April, dates to be announced.

    May
    Weekend of the 19th is Safety Setup Weekend at Gaia.
    We will be setting up Safety and First aid this weekend.

    Festival Dates
    May 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

    Monday the 29th – Safety Cleanup and Staff Night
    Plan to spend the night on the 29th for some extra fun!

  6. He hates being questioned or made to look bad.

    Making a fuss over her, instead letting her remain one face in a crowd of over a thousand, would not be the way to avoid either.

  7. And yet, he seems to do just that on a regular basis. If he’s not choosing the most politically wise choice, there must be a reason for it.

  8. Such is the awesome, manipulative power of George Bush that the prohibition against demonstrations inside Capitol buildings was enshrined in the USC before he was even elected.

    He’s just that scary.

  9. I’ve posted this elsewhere, so I might as well share here too:

    http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/97-1337c.pdf

    The relevant excerpt for the purposes of this argument would be:

    Unlike the grounds surrounding the Capitol, which historically have been the site of numerous demonstrations, there has been a ban on demonstrations inside the Capitol since 1946 when Congress decreed: “It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons willfully and knowingly — . . . to parade, demonstrate, or picket within any of the Capitol Buildings.” 40 U.S.C. § 193f(b)(7). The United States Capitol Police are responsible for enforcing this ban. 40 U.S.C. § 212a. Believing that the Capitol Police needed guidance in determining what behavior constitutes a “demonstration,” the United States Capitol Police Board issued a regulation that interprets “demonstration activity” to include: parading, picketing, speechmaking, holding vigils, sit-ins, or other expressive conduct that convey[s] a message supporting or opposing a point of view or has the intent, effect or propensity to attract a crowd of onlookers, but does not include merely wearing Tee shirts, buttons or other similar articles of apparel that convey a message.

    Wearing a t-shirt with a slogan is specifically addressed and explicitly excluded from the prohibition against demonstrations. That means neither Cindy Sheehan, nor Barbara Young (wife of the Republican Representative) should have been ejected from the event (and in Sheehan’s case, arrested) based on their choice of slogan-bearing attire. This is backed up by the actions of the police chief, who has since admitted fault and issued an apology.

    Did this incident result from the policy of Bush’s people that the President must be shielded from protest and dissent (as we’ve seen with the loyalty oaths, ejection of dissenting ticket-holders from Presidential appearances, etc)? I believe it does. Whether or not Bush himself is the mastermind who sets the tone or merely functions within the parameters set up for him by people he trusts to “handle things” isn’t really the issue.

  10. Did this incident result from the policy of Bush’s people that the President must be shielded from protest and dissent (as we’ve seen with the loyalty oaths, ejection of dissenting ticket-holders from Presidential appearances, etc)? I believe it does. Whether or not Bush himself is the mastermind who sets the tone or merely functions within the parameters set up for him by people he trusts to “handle things” isn’t really the issue.

    Did you read the article that you linked to?

    Because– and I know I’m not part of the reality-based community, but I do tend to wield Occam’s Razor with gusto– I’m inclined to believe the Capitol Police Chief:


    “The officers made a good faith but mistaken effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol,” Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said in a statement late Wednesday.

    “The policy and procedures were too vague,” he added. “The failure to adequately prepare the officers is mine.”

    The two women appeared to have offended tradition if not the law, according to several law enforcement and congressional officials. By custom, the annual address is to be a dignified affair in which the president reports on the state of the nation. Guests in the gallery who wear shirts deemed political in nature have, in past years, been asked to change or cover them up.

    Rules dealing mainly with what people can bring and telling them to refrain from reading, writing, smoking, eating, drinking, applauding or taking photographs are outlined on the back of gallery passes given to tourists every day.

    However, State of the Union guests don’t receive any guidelines, said Deputy House Sergeant at Arms Kerri Hanley. “You would assume that if you were coming to an event like the State of the Union address, you would be dressed in appropriate attire,” she said.

    I am sure that in the reality-based community, the officers were briefed beforehand to crush dissent, and just to make sure they at least appeared ‘even-handed’ they hauled out a Republican Congressman’s wife in a pro-military shirt.

    Oh, almost forgot– they also used the way-back machine to set a pre-Bush tradition for denying access to people in T-shirts.

    That, really, is the most likely explanation.

  11. Hey now, no need to get snarky…

    Woah, woah, there. Easy, big fella. How about you step back the antagonist attitude just a hair? I’m not trying to get in your face, I’m trying to have a rational conversation and trying to provide some relevant reference.

    In fact, I *did* read the article that I linked to. You bold the line “Guests in the gallery who wear shirts deemed political in nature have, in past years, been asked to change or cover them up.” as if that contradicts or invalidates what I have said. I don’t think it does. Being ASKED to “change or cover up” is far, far different than being forcibly ejected from an event, and/or arrested. Do you not see the distinction?

    Did you read the PDF of the court case I also linked to? The Chief talks about the officers trying to “enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol”… but the Capitol Police Board’s own regulation (as referenced in the court case from 1997) specifically addresses and explicitly excludes wearing a t-shirt with a slogan as one of the things the police are expected to act upon.

    I don’t understand your reference to the Republican Representative’s wife. What exactly do you think I’m arguing? I believe that Mrs. Young was wronged in this situation as well, though not to the same extent as Cindy Sheehan (who was handcuffed, arrested, and detained). Removing Barbara Young was most certainly an instance of the officers at the scene covering their asses, after hauling away a woman in a slogan t-shirt in front of the press they were backed into a corner on the issue of Mrs. Young. The fact that they did not also haul her out in handcuffs or file charges against her for “unlawful conduct” (despite the fact that she admits she was argumentative and fought with the police about her removal) is evidence that they were not simply out there neutrally enforcing “the law” as they understood it.

    I’m not sure why you’ve decided to come out swinging, all sneering and sarcastic with me about what I’ve posted here. I haven’t made any sweeping accusations, I haven’t personally insulted anyone, and I feel I’ve backed up my opinions with at least a couple of references. If you don’t think I’ve presented my opinions well enough, you’re still free to disagree with me without being jerkish about it.

    I apologize to Gareth for perpetuating this in his LJ. I would suggest that we move this to a more appropriate forum if it must continue, or perhaps just agree to disagree and go our separate ways.

  12. Re: totally off the subject-HSA

    Ack. Turns out that I am unable to make tonight’s meeting, due to having no ride (Adam is studying for a test, and won’t be going). Please pass along my regrets, and statements of continued interest.

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