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Busted for wearing a peace T-shirt

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Friday afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "Okay, you've had your 15 minutes, it's time to go."

"Huh?" I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.

"You can't be in here protesting," Officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.

"Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists.

Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go."

Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, "Not before I finish my coffee."

He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason.

"Hey, listen. I'm a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I'm sitting here not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I'm not protesting and you can't kick me out."

"You'll either go or we'll arrest you," Adkins threatened.

"Well, you'll just have to arrest me," I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in.

You know the rest. Handcuffed, led away to the facility's security office, past people with surprised looks on their faces, read my rights, searched, and written up.

The officer who did the formalities, Eric Ousley, was professional in his duties. When I asked him if he was a vet, it turned out he had been a hospital corpsman in the Navy. We exchanged a couple sea stories. He uncuffed me early. And he allowed as to how he would only charge me with disorderly conduct, letting me go on charges of criminal trespass and weapons possession -- a pocket knife -- which he said would have to be destroyed (something I rather doubt since it was a nifty Swiss Army knife with not only a bottle opener, but a tweezers and a toothpick).

After informing me I could either pay the $275 fine on the citation or appear in court, Ousley escorted me off the premises, warning me if I returned with "that shirt" on, I'd be arrested and booked into jail.

I'm sure I could go back to officers Adkins' and Ousleys' fiefdom with a shirt that said, "Nuke all the hajis," or "Show us your tits," or any number of truly obscene things and no one would care. Just so it's not "that shirt" again.

And just for the record? I'm not paying the fine. I'll see Adkins and Ousley and Dubya's Director of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, if he wants to show up, in United States District Court on the appointed date. And if there's a Chicago area attorney who'd like to take the case, I'd really like to sue them -- from Dubya on down. I have to believe that this whole country has not yet gone insane, just the government. This kind of behavior can't be tolerated. It must be challenged.

I was at the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center because I'm participating in the Voices for Creative Nonviolence's 30-day, 320-mile "Walk for Justice," from Springfield to North Chicago, Illinois, to reclaim funding for the common good and away from war.


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You all say that now, but if all the world's police forces suddenly disappeared something tells me you'd change your tune really fast.

Some police are retarded. Just like some regular people.

If all the police forces disappeared, we probably would be murderred before we could change said opinion...

Anywho, They are. Not all of them, obviously. But quite a bit of them. But then agian, they keep us safe for the most part.

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If all the police forces disappeared, we probably would be murderred before we could change said opinion...

Anywho, They are...

I seriously doubt that everyone would become maniacally homocidal from the absence of a police force.

I blame Bush. He wants to stay in power and have as much controll as he possibly can. Therefore, making the poleice stricter. :sleep:

How would The president directly control police like that?

How would making 'poleice stricter' keep him in power, and why does he want 'as much controll as he possibly can'?

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For something that's labeled "America's Best Political Newspaper", that mag's pretty one-sided.

But, I do agree that some cops are retarded. And cops are regular people too with badges and higher authority. Once incident, what's the big deal? It happens everywhere else too and it's not because presidents want to take over the country and keep tight control.

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police are retarded

well those officers were

You really don't like bush do you?

niether do i. at least he has lost all his support and can't do anyore damage. just a lame duck now

but yea. i don't really call that protesting in my book, I mean he was just enjoying a nice cup of coffee. it isn't like he was holding up a big sign yelling "Bush sucks! Out of Iraq or i will shoot someone!". Plus he has a right to protest too. This country has a right called the freedom of speech. even if he was protesting for peace that right would have protected them. I mean if a protester is getting out of hand and yelling "Bush sucks! Out of Iraq or i will shoot!" waving a 9mm in the air then it is okay to throw his ass in jail. but over a peace shirt? that is just plain stupid.

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I seriously doubt that everyone would become maniacally homocidal from the absence of a police force.

I would, in fact im stocking up on assault weapons as we speak. When the government falls, the slaughter will begin! ah ah ha hhha :laugh:

How would The president directly control police like that?

Realistically he can’t, but im not limited to your perception of reality! (note the disclaimer my signature)

That pisses me off. dont you have the right to protest peacefully? even so, he wasnt really doing any protesting or bothering anyone.

This shit always happens but theres nothing we can do until the next election anyway.

I think we need a violent protest to protect our right to peacefully protest! Solders of peace!

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