End War Fast and Arrest

As expected, the CP covers the ongoing End War Fast targeting the military recruitment center in Oakland.  As you can imagine, the police are being less than cooperative and, apparently the protestors are depriving Oaklanders of greasy fast food, photocopies and overpriced bandaids.  Darn them!  Imagine the exercise of civil rights getting in the way of commerce and industry (and the low paying jobs without benefits that come along with those fries/burritos). 

So, here's my question … from the CP article:

By Sept. 8, Butler and picketer De'anna Caligiuri had each been cited for remaining on the sidewalk — Butler while seated at 5:10 p.m. on Sept. 7, and Caligiuri while sleeping there the same day. Her citation notes that she was “obstructing public passage of pedestrian traffic” — at 3:40 a.m. She was briefly jailed and released.

You may know Ms. Caliguri from previous protests.  While I'm not a always a fan of her tactics, I'm impressed with her moxy.  I think she was our waitress once at a local Thai place, but I'm not sure about that.

Anyway, I thought that the police were not supposed to haul folks off to jail for these types of offenses .. they are just supposed to issue citations.  How does sleeping on the sidewalk without a permit warrant an arrest (no pun intended)?  Wouldn't all that effort and the tax payer resources have been better invested in GIVING THEM A PERMIT to sleep politely on the sidewalk? 

Good grief, the “free speech zone” crap is just getting annoying.  Don't protest at the church, don't protest at the private residence, don't protest at Rite-Aid, don't protest on the Reform Pittsburgh Now website …tell me this … does anyone with any power or authority in this region actually believe that dissent might occasionally entail more than a pretty banner and a polite march down the street? 

When a person tries to act in accordance with his consience, when he tries to speak the truth, when he tries to behave like a citizen, even in conditions where citizenship is degraded, it won't necessarily lead anywhere, but it might. There's one thing, however, that will never lead anywhere, and that is speculating that such behavior will lead somewhere. Václav Havel 1990.

Mike and De'anna and friends aren't speculating.  They've leapt into the possibility of “might.”  Good for them. 


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