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Thread: Left Rhetoric or Truth? Denver Residents Blocked from Bush Event Because of Bumper S

  1. #1
    Senior Member genXer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Left Rhetoric or Truth? Denver Residents Blocked from Bush Event Because of Bumper S

    Hello all-

    Ok, so I was reading about the Patriot Act, wondering if the ACLU was doing anything about it, when I came across another article on the ACLU's website that I found interesting:

    Link: http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/gen/2...s20051121.html

    ACLU Files Lawsuit in Case of Denver Residents Blocked from Bush Event Because of Bumper Sticker (11/21/2005)

    CONTACT: media@acluorg

    DENVER --White House event staffers unlawfully removed two Denver residents from a town hall discussion with President Bush because of an anti-war bumper sticker on their car, charged the American Civil Liberties Union in a federal lawsuit filed today.

    “The government should not be in the business of silencing Americans who are perceived to be critical of certain policy decisions,” said ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Chris Hansen, who is the lead counsel in this case. “The president should be willing to be in the same room with people who might disagree with him, especially at a public, taxpayer-funded town hall.”

    Today’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of Leslie Weise and Alex Young, who gained national attention after being removed from a March 21 event with President Bush. The presidential visit was open to the public and advertised as a town hall “conversation” on Social Security reform. But the ACLU lawsuit charges that Weise and Young, who had obtained tickets from the office of Representative Bob Beauprez and had caused no disruption at the town hall, were removed from the event solely because of their perceived political views.

    After approaching the security metal detectors, Weise was asked to show her identification, while Young was allowed in. The staff at the event then told her that she had to wait for the Secret Service to arrive. Eventually, Michael Casper, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, arrived. He wore a dark suit, earpiece and lapel pin. He told Weise that she had been “ID’d” and that if she had any ill intentions she would be arrested. She assured him that she did not and was allowed to proceed to her seat, where Young was waiting.

    According to the lawsuit, Casper consulted with other White House event staffers who advised him of a White House policy prohibiting people from attending this public event if they held a viewpoint other than that of the president. Casper then ran back to Weise and Young and forced them to leave.

    After the incident, Secret Service confirmed to Weise and Young that they were removed because a White House event staffer noticed that Weise had a “No More Blood for Oil” bumper sticker on her car. Eight of the nine members of the Colorado congressional delegation, including Democrats and Republicans, have since publicly condemned what happened to Weise and Young, and have called for answers from the White House.

    “What was supposed to be an historic opportunity for us to attend an event with a sitting president quickly turned into a humiliating and frightening experience,” Weise said. “We had every right to attend the president’s event, and have decided to fight back to protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans.”

    In addition to Casper, today’s lawsuit names Denver resident Jay Bob Klinkerman as a defendant, as well as five unidentified White House event staffers. Attorneys said that when they uncover the identities of those as-yet-unknown officials, they will be named in the lawsuit.

    “We believe that our clients were expelled from this public meeting on the basis of a policy formulated in Washington and implemented throughout the country,” said Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado. “This case is not just about two people, it is about protecting the rights and liberties of every single American.”

    The ACLU said that similar incidents have occurred at presidential visits across the country. According to news reports, individuals considered to have critical viewpoints were removed or excluded from Social Security town hall meetings in Arizona, North Dakota and New Hampshire.

    Today’s lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. In addition to Hansen and Silverstein, attorneys in the case are Catherine Crump of the national ACLU and Martha Tierney and Jerremy Ramp of Denver-based law firm Kelly Haglund Garnsey & Kahn, who are acting as ACLU of Colorado cooperating attorneys.

    Weise and Young have created a Web site with background information on the incident at: www.denverthree.org.

    For a copy of the lawsuit go to: http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/gen/2...l20051121.html

    Additional statements by Weise and Young are available at: www.freespeech/gen/21704res20051121.html.
    It will be interesting to follow this story to how it turns out and to hear from the named parties in the lawsuit. So far we only have the victims story.
    \"We\'re the middle children of history.... no purpose or place. We have no Great War, no Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We\'ve all been raised by television to believe that one day we\'ll all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars -- but we won\'t. And we\'re learning slowly that fact. And we\'re very, very pissed off.\" - Tyler (Brad Pitt) Fight Club.

  2. #2
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    An interesting article. As most of us know, I'm not a huge Bush supporter at all, but to be fair, there are 2 sides to every story. I have read a lot on the DenverThree website. It seems in their case, they were removed solely because of their bumper sticker, which is pretty awful, since they had tickets, etc. The Secret Service admitted there was no other reason. However, in some of the other "cases" they cite, I have some problems with what's being said.

    HAMILTON, N.J. (AP) — A woman wearing a T-shirt with the words "President Bush You Killed My Son" and a picture of a soldier killed in Iraq was detained Thursday after she interrupted a campaign speech by First lady Laura Bush.


    As shouts of "Four More Years" subsided, Niederer, standing in the middle of a crowd of some 700, continued to shout about the killing of her son. Secret Service and local police escorted her out of the event, handcuffed her and placed her in the back of a police van.
    I'm not judging her, because I'd probably be a little off my rocker if my son was killed in this war too, since I totally disagree with it. But there are ways to be heard, and ways not to be heard. Interrupting the presidents wife as she gives a campaign speech is a good way not to be heard. The title of the article makes it sound like she was removed for wearing the t-shirt...she was removed for disturbing the peace, not what she was wearing.

    The article about the incident in Oregon I couldn't read, the link led me to a blank page. I also didn't feel like registering to be able to read the article on what happened in North Dakota.

    The guy in Arizona seems to have been targeted solely for his shirt as well.

    It's an interesting question. In the case in Denver, it would appear that it was a staffer impersonating a Secret Service officer, not the Secret Service. It seems like that was the case in Arizona too. My opinion is that they were probably private citizens on a power trip, and who couldn't deal with someone who disagreed with them. The easiest thing to do would have been for Bush to stand up and say "It was wrong, it shouldn't have happened, I apologize to these people". His silence and refusal to answer questions about it gives implicit approval of the acts. That's where he has a problem. I'm not sure I agree with the statement that the pattern of incidents indicates directions from the White House to behave this way. There are *******s everywhere, they don't need to be taught how to be *******s. I just think in this case, it's possible that people are looking for conspiracies when the answer is as old as time...some people can't be given any amount of power at all, or they will persecute other people.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

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