Land of the Free…
…As long as you agree.
A man who protested Prez. Bush’s campaign trip to Pittsburgh yesterday with a sign that read, “The Bush family must surely love the poor, they’ve made so many of us”, was arrested by county police for not moving to a fenced off ‘protestor area’ (read: away from the press and out of view). You read that correctly folks, a U.S. citizen was arrested for excersizing his birth-right of free speach right here in the U.S.A. – ‘Land of the free, home of the brave’
“County police detective Thomas Ianachione testified that he arrested Neel because, even though he was polite and never used foul language, he refused to enter the fenced area where all the other protesters agreed to go.” – full story
There’s another freedom some people here in Wisconsin also want to repress if you don’t agree with them: the right to vote. Last night’s newscast (sorry, no link available) had a blurb about Republicans sending their own ‘Ballot Fraud Watchers’ to the polls on Tuesday to look for ‘suspicous’ activity and signs of voter fraud. They’ve even set up a toll-free hotline for people to call if they suspect ‘voter fraud’ – never mind the state elections committee, the Republicans will keep an eye out for us!
Of course, you won’t find these ‘Watchers’ in the affluent white suburbs of Milwaukee, they’ll be sticking to lower income, mostly black, and mostly Democratic parts of the city. It’s things like this that make the calls of our administration to instill ‘democratic principles’ in middle-eastern countries a total farce and mockery of the democratic process that they’re giving lip service too.
Democracy is about personal freedom and individual choice. Recent event, like those above, are becoming more common as certain groups struggle to maintain their grasp on control and power in this country, and as a result, the entire nation edges farther and farther from the Democratic principles we pioneered and were founded upon.