And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free

AbookamongstthemanyAbookamongstthemany Posts: 8,209
edited July 2006 in A Moving Train
http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_956.shtml


Busted for wearing a peace T-shirt; has this country gone completely insane?
By Mike Ferner
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Jul 5, 2006, 01:49

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.

Mike Ferner served as a Navy corpsman during Vietnam War and is obviously a member of Veterans For Peace. He can be reached at: [email protected].
If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
-Oscar Wilde
Post edited by Unknown User on

Comments

  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 17,118
    http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_956.shtml




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


    makes me feel good to read that
  • decides2dreamdecides2dream Posts: 14,928
    that's so sad, it's funny...but yes...mostly sad. crazy.
    Stay with me...
    Let's just breathe...


  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 17,118


    i think HE should have been the one reading them THEIR rights
  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 17,118
    http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_956.shtml


    Busted for wearing a peace T-shirt; has this country gone completely insane?
    By Mike Ferner
    Online Journal Contributing Writer


    Jul 5, 2006, 01:49

    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."



    i could spout endless big lebowski quotes...but i think i am making a dedication thread for one of my favorites... lebowski fans nio what i am saying :)

    "i am staying, i'm finishing my coffee" CLASSIC!
  • El_KabongEl_Kabong Posts: 4,141
    my2hands wrote:
    i could spout endless big lebowski quotes...but i think i am making a dedication thread for one of my favorites... lebowski fans nio what i am saying :)

    "i am staying, i'm finishing my coffee" CLASSIC!


    you want a toe? i can get you a toe by...3 o'clock with nail polish!
    standin above the crowd
    he had a voice that was strong and loud and
    i swallowed his facade cos i'm so
    eager to identify with
    someone above the crowd
    someone who seemed to feel the same
    someone prepared to lead the way
  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 17,118
    El_Kabong wrote:
    you want a toe? i can get you a toe by...3 o'clock with nail polish!



    The Dude: What about the toe?
    Walter Sobchak: Forget about the fucking toe!
    Coffee Shop Waitress: Excuse me, sir. Could you please keep your voices down? This is a family restaurant.
    Walter Sobchak: Oh please, dear? For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint.
  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 17,118
    Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.
  • sonicreducersonicreducer Posts: 713
    we wantz za money lebowski,...

    fucking nihilists
    you're a real hooker. im gonna slap you in public.
    ~Ron Burgundy
  • my2handsmy2hands Posts: 17,118
    a lebowski thread has been started in the AET :D


    Walter: Those rich fucks! This whole fucking thing... I did not watch my buddies die face down in the muck so that this fucking strumpet...
    The Dude: I don't see any connection to Vietnam, Walter.
    Walter: Well, there isn't a literal connection, Dude.
    The Dude: Walter, face it, there isn't any connection.
  • you never know what damage can be done with a swiss-army knife...:rolleyes:
    The wind is blowing cold
    Have we lost our way tonight?
    Have we lost our hope to sorrow?

    Feels like were all alone
    Running further from what’s right
    And there are no more heroes to follow

    So what are we becoming?
    Where did we go wrong?
  • MLC2006MLC2006 Posts: 861
    http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_956.shtml

    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.

    so by reading the quoted part above, he WAS there protesting (or at least soliciting a protest), which is something he had denied doing earlier in the article. when I go to a hospital, I generally go there for medical attention. but he clearly states that he was there because he's participating in a protest to "reclaim funding for the common good and away from war". ok.
  • MLC2006 wrote:
    so by reading the quoted part above, he WAS there protesting (or at least soliciting a protest), which is something he had denied doing earlier in the article. when I go to a hospital, I generally go there for medical attention. but he clearly states that he was there because he's participating in a protest to "reclaim funding for the common good and away from war". ok.

    Yeah, I saw that but the point still stands that he was thrown out while sitting down drinking a cup of coffee not protesting. Then he was told he could back back when he changed his shirt or something to that effect. So is wearing a pro peace t shirt really protesting now? I never thought of it as being that simple or easy.
    If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    -Oscar Wilde
  • JaneNYJaneNY Posts: 4,434
    I wonder if he would have been in trouble if his shirt said 'veterans for war'. Are there laws on the books now that say wearing a garment that expresses an opinion is active protesting? Would a shirt that had some catchy vegetarian or no fur slogan be taken the same way?
    R.i.p. Rigoberto Alpizar.
    R.i.p. My Dad - May 28, 2007
    R.i.p. Black Tail (cat) - Sept. 20, 2008
  • El_KabongEl_Kabong Posts: 4,141
    JaneNY wrote:
    I wonder if he would have been in trouble if his shirt said 'veterans for war'. Are there laws on the books now that say wearing a garment that expresses an opinion is active protesting? Would a shirt that had some catchy vegetarian or no fur slogan be taken the same way?


    nice sig
    standin above the crowd
    he had a voice that was strong and loud and
    i swallowed his facade cos i'm so
    eager to identify with
    someone above the crowd
    someone who seemed to feel the same
    someone prepared to lead the way
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