village voice > news > NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan by Sarah Ferguson
City’s Finest pulls move even Bush wouldn’t have tried – September 19th, 2005 5:54 PM
Sheehan was speaking in Union Square at a peaceful protest when the police hauled her off after yanking away her microphone. Zulkowitz, one of her organizers, was arrested for “failing to obtain a sound permit” (something that usually garners a summons). The police said they were responding to his “provocation.”
(An updated resource for you on this, which I added to this entry on Sept 23rd: video – thank you to Kim Arnold at http://www.joelmoore.org).
Moments earlier, Zulkowitz had been chastising Parks officials for refusing to grant a permit to the encampment, and accusing the police of trying to harass the antiwar protest away. Contrasting the liberal Big Apple with the hostile environs Sheehan faced in Crawford, Zulkowitz told the crowd: “You would think that here in New York City, at Union Square—our Hyde Park—you would think that we would have little difficulty having a 24-hour vigil to oppose the war. In fact, we’ve had two arrests and eight summonses and endless harassment from the police for doing what we do.”
The crowd shouted “Shame!” while Iraq war veteran/peace activist Jeff Key trumpeted ‘God Bless America’,”
“Since when can’t you talk out here in Union Square?” demanded an Upper West Side social worker who identified herself as Quha, who said she’d taken her lunch break to hear Sheehan because she has a 20-year-old son who is considering enlisting. “I’ve seen everyone and their mother come out and speak nonsense out here in this park, and for them to shut down Cindy Sheehan is just not right.”
The police didn’t bother the guy who then set up his own system to play protest songs.
(thank you to Gentle Breezes)
Despite this event, she arrived in Washington yesterday. The bus was stopped, and after bomb-sniffing dogs evidently gave an all-clear, they were told they couldn’t park at the Capitol. No matter. They walked.
In response, guys like this* are trying to revive McCarthyism. Red threat? Are you kidding me? Progressive values are American. The very things for which the Communists were criticized are alive and well in this administration – corruption, erosion of freedom, civil liberties and human rights. We’re becoming the worst of both systems: we’ve added crony capitalism to the mix, and our country is being bled dry by the rampant greed of the ultrarich. It seems that no matter the model, greed is always underestimated. Capitalism with democracy is the best way I think – but only with checks against said greed and corruption, only with the values of life and liberty taking precedence over the interests of profit. We’ve again forgotten that essential condition of our success and thriving.
Why not just answer the basic question? What is a great noble cause in service to which we invaded Iraq?
People respond to Sheehan only because they still don’t see an answer to that question that makes any sense or about which we could possibly be proud- we have eyes, and the pattern recognition is growing. They admire her for speaking despite the fact that she is “only” a mother. And this is the last thing Bush wants to see – a political mother. Sheehan has faults, but she speaks from real concern and she has every right to do so. I can only imagine what will happen during the revival of femininism to come – we’ve come a long way, baby – don’t mess with us.
Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are essential rights protected by our Constitution – you know, at least for a little while longer. Why not be a little more concerned about that if you claim to care about American values?
This “accuracy” site is very right wing, and has interesting ties and connections including backing from Richard Scaife, Union Carbide, and Mobil Oil. Check it out:
AIM Officers & Directors (see also CDF)
Reid Irvine, Founder (deceased)
Donald Irvine, Chairman
Samuel Shepard Jones, Jr., Treasurer and General Counsel
Roger Aronoff, Executive Secretary
James Davis, Financial Consultant
Jerris Leonard, Attorney
Joan Hueter, Former President, National Association of Pro-America
John Esposito, Chief of Police MTA NY, Retired
Gene Schaerr, Attorney
Fred Gielow, Jr., Author
Kenneth Macleay, Attorney
National Advisory Board:
Arnold Beichman, Writer and Analyst
Midge Decter, Writer
Charlton Heston, Actor
R. Adm. William C. Mott, USN (Ret), Vice-President, National Strategy Information Center
Dr. Frederick Seitz, President Emeritus, Rockefeller University
James L. Tyson, President, Council for the Defense of Freedom
Jesse Lee Petersen, President of B.O.N.D
The links are just the quick pick of the first few bits I could find on each person – obviously, from the look of things, there could be a lot to explore with almost anyone on this list. Feel free to add more info in the comments.
*Many articles on the internet give the author’s email address. You can respond, if you think it’s worth your time. I wrote to this one because of its location and because of the unsubstantiated claim – and it’s a wowser of a claim. Quoting him: “It’s a sign of the weakness and corruption of our media that the key role being played by the communists is being carefully concealed from the American people.” My response: “I was astonished to see your claims about communism, particularly on a site that says it is concerned about media accuracy. I noticed that you don’t cite any documentation to support that. Perhaps you could write another article that actually establishes accuracy.” I then pasted in the last part of this blog entry.
Update: He replied with only this link: http://www.aim.org/aim_report/A217_0_4_0_C/, which focuses on possible communist/socialist/labor ties of some participants/organizers and blames media sources for being more interested in other aspects of the story.
So, readers, please comment on any of this.