Tuesday, January 31, 2006


This is pretty much the most disturbing thing I've ever read. I wrote in my liveblogging of the S.o.t.U. that Cindy Sheehan had been arrested. I assumed it was for some kind of civil disobedience, or at least a slightly valid legal claim.

Instead, it was because she wore an anti-war T-shirt to the S.o.t.U.

First, she was charged with "demonstrating in the Capitol."
Which leads me to question: How is that a crime??? Is free speech not protected on Capitol Hill? Isn't that one place where it should be most vigorously protected?
Eventually, the charge was changed to "unlawful conduct."

Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond.

She was released on her own recognizance.

The BradBlog got this story first, pretty much as it happened.

According to Swanson [of AfterDowningStreet.org, who is in DC], Sheehan was "arrested for wearing the shirt she was wearing all day, which had the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq...She was lifted out of her seat [in the Capitol Chamber gallery] by the Capitol Police and taken away."

I'm still confused.
How is this not a violation of the First Amendment???

1 comment:

thespartantruth said...

it's not a violaton of 1st amendment rights because we get her message. She's against the war, we all know that.

You see, the police screwed it all up. Of course, I'm sure there was political pressure to keep an eye on that crazy Sheehan. So, the blame does not lie entirely on the police.

If they had not touched her no one would care. It's just a shirt. It's a fashion crime, that's for sure. The SOTU addy is a suit-and-dress affair.

Perhaps if she showed up with a tie that presented her views. Or, if Cindy was wearing an Elizabeth Dole-type outfit, youknow, maybe with a simple EARTH FIRST pin. Nope, she's just one of the people. Not all hoity toity.

The fact that the police gave her attention, perhaps, that is the real interruption of the SOTU. It's all about forums. The place we express is key. If Cindy was waving a rocket launcher in the place, she would be, in some respects, violating 1st Amendment rights.