This is a week old, but I've only just read the Economist article. I understand the need for crowd control, but the idea of _selective_ crowd control really irks me.
Basically, this guy, Mr. Bursey, is arrested for being anti-war in a Pro-Bush zone. He'd faced similar charges *years* ago after he'd done the same thing during the Nixon/Vietnam era, and they were dismissed by South Carolina's Supreme Court. When history repeated itself and the new charges were dismissed, our leaders sought out new ways to criminalize his behavior.
To quote the article:
- The prosecutors say that Mr Bursey was not in a special âoefree-speech zoneâ that was set up for protesters half a mile from the hangar. The pro-Bush people did not need to be there because they were not protesting. Mr Bursey told the cops, defiantly, that he was under the impression that the whole of America was a free-speech zone.
After NeMon'ess pointed out that Bursey will not be given a juried trial, I looked around a little, and immediately found some more links on the story. All but the last take similar positions. My apologies for not starting off with more details. Thanks to NeMon'ess for pointing this out!
- Trial Started Tuesday. Bursey contends that the charges have changed "That wasn't what I got arrested for"
- Trial delayed (for technicality).
- PA Op-Ed doesn't like Ashcroft, mentions Bursey.
- The Charlotte Observer's coverage is less sympathetic, and cites the fine to be 1/10th the price reported in other papers.