CINDY SHEEHAN’S ARREST ~~ IN HER OWN WORDS

AND this never happened to me when Bush was president.

Whose Streets? (Our Streets between 1pm and 4pm With a Permit)

On the 7th commemoration of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, there was a rally and march in DC sponsored by the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition that was attended by about eight thousand people.

For quite awhile, I have been having problems with marches on Saturday, anyway. It seems like we march past empty buildings and shake our fists at them and promise that if those empty buildings don’t change their ways, we will be back next year to do the same thing. The arrests are symbolic and don’t shut down anything, except in the case of large arrests, where the police stations are busy for a few hours.

As far as I know, there were no large civil disobediences scheduled for last Saturday’s rally, but some coffins were built on the sidewalk in front of the White House and four protesters decided to lie down near them and not move. Two of these protesters were good friends of mine: Elaine Brower of Military Families Speak Out and Matthis Chiroux of Iraq Vets Against the War. When I went over to check the action out, the four were begging the hundreds of others surrounding the protest to join them. The four were cordoned off with barriers and crime scene tape.

I began to plan a way to join Matthis and Elaine when I went to the front of the barrier and saw my dear friends, who have always been there for me, lying on the sidewalk by themselves. Just as I was figuring out how to get over the barriers, the section I was at collapsed onto the sidewalk and I took the opportunity to step over hoping that dozens, if not hundreds, would follow.

As soon as I crossed the barrier, I was slammed by a couple of cops, handcuffed and then actually run around the front of the White House while the cops tried to find a paddy wagon to stick me in—about 50 people were running with the cop and I, yelling: “Let her go, let her go.” When the officer and I finally got to the paddy wagon, I was surprised to find that only two others had followed me. One other crossed the line to bring our detained numbers up to eight.

During my speech at the rally, I iterated the importance of “throwing our bodies upon the gears” of the machine, as well as marching—I got a huge cheer and during the march the participants chanted: “Whose streets, our streets.” Eight detainees? Apparently the streets are only “ours” when we have a permit–god forbid we take them when the event is not permitted by the Police State!

Why, when the barrier was compromised, did more people not follow us to actually put their beliefs into higher relief than merely marching in a circle on Saturday? While we were being (tightly) handcuffed and loaded onto the hot paddy wagon, the crowd of on-lookers chanted, “This is what hypocrisy looks like.”

I was, to say the least, very disheartened that hundreds of people didn’t join us. Watching the video of my “crossing over,” you can see a couple of people go over and then run back when the police come—but most of the people step back like the downed barrier is a livewire.

After a bumpy and sweaty ride, we eight arrive at the Park Police Station in Anacostia. As we were being processed, it started to become very clear that some of us were going to be detained until Monday. Ultimately, two of us were released and six of us were held. The two that were released were from DC and those of us held were out-of-towners. Immediately, we knew this explanation was total b.s. because I have been arrested in DC about 13 times now and I have always been from “out-of-town,” and have never even been held overnight, let alone two nights.

Was it a coincidence that Camp OUT NOW had two major actions over the weekend to try and hold our campsite that I missed due to being jailed? I don’t think so

Well, those two days were some of the most miserable days of my life! We were taken to a lock-up and Elaine and I were put into a freezing room and I had a t-shirt and flip-flops on, being unprepared to be arrested. For four women, our cell had one cement block bench that was about 7-8 feet long, so at least one of us always had to be on the stone-cold floor. Sleeping was fitful as it was very chilly all night—and very noisy!

Thirty-six hours, and eight bologna-like and cheese-substitute sandwiches later, we were taken to the court for our arraignment and stayed in that cell for seven hours and were finally released at 5pm after we all pled “not-guilty” and were scheduled for a trial on June 9th.

Basically, six of us stayed in jail for 50 hours for an offense that ends up to be the equivalent of a traffic ticket and we even had to go to traffic court to be arraigned. I am positive that everyone in DC who gets a traffic ticket and is from “out-of-town” does not have to stay over night. Then, I found out that the penalty for my charge “Crossing a police line” doesn’t even carry any jail time. I spent two nights in jail on an offense with no jail time! The maximum penalty is $300! Boy, I will be even more pissed if I go through a trial and have to pay $300 dollars after I have already spent two nights in jail.

To make matters even worse, I was the only one who was forced to come back for a trial even though Elaine has more DC arrests than I do. The other seven have chosen to go to trial with me, but they were given the option to “pay and forfeit” which means to pay the fine and forfeit your right to a trial.

The icing on the entire crappy cake came when the eight of us were given a “stay away order” from the White House—I asked the Judge how could that be legal because we weren’t convicted of anything, but the Judge assured me that conditions could be placed on our release. I also think this is very suspicious considering our Camp OUT NOW actions were focusing on the White House.

Many times during the 50 hour ordeal, Elaine and I were asked if we thought it was “worth it,” to go through so much hardship for so little gain.

My answer is, first of all, if more people crossed the line with me, we wouldn’t have had to stay 50 hours in jail and I was very upset that we were left to hang out to dry like that. Secondly, the war didn’t end while we were suffering—but knowing how awful it is to spend so much time in jail and be treated like one is a serial killer and not a protester—I would do it again and again, as I have.

There are literally billions of people suffering all over this planet due to my nation’s militarism and greed and I know many people would have traded places with me in a heartbeat and think the conditions were pretty damn good.

AND this never happened to me when Bush was president.

UPDATE: Three of us went to pick up our property this morning at the Park Police station and as we were being jacked around, an officer named Thomas (Badge number 628) told me that if I “stopped getting arrested” I wouldn’t have to go through all of this.

I said: “when the wars stop, I will stop.” He actually then told me: “The wars will stop when we nuke them and take their oil.”

I wonder why they are called “pigs.”

Source Cindy Sheehans Blog

18 Comments

  1. f8te said,

    March 23, 2010 at 22:39

    God I hate cops. Welcome to Omerika slave.

  2. nunya222 said,

    March 23, 2010 at 22:53

    Cindy Sheehan is a true hero who didn’t shut up just because Obama got elected.

    But Cindy is still stuck in an image of the “old” USA that never really existed anyway. Handing yourself over to the state in a symbolic arrest might make sense for two adult white women, one of whom is somewhat famous. However, for most of us, this is an invitation to be abused, raped, tortured, or who knows what else. How do I know? Because I’ve been there.

    Americans are cold, cruel, heartless bastards. They won’t get up off of their obese, lazy asses until their own situation forces them to. When the banks close down, they will be hopping mad, but murdering entire populations and using depleted uranium? A big yawn is what you get if you mention it. Even Cindy, hero that she is, didn’t get involved until her own son – who volunteered to follow illegal orders – was killed.

  3. Hunter said,

    March 23, 2010 at 22:57

    Hey. This is the Zionist Amerika. You live and die for IsraHELL.

  4. Harv said,

    March 23, 2010 at 23:33

    Cindy,
    Like all “pigs”, they are full of crap.
    I was a Grunt in Vietnam over 40 years ago. I got there the day they elected Nixon president and was in the first group pulled out when he started the troop reduction. 42 of us were assigned to company C 4/39th,
    9th Div., the same day and 9 months later there were 7 of us left. The other guys were either KIA or WIA and never came back to our unit. Of the 7 who were still walking 6 had Purple Hearts.
    Now the communist control Washington.
    We lost and now we have become evil we were fighting.
    We the People have become brain washed and with TV and gov. schools those under 40 are brain dead.
    9/11 was an inside job. Anyone who has not figured that out by now is dumber than I was when I went to Vietnam. The real enemy has always been the banksters,wall street and most of the political assholes in office.

    If the bullets and iuds don’t get you in today’s war the depleted uranium will. We are all screwed. Holly crap, what a bunch of idiots.
    Peace be with you.
    1 of the 7

  5. March 23, 2010 at 23:52

    Bravo Cindy
    Canada is facing a hypocritical situation as to who gets into Canada to speak
    I e-mail often without getting answers
    Kathleen

  6. Brigid said,

    March 24, 2010 at 00:03

    No, Thomas, badge number 628 did not say that!! I feel sick.

  7. Truthman said,

    March 24, 2010 at 00:49

    Nunya 222,

    “Even Cindy, hero that she is, didn’t get involved until her own son – who volunteered to follow illegal orders – was killed.”

    That is a breath-takingly true statement. And serves to demonstrate to us all the depth of our dis-involvement. Even now, as dedicated as I feel, I cannot come to terms with what the past means to our children, our fathers and uncles and mothers and sisters and brothers.

    But I have certainly tried to do my part. I think the lesson is that we are all a part of this and have to come to terms upon our OWN terms. It is not incumbent on each of us as separate entities to change the world, per-say, but to change “our own” worlds. And this we do in “our own” way.

    Peace.

  8. March 24, 2010 at 01:07

    […] CINDY SHEEHAN’S ARREST ~~ IN HER OWN WORDS […]

  9. J.T. Waldron said,

    March 24, 2010 at 04:32

    Thanks, Cindy! Your work is much appreciated and will not be forgotten.

  10. Pete said,

    March 24, 2010 at 04:50

    I’ve been locked up 6 times and have had my share of “mystery meat” sandwiches, cold/hot filthy cells, infections, blood/guts, stench, too tight cuffs, gasing, murder etc. You want to effect change. Go visit the tyrants were they lay there head to sleep. Catch them when they are at the lake fishing. Find them shopping, having an expensive meal. What has to be done? Figure it the fuk out. It sure isn’t continuing to give the cops a body to slam to the ground.

  11. Jeff Prager said,

    March 24, 2010 at 10:22

    Dr. Alan Sabrosky, the former Director of Studies at the US Army War College has announced that Israel was responsible for the False Flag attack on 9/11 and that all fo the US military brass know this.

    How does that make you feel. The USS Liberty, 34 dead, 9/11, 3,000 dead and 5,000 US soldiers dead and no one says a thing.

    Cindy Sheehan is an American hero.

  12. Ender said,

    March 24, 2010 at 15:45

    It’s over. The ability to regain control of the republic is over. No words will do it.

    No brilliant writing or brilliant website writing will do anything except put you on a list for disposal at some future date.

    It’s over.

  13. March 25, 2010 at 16:42

    Okay, this comment will likely earn me some flames and vitriolic responses, but I have to ask: why did Cindy cross the line? (don’t say ‘to get to the other side’) It seems to me that knowing there were police in the area, knowing that her friends had permits for their demonstration, and being cognizant of her own record (13 previous arrests), it seems rather reckless to brazenly challenge and cross an established police line, even if it is only to ‘join her friends’ in a ‘peaceful demonstration’.

    The perception of her threat is, quite frankly, irrelevant – she crossed the line – literally. Whether it is an offense that carries a jail-term under the penal code, that is another story. The decision to arrest is that of the police – the specific charges are referred to the prosecutors office and, while only being ‘Crossing a police line’ there could be additional charges (though not likely after arraignment) of ‘disorderly conduct’ and ‘incitement to riot’ (big stretch). There is no massive conspiracy here to silence Cindy – only an over-zealous officer who happened to notice that someone was crossing a police line that had been knocked over.

    As for the treatment that was received during this ordeal, I’m sorry but … once again, I have to ask – why did she cross the line? If you don’t want to be treated badly by police, don’t get arrested. If you want to be civilly disobedient, and believe that the police are going to oppose your work, bring a sweater and more appropriate footwear. You can’t have it both ways. Concrete floor vs. Cement bench? Really? I’m sorry, but this is something an editor I worked with called … pedantic.

    There has to be something called personal accountability – especially in regards to protesting war. If we can’t demonstrate that we are morally superior than those carrying out the atrocities being protested, we have already lost the struggle. The first step on this path is to respect the laws of the land – even the ones we disagree with; if we don’t like the laws, work with the system to change them – that is what democracy is about. It is also about accepting the fact sometimes someone is elected who you don’t necessarily like (Bushwacked?) – it’s time to sit back, America, and wake up to the fact that there’s a black AMERICAN in the WHITE house – he isn’t a socialist, communist, fascist – and he’s NOT the anti-Christ. He doesn’t have daily meetings (or monthly, weekly, or otherwise) with the heads of the DC police directing them to arrest activists in front of his ‘home’ – neither does Emmanuel. These guys have more important things to do with their time.

    Go ahead – let the vitriol pour out – if you think I give a flying squat about what you have to say about my comments, think twice – then think again: I’ve been at this long enough to be able to stand up far better than anyone who can hurl trash at me. Trust me, if I can endure criticisms from the creator of this blog (let’s call him CrazyFather … some call him DesertPeace, I sometimes call him ‘dad’ … amongst other things) I can take anything anyone else can hurl. Just remember … if all you have to offer is an insult, you are wasting your time.

    Wie viel ist Aufzuleiden!

  14. Jeff Prager said,

    March 26, 2010 at 03:02

    Perhaps she crossed the line because she believes, as I do, that it’s time to cross these lines since they’ve been drawn illegally and are designed to instill fear in the Proletariat and subjugate and quell dissent. Any dissent. Had I been there I too would have crossed the line because I don’t fear arrest. I wish more people recognized that dissent and arrest are the bravest forms of Patriotism.

    What if Jefferson, Adams, Washington and Franklin decided not to cross the line. We’d be a British Colony today, wouldn’t we?

  15. Jeff Prager said,

    March 26, 2010 at 03:06

    As for working within the system, that’s been tried. It doesn’t work. It’s a fools premise. YOU work within the system and see how far you get.

    The Democrats and Republicans administrate the same agenda and they choreograph a false antagonism that’s nonexistent behind closed doors. It allows for perpetuation of power and it keeps the masses arguing non-issues. It creates divisiveness where there would otherwise be none and allows the agenda to be forwarded with impunity.

  16. Jeff Prager said,

    March 26, 2010 at 03:08

    Ender said, on March 24, 2010 at 15:45

    “It’s over. The ability to regain control of the republic is over. No words will do it.
    No brilliant writing or brilliant website writing will do anything except put you on a list for disposal at some future date.
    It’s over.”

    Ender is right. It’s been over since 9/11/2001 and that’s just the sad fact of it all.

    Working within the system is a fools scheme.

  17. Kathleen Kirwin said,

    April 1, 2010 at 16:50

    Jeff…
    Thank you for your comments and realistic observations.
    Just today an article I wrote on many of the issues you mentioned is on Cindy Sheehan’s Peace of the Acton site. It is called No Fear of Crossing the Line.
    Feel free to check it out spread it around at will.
    my email is kdkirwin@gmail.com

  18. Jeff Prager said,

    April 1, 2010 at 19:19

    I’ll do just that Kathleen. I retired to chew gum and kick ass and I’m fresh out of gum.


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