Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Volunteer Gestapo

This country is slowly but surely descending into fascism, and again I find it incredibly disturbing how willing right-wingers are to surrender their civil rights. Read this column by one of the "Denver Three":

Just over a month has passed since two friends and I were forced out of President Bush's town hall-style "conversation" in Denver about privatizing Social Security.

At the entrance to the March 21 event, a man wearing an earpiece and lapel pin was presented to us as a Secret Service agent. After Karen and I were told that we had been "ID'd," this man threatened us with arrest several times before stepping aside and allowing us to enter. (I asked if I was on some sort of list but received no response.) Before I'd had much chance to worry about what it meant to be ID'd by the Secret Service, the man with the earpiece was back to demand that we leave.

As he aggressively moved the three of us toward the exit, we kept asking why this was happening. He simply replied that it was a "private event" and we had to leave.

We now know that, despite holding valid tickets and being properly dressed, Alex, Karen and I were removed from the event because of the message on a bumper sticker on my car: "No More Blood for Oil." This detail was revealed during a telephone conversation with the Secret Service the day after the incident. A week later, in a face-to-face meeting, the Secret Service also informed us that the man who had removed us was not an agent but a "Republican staffer" on the host committee responsible for managing security. They would not disclose his identity to us, however.

What's more, we have confirmed that the president's Social Security "conversation" was not a private event but, rather, a taxpayer-funded public event open to anyone with a valid ticket. While all this information is telling, as a tax-paying, law-abiding citizen with the right to peacefully express an antiwar statement on a bumper sticker, I believe I deserve more answers. Specifically, who is this person who represented himself as a Secret Service agent empowered to use physical force? Further, who was giving instructions to him and his cohorts?
What sort of person can possibly support this in a free society? Whether one loves or hates Bush, he's still your president. What gives Bush this right? What makes his supporters "more citizen" than his opponents' supporters?

Four legs good; two legs better!

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