FreespeechSee that guy? He was arrested yesterday in Wisconsin, for holding up a sign saying: “Article 1, Section 4”. That is the little tiny part of their state Constitution that guarantees residents of that state the right to freedom of speech. The cops took umbrage to a citizen holding a sign that cited the law, so they cuffed him and threw him in jail.

Moral-Monday-July-arrests_Andrew-Dye-Winston-Salem-Journal-586x1024See that guy? He’s a octogenarian military veteran, arrested for peaceable assembly in North Carolina. The Repubs that own that state took umbrage at a senior citizen who walks with a cane reminding the people what a real hero looks like, so they cuffed him and threw him in jail, too.

“Republicans”, you see, have ticked off a lot of people lately. These ticked-off people have been engaging in peaceful protest, and the GOP is now ticked off right back. So, they have started arresting protesters.

All that has accomplished thus far is to bring out more protesters. And tourists who wanted to see the protesters. So, the Elephants decided to arrest even more people. Result? Even MORE protesters and gawkers.

So now, those a**holes Repubs in Cheese Country can arrest you for no reason if you are anywhere they don’t want you to be. Really. Click the link if you don’t believe it. Same deal in North Carolina. That’s upping the ante, all right: Even Bush the Dumber didn’t go so far as busting innocent people for breathing in the wrong place.

“Innocent? Bah, Humbug” says Scott Fitzgerald, one of the Grand Old Poohbahs of the occupying force Wisconsin GOP. “Innocence does not matter, we have a state to milk for all it is worth”. (OK, that is not a verbatim transcript of his remarks. But it does capture the essence. What he did say is damned nearly as bad, or even worse: “If you are in the vicinity of the illegal demonstrations that have been taking place over the noon hour in the rotunda, you will be considered part of the protests and are subject to being ticketed.”) Yes that’s right. Even if you aren’t involved in the protest, they’ll bust you for being nearby one.

Ask one innocent bystander:

Joe Meiller, a Madison Metro bus driver who brought his two sons to watch the singalong Friday from the balcony, was upset that he was asked to leave by Capitol police. “We didn’t sing or clap once,” Meiller said. “If I observe a bank robbery nearby, am I a participant because I was nearby?”

That’s your Republican America today, friends: people being arrested for not liking Republican policies, and saying so politely. That’s what your Republicans see as “freedom of speech”: you can say anything you want, so long as they agree with it. And shut up if you don’t like Repubs, or they’ll throw your a** in jail.

Even if you don’t say a word. Even if you’re nearly crippled. Even if you weren’t part of the protest at all. Jailed, by Imperial Republican decree. Freedom of speech? Not hardly.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

P.S. Other people who were punished for either protesting or being nearby a protest against “Republican” policies on May 4, 1970:

kent 1 Wounded Kent State student John Cleary is attended to by other s KENT STATE 7cs

Yes, that’s blood. Yes, they are dead. Think it can’t happen again? Think again.