3.16.2006

Arrested in Uproar NewYork!

So yesterday I got arrested in Canandaigua, NY for "disorderly conduct" in front of the high school where bush was speaking to a "hand picked" group of supportive students and teachers. Chris Dean, C Powers, Michael and I made signs earlier that morning: one simply read "Pat Tillman", others were of the "military recruitors off campuses" type persuation.
For those of you who aren't from Arizona or aren't sports afficianados, Pat Tillman was a pro football star who gave up a millions of dollars contract to join the US army rangers after 9/11. He was used as a poster boy by the administration until he began seriously questioning the lies that got us into the War in the first place. Shortly before a scheduled interview with anarchist intellectual Noam Chomsky, Tillman got shot by fellow troops (not so friendly "friendly fire"). The government then lied about his death, claiming it to be at the hands of the enemy. The truth of the matter has since been made public. Now the same government who shot Tillman and tried to cover it up is doing their own investigation. Hmm.
Two towns over from Victor, practically my backyard, the small city of Canandaigua was transformed into (even more of) a police state. Picture CIA, FBI, Secret Service, the Ontario county sherrifs' department, town cops, Rochester cops, pigs on four-wheelers scooting around the country fields...it was very intimidating! It does not surprise me that most of the anti-war crowd did not feel it possible to walk up the street to the high school to demonstrate, but instead congregated over a mile away at Bella Larga, a local winery. (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they were frightened, and not drunk...)
My three buddies and a small group of really cool middle aged dudes from Bath, NY, however, decided to venture through the police gauntlet to get to where both the president and the media were. About 40 neighborhood on-lookers, a small group of pro-bush folk and an equally small group of anti-bushers were gathered in front of the school. They were all eerily quiet, which was not surprising considering the overwhelming, intimidating presence of the po.
Silence in the face of a government that kills Pat Tillman, over 2,300 other americans and countless thousands of innocent Iraqi children, women and men is not really my cup of tea. When the cops told me to stay off the pavement, I told them what I thought about their police state. I asked the crowd what they thought. I asked them, why are you all so silent? I reminded them that our Upstate New York was once a hotbed of political activism. Have we forgotten Frederick Douglas, Susan B. Anthony and Emma Goldman all chose to live, protest and defy authority here? "Uproar New York is more like it!" Chris Dean joked.
When the first cop put his hands on me and told me he would arrest me for swearing, I told him what I thought about that. I asked the crowd what they thought. I reminded everyone that cops have low self-esteem. They started sassin' back to the pigs with me. A few minutes later, I must have accidentally let another profane word slip because 1.) the government is always right and 2.) all of a sudden there were four cops on me. The pigs slapped hand-cuffs on my now-bruised wrists and shoved me inside of an SUV. There was some wonderful footage of me screaming "This is bullshit! This is fucking bullshit!" that did not make it on the 5 o'clock news. Members of the crowd starting echoing "This is bullshit!" back. I am pleased to report that a short clip of me yelling "Free speech!" as the cops dragged me off was aired last night. I'm sadden to say one pro-bushie sneered at me and said she was glad I was getting arrested. She reminded me of the Germans cheering on the gestapo.
Even though they arrested me, I was never once read my Miranda rights. I could hear the cops on their transitor radio saying "Get all of the information you can on her." Yeah right, I said nothing. When they asked me for my name at the holding warehouse at the Ontario County jail, I asked "Can I speak with my lawyer?" The officer on duty said "no". Hmm.
To make a long story a little shorter, I cooperated with the pat-down (by the way, I think the only place one could sucessfully hide a weapon would be in one's vagina) The po said I'd probably only get a ticket and to please give them my name and date of birth. By this time I had charmed them so entirely, that both the female and male cops had little crushes on me. I honestly can't blame them for that. Two hours later I was released back onto the streets of Canandaigua with a "disorderly conduct" ticket and a stern talking to. The officer who issued my ticket asked what I had learned.
I have learned not to use potty language in Canandaigua.

Posted by Alia

2 comments:

Dan Weaver said...

Great piece of first hand, personal reporting.

Russell said...

You and Bush in the same area and the police give YOU a ticket for "disorderly conduct"…. I think the only thing more ironic would have been if you got a citation for "disturbing the peace"