Were Bush protesters harassed?
August 04, 2004
When the police officer answered, “Intelligence” after being asked why he was taking pictures of the protesters at the Bush rally, I gasped. Intelligence gathering of the protesters but none for the Bush supporters? Intelligence gathering because of some perceived threat against the president should include everyone present, as Caesar‘s “Et tu, Brutus?” shows. Leaders are frequently brought down by people in their own party. So: Were pictures of the protesters taken for “intelligence,” or for intimidation?

Because I am protesting my president’s policies, am I a threat to him? What happened to the American tradition of protest, a tradition begun with our Declaration of Independence that is the foundation for democratic triumphs like the abolition of slavery, voting rights for all, and the civil rights movement?

Our country has changed significantly since 9/11. We have adopted a foreign policy of preemptive, unilateral attack , “shocked and awed” Iraq, withdrawn from international treaties, refused to fulfill our commitment to join the International Court of Justice, and flouted the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners.

 


"How does it feel to be officially “intelligenced?” I’m as mad as hell!"


 

 

This imperialistic manner that antagonizes the world creates a domestic tone that promotes internal attacks. Now the Patriot Act guides our Justice Department and I can be stripped of my rights as a citizen and held without charge or legal representation. Patriot Act II, leaked to the media and roundly denounced, is now being made law a section at a time, hidden in legislation having nothing to do with justice. When people objected strenuously to the government’s “TIPS” proposal that neighbors spy and report on each other, it was quickly withdrawn; but the covert attack of individual against individual increases as media hosts shout down their guests, church leaders use the Bible to support discrimination against people who don’t fit their definition of “normal” (never minding their belief that God made us all in His own image) and protesting, according to my president, means you‘re “against us.”.

I ask my president: How can I be “for” the “us” you’re creating? Your “us” says we Americans must pursue the National Security Strategy that declares a comprehensive global conquest plan that employs military and economic power to ensure that multi-national corporations harvest the world’s resources.

What does this have to do with “intelligence”? Between current government policies and my protest against them, the government is creating a vast network of ways to separate those “for us” and those “against us.” In previous protests, the pictures were taken by federal government employees. This time, they were taken by our local police. Whether it was on orders by the “higher ups,” or initiated at the local level, this picture-taking for “intelligence” smacks more and more like the behavior of a national security state--the kind of government I thought my country denounced.

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"Were Bush protesters harassed?daleg220522006-05-22 19:17:19