Untitled Document
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Corporate Media
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact

NEWS
All News
9-11
Corporatism
Disaster in New Orleans
Economics
Environment
Globalization
Government / The Elite
Human Rights
International Affairs
Iraq War
London Bombing
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism
Miscellaneous

COMMENTARY
All Commentaries
9-11
CIA
Corporatism
Economics
Government / The Elite
Imperialism
Iraq War
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism

SEARCH/ARCHIVES
Advanced Search
View the Archives

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly

POLICE STATE / MILITARY -
-

Davenport Police Confiscate Little Flagsticks to Protect Cheney, They Say

Posted in the database on Tuesday, August 01st, 2006 @ 14:50:03 MST (1873 views)
by Matthew Rothschild    The Progressive  

Untitled Document

Cathy Berta is a retired elementary schoolteacher. At 66, she’s also a member of Progressive Action for the Common Good of the Quad Cities.

When she heard that Vice President Cheney was coming to Davenport, Iowa, on July 17, she decided to heed the group’s protest call.

“I knew it was going to be extremely hot that day, but I said I’m going to take a stand,” she recalls. She joined about 120 people along River Road next to the Mississippi, and they marched part way toward the home where Cheney was doing a fundraiser for the Republican House candidate, Mike Whalen.

Berta was carrying a sign that said: “No, You Can’t Have My Rights, I’m Still Using Them.”

And she was also holding a little American flag on a stick.

But the police wouldn’t let her, or anyone else, carry the flags.

“I’m going to have to take your stick,” one officer told her, she says.

She describes him as “very courteous, and very embarrassed.”

“I said, ‘I know you’re just doing your job,’ and he just kind of nodded,” she says.

Berta says she went along with the request because she wanted to keep the protest positive. “Had we resisted, there would have been a really ugly picture in the paper,” she says. (For a picture of Berta holding her sign next to the police officer, go to the Quad City Times article.)

“It was absolutely ridiculous,” she says. “Talk about overkill.”

Cathy Bolkcom, one of the founders of Progressive Action for the Common Good, stressed that the event “was not an anti-Cheney demonstration.”

Instead, she says, “it was all about what we need in this country.”

People talked about universal health care, Social Security, raising the minimum wage, and peace, she adds. The protest was co-sponsored by the Quad City Federation of Labor, and there were a lot of union people there, she says.

Except for the heat, she says, the protest was going along just fine.

“It was so fricking hot,” she says. “The heat index was 107 degrees.”

She says the police first were upset about a protester with a large peace flag on a pole, which they made him give up. She says the police had told them before the march not to have signs on poles so she wasn’t surprised by this.

But the taking away of the flagsticks—now that did surprise her. “I never imagined those were a problem,” Bolkcom says. The protesters relinquished them without a fight, in their polite, Midwestern way, she says.

In hindsight, she regrets they surrendered their flags so willingly. “There’s some real free speech issues involved here,” she says. “It’s so un-American.”

Davenport Police Chief Michael Bladel defends his officers. “They thought the Vice President might stop, and because these were fairly long wooden sticks with points on them, they thought they might be a threat to the Vice President,” he says. “This could be considered a weapon.”

Jeff Cook, a photographer from the Quad City Times, was on the scene, and briefly became part of the story.

“This gathering of the flags,” says Cook, “struck me as something unusual.”

So he started to do his job.

“Don’t take any pictures,” one of the officers told him, he recalls. “I asked to clarify. ‘Of Who?’ He said him and his partner.”

Cook went about his business, and the police told him three or four more times to stop.

“I kept taking pictures,” says Cook, “and then this officer walked toward me and said, ‘I told you again not to take any photographs. I’m going to have to ask you to stay behind.’ ” And then he called his supervisor.”

When the supervisor arrived, to the dismay of the officers on the scene, he informed them that Cook had a right to take his pictures.

“I went on my way,” Cook says.

“There was some kind of confusion on the part of the officers about the role the photographer was allowed to conduct himself in,” says Chief Bladel. “It was immediately cleared up by the supervisor.”

After Cathy Berta’s picture appeared in the Quad City Times, she says she got a lot of feedback, including from her son, who just finished up as a JAG at Fort Dix: “He e-mailed me that he was glad the First Amendment was alive and well in Davenport.”

____________________________

Read from Looking Glass News

Private firm revealed to be spying on antiwar groups in California

Bush Motorcade Aims Assault Rifles At Protesters In Florida

Did the Miltary Use DC Protest to Test Bio-weaponTularemia?

Bush to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as ''disruptors''

FBI Monitored Web Sites for 2004 Protests

Has this country gone completely insane?

Check Your Civil Rights at the Door

Three Signs That Your Superpower Is Becoming a Cheap Rip-Off of the Soviet Union

The 63 Characteristics Of Fascism And America's Development As A Fascist Nation

Victims of Creeping Fascism

''Papers, please': I smell the long-forgotten rot of fascism'

The Zero Tolerance Militarized Police State

Top Ten Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

Police spies chosen to lead war protest

FBI paid key terror informants $56,000

FBI confidential informant also said to be provocateur

Police Infiltrate Protests, Videotapes Show

Spies Among Us

Bilderberg Provocateurs Tried To Instigate Violence

Government Informants

Tattletale America: Truck Drivers, Janitors, Exterminators etc. Training to Be Citizen Spies

Rumsfeld Spies on Quakers and Grannies



Go to Original Article >>>

The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Looking Glass News. Click the disclaimer link below for more information.
Email: editor@lookingglassnews.org.

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly




Untitled Document
Disclaimer
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact
Copyright 2005 Looking Glass News.