Wednesday, July 9, 2008

You Have the Freedom to Shut the Hell Up

A 61-year-old woman was issued a ticket for trespassing on city property during a supposedly public town hall meeting being held by Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The McCain staff asked the secret service to ask the building management to remove the woman because she was holding a sign that said "McCain = Bush." She was told to either put the sign away and stand in line or leave the premises, and if she refused she would be issued a ticket.


Seriously, America, what the hell? This woman was on public property exercising her freedom of speech in a non-disruptive way. Isn't there something wrong with our police system when taxpayer funded public servants enforce the will of private parties over that of constitutionally guaranteed rights? How do these officers, and the secret service agents, justify their actions to themselves? How to they sleep at night knowing that they bring the destruction of liberty?

Furthermore, what is wrong with John McCain? He says that he has fought for the freedoms that this country guarantees its citizens, yet he is willing to snatch those freedoms away at his own discretion. How could anyone trust such a man to protect American values?


David said...

I saw this one a few days ago and was horrified. I watched it again (even knowing the end of the plot) and am still horrified. Freedom of speech, public property, a rather benign sign (maybe?), from a retired librarian. Homeland Security needs to investigate further. Possible Guantanamo (if I even spelled that right) consideration.

illegal youth said...

The whole situation is appalling. I meant to write a follow-up to this post because the Denver Post wrote a story about the case last week, here.

Kreck has pleaded not guilty, and I'm glad that she'll be bringing this to trial.

Apparently, everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else regarding who's responsible for enforcing the trespassing violation. The security guard claims the Secret Service asked Kreck to be removed, the Secret Service claims the McCain staff asked her to be removed, and the McCain staff claims that the building management asked her to be removed. Hopefully the trial can sort out this mess.

I personally think that the McCain staff is trying to cover their asses.

David said...

Read through the Denver Post article and got curious. The facility's ownership, etc seems curious. Per their website at, other than their being a non-profit, the closest information on ownership of the facility seems to be in the FAQ:
"Where can I park?
There is a City-owned 1,800-space parking garage on-site at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, which is operated by Allright Parking."
The claim to "The area that Kreck was standing in is not a public space and that is why she was cited for trespassing." seems to be the key. How many people can easily ascertain where public space ends and private space begins? If the entire facility happens to be city property, this could be interesting. Seems to be a rather important case for an attorney who is currently working on a death penalty case to be defending this librarian with a rather benign sign. Good use of the court system to prosecute this terrible criminal.

illegal youth said...

Good catch. I also went to the building's website and found this interesting, per the FAQ:

What is the difference between The Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Denver Performing Arts Complex?

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization whose primary focus is the presentation of live theatrical productions. It also houses film and television, voice research and education divisions. The Denver Performing Arts Complex is 4-square-block site owned and operated by the City and County of Denver that offers 11, 260 seats in 11 performance venues. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is the primary user of the theatres in the Complex, although several arts organizations, such as the Colorado Symphony, Opera Colorado and The Colorado Ballet also call the Complex home. [italics mine]


I think the key is what I have put in italics. Since The Denver Performing Arts Complex itself is "owned and operated by the City and County of Denver," I think that puts it squarely into the "public property" category.

It appears, from the FAQ, that The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is merely the name of the non-profit that rented out the space for the McCain town hall meeting.