First Amendment Fence

In recent town hall meetings about health care folks  from New Hampshire to Arizona, have been seen displaying loaded firearms. These protesters tell the media that gravitates toward them that they are displaying their gun as a symbolic free speech act. It’s funny that these gun totters who   seemed to think the only amendment we ever had was the second one about bearing arms are now interested in the first amendment about free speech.

These protesters claim they are at the town hall meeting to fight Obama and his socialist tyrannical government.  They are opposed to any government health care plan because they hate the government and they claim such plans will put their children into debt.

Of course many of us are asking, where were these patriots when GW Bush was killing our kids in an war based on lies?  Where were they when GW Bush ran up the debt for our children with his oil war and his deficit? Where were they when Bush  I ran up the deficit? Where were they when he said, “No new taxes” and then raised taxes? Where were they when Regan ran up the deficit?  Where were they when Reagan ran and illegal war against Nicaragua? I guess they were at home playing with their guns.

When GW Bush was president people were not allowed to protest anywhere near him. People were detained or arrested for wearing anti-Bush shirts or carrying signs against him. He also had the same policy when he was governor of Texas. His brother Jeb who was governor of Florida had the same policy. It was as if  they couldn’t handle the fact that people disagreed with them.

Listen I don’t want to take any ones gun away. I do feel those who even legally are allowed to stand on the sidewalk carrying a gun near where a politician is speaking bear watching as I’m sure the authorities do. Seeing these people interviewed I sense some real psychological problems.

I just want to know where these gun totting “Real Americans” were to defend my right to protest GW Bush? I suspect they were the Hummer driving Bush lovers who taunted the Elecpencil and others who were stuck behind the “First Amendment Fence” when I protested GW a few years back. Here is the article I wrote about it at the time:

Signs of the Times

I had just been reading that AFL-CIO President Tom Sweeny had called GW Bush the worst president for labor in 50 years. That fact was lost on the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners who invited “Resident” Bush to come to their training center at Neville Island, Pennsylvania on Labor Day.

I thought what could be a better way to spend Labor Day than protesting the unelected President. I assumed many unionist would be there picketing. I was thinking area local unions would probably suspend their Labor Day parades, which celebrate their history and look to their future by confronting Bush.

I headed off with two cohorts or as they would be known in Kafka and GW Bush’s America, as co-conspirators. I won’t mention their names because to do so without contacting them would make me a participant in Attorney General John Ashcroft’s  “snitch on your neighbors and friends” program.

Upon arrival it seems my “He’s not my President” t-shirt and my “Evict Resident Bu$h” sign marked me to the local and state police as a malcontent. I was henceforth directed to the “free speech area” which was behind a chain link fence. Not quite what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment concerning freedom of speech. Meanwhile, people with pro-Bush signs were able to line the streets. The dozen state policemen stationed near our “freedom fence” arrested a senior citizen and his sister. They had refused to move behind the fence with their signs. They had been threatened with a felony but were just given a citation after being detained for a few hours and released after GW’s motorcade passed by at 2 pm.

The 60+ protesters were there voicing different concerns from Bush’s questionable election to impending wars in the Middle East over oil. On the latter, I noted with some irony, the six oil tankers that passed by and how many of the Bush supporters were driving gas guzzling SUVs. Two girls, members of the “radical cheerleaders” livened things up with chants like…”GW stole the election, he loves lethal injections. The Supreme Court made him legit, now my 401K is shit.” The crowd sang along to “All we are saying is give impeachment a chance.”

The most fun was trading banter with those passing by. A twenty-something couple walking by shouted a mindless, moldy oldie slogan at me, “Get a job.” I explained to them I had one but now in the Bush economy I needed a second one. ” I continued with, “at least my daddy or the Supreme Court didn’t give me every job I ever had.”

The other stale remark aimed at us was, “love it or leave it.” I explained I was willing to move to any country that could be found that wasn’t at the mercy of America’s foreign policy.

The protesters, a mix from children to seniors, expressed concern why people, even if they voted for Bush didn’t seem concerned that protesters were caged. They wondered why other people in the same class as them don’t realize there’s a class war going on.

I was left wondering if protests and slogans really bother the powers that be then I ran across this quote to realize they do. “We have 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent of it’s population…In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will allow us to maintain this position of disparity. We should cease to talk about raising of living standards, human rights, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.” –George Kennen, Director of Policy Planning of the U.S. Department of State, 1948.

We are hated by much of the world because this quote has been carried out even more so since 1948. Supporting democracy and human rights and fighting disparity even if it means fighting your own government is patriotic. So lets break out the signs and the slogans.

I’m not for breaking out signs to defend corporate rights over citizens rights as many of today’s “patriots” are.

Tom Paxton: Buy a Gun for Your Son

GW Told the Nation

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. ~ Sinclair Lewis


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