Monday, October 05, 2009
Free Elliot Madison
Before you get upset about all those Iranian protestors being run through the wringer over there, you might turn your attention to those enduring similar treatment over here.
In "Twitter-Patter Revolutions," highwayscribery drew parallels between what governments do in Iran, and everywhere else, by framing examples of the violent way our own government has treated its dissidents.
highwayscribery reached back to the murder of four students at Kent State University in the 1960s and moved onto some overzealous police enforcement at Democratic and Republican national conventions over the past decade.
Now, we've got a fresh example from the recent G-20 summit and corresponding protests in Pittsburgh.
Similar to the way authorities responded to the Twitter-Patter revolution in Tehran, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents invaded a house in Queens, New York on Oct. 1, and rooted around its entrails for 16 hours.
That's not a misprint: 16 hours.
As part of the FBI effort in overkill, agents arrested a 41-year old social worker named Elliot Madison. It is not clear what Mr. Madison has done other than participated in the coordination of demonstrations around the G-20 confab.
Last we checked, which was just a few minutes ago, that's not a crime, rather a protected civil right.
His attorney, Martin Stolar told "The Times, "There's absolutely nothing that he's done that should subject him to any criminal liability."
The article is devoid of evidence this fellow did anything other than occupy an improvised e-communications bureau that helped demonstrators divine the movements of the police details bent knocking the snot out of them.
The attorney said he'll know what the charges are when the affidavit empowering the FBI to disembowel his home is unsealed.
That's another anti-democratic feature of our democracy that drives the highway scribe nuts. The sealed court document. In his real-life job as a reporter, the scribe must comb the PACER system for federal court documents and they are often sealed, which is a way of keeping them from public purview without explanation.
Explanation, we posit here, is the essence of democracy. For a government by and for the people to take an action, it must explain the action to those same people.
The point being we have a ways to go here before pointing the figure at other places.
A criminal complaint against Madison, in Pennsylvania, said he directed, "others, specifically protestors of the G-20 summit, in order to avoid apprehension after a lawful order to disperse."
Of course, whenever a government issues an order to disperse, it's lawful, so Pennsylvania authorities are belaboring a weak point.
Emerson reminds us, "A good man obeys the law not too well," as in a case like this where your constitutional right to assemble for political reasons is questioned by a bunch of meat-headed, truncheon-wielding yo-yos.
Meant-headed, truncheon-wielding yo-yos, by the way, hate the Constitution because of the way it makes a crime out of venting their most basic and savage urges.
So what we're saying here is the same thing we said in "Twitter Patter Revolutions" and "President Obama and The Venice Drum Circle": Countries in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
If you want to argue that there is no moral equivalent between the enforcers in Iran and those in the United States, ask those who have to breathe the spew from their teargas canisters first.
If you think highwayscribery is getting all bent out of shape over something isolated, keep in mind that on the next page, same newspaper spread, it is reported that New York City will blow $24 million -- useful in forestalling foreclosures or paying furloughed teachers -- to install an "electronic bulwark" against "terrorists" in midtown Manhattan.
Hey, we're all against terrorism right? What's the problem with that?
The problem is that "terrorists" are not the only people the forces of order will be using their new electronic toys to watch.
How do you think they found Madison and his protesting friends in Pittsburgh?
And why is highwayscribery taking potshots at the police?
Because highwayscribery wouldn't trust a policeman farther than he could throw one, and because this article, also in next page of "The Times," regarding the impunity with which officers in that once free and anarchic city operate.
Screw 'em. We're with Madison and his ilk.