'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Good Old Medea Benjamin, etc. 

I've been enjoying the RNC protests from afar but have felt something was missing. That something, I now realize, was Medea Benjamin getting tackled to the floor. Anyway, all is in balance now: (from Democracy Now)

During Schwarzenegger's address, peace activist and Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin was on the floor of the convention. As she was standing less than 20 feet away from Vice President Dick Cheney, she unfurled a pink banner that read "Pro-Life: Stop the Killing in Iraq." Security officials quickly approached her and told her to put it away. Medea responded by saying it was a pro-life banner. Minutes later, a Secret Service man came up and asked for her press credentials. She stalled for a few minutes cheering Schwarzenegger along with the Republican crowd.
She was soon surrounded by more security officials. When she realized she was being escorted off the convention floor. Medea Benjamin turned to Vice President Dick Cheney who was sitting 20 feet away and repeatedly yelled "Stop the killing in Iraq." Secret service members carried her upside down off the convention floor.

Here's more of the story:

Benjamin, of San Francisco, said she borrowed "a friend of a friend's" floor pass to gain access to the Garden.

She said the veep forced a smile as she yelled, "Mr. Cheney, how much money did Halliburton make in Iraq?"

Security staff then tackled her to the floor and took her to a basement room for questioning, first by NYPD detectives and then by the Secret Service.

Also according to truthout.org, Medea was briefly detained at the FOX News protest. So if you're playing the RNC Protest Drinking Game, I think you have to drink twice.

Cheney had another close encounter with Americans who haven't signed loyalty oaths when Thomas Frampton tried to introduce himself: (from Reuters)

A Yale University student was charged on Tuesday with assaulting Secret Service agents as he tried to climb into Vice President Dick Cheney's box seat at the Republican National Convention.

Thomas Frampton, shouting anti-war statements, came within 10 feet of Cheney before he was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed by Secret Service agents on the opening night of the convention on Monday, according to court papers.

Frampton, 21, posing as a volunteer at the convention, faces misdemeanor charges of assaulting federal officers and impeding the operation of the Secret Service. His attorney said the student was expressing his right to free speech.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, Secret Service agents spotted Frampton on a walkway near the vice president's seat carrying a "Bush-Cheney '04" sign.

When the agents asked Frampton to "move along," he nodded but quickly turned back toward Cheney and started shouting anti-Bush administration statements. He then attempted to climb over a small wall separating the box from the walkway.

Two Secret Service agents then attempted to restrain Frampton, but he swung his elbow at one and continued to shout at Cheney. After a brief struggle, Frampton was dragged away from the box and handcuffed, the court papers said.

It looks like there going to throw the book at him. Currently Frampton is out on bail: (from Newsday)

Frampton, a baby-faced junior at Yale University with a near-perfect GPA, was released on $50,000 bond yesterday after he was charged with two misdemeanors: interfering with Secret Service agents and assaulting agents.

Assistant Manhattan U.S. Attorney John Hillebrecht told U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck that Frampton managed to get into Madison Square Garden wearing the shirt and RNC accreditation given to convention volunteers working outside the Garden.

Hillebrecht, who noted that Frampton had two prior arrests for protesting, also asked that Frampton surrender his RNC pass and the RNC shirt he still sported in court. He also asked that Frampton be ordered to stay at least 100 feet from Cheney and President George W. Bush. Peck granted the requests and scheduled Frampton's next court appearance for Sept. 30.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?