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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

- Salon.com

Keeping dissent invisible
How the Secret Service and the White House keep protesters safely out of Bush's sight -- and off TV.

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By Dave Lindorff



Oct. 16, 2003 | PHILADELPHIA -- When Bill Neel learned that President George W. Bush was making a Labor Day campaign visit to Pittsburgh last year to support local congressional candidates, the retired Pittsburgh steelworker decided that he would be on hand to protest the president's economic policies. Neel and his sister made a hand-lettered sign reading "The Bushes must love the poor -- they've made so many of us," and headed for a road where the motorcade would pass on the way from the airport to a Carpenters' Union training center.

Neel never got to display his sign for President Bush to see, though. As he stood among milling groups of Bush supporters, he was approached by a local police detective, who told him and his sister that because they were protesting, they had to move to a "free-speech area," on orders of the U.S. Secret Service.

"He pointed out a relatively remote baseball diamond that was enclosed in a chain-link fence," Neel recalled in an interview with Salon. "I could see these people behind the fence, with their faces up against it, and their hands on the wire." (The ACLU posted photos of the demonstrators and supporters at that event on its Web site.) "It looked more like a concentration camp than a free-speech area to me, so I said, 'I'm not going in there. I thought the whole country was a free-speech area.'" The detective asked Neel, 66, to go to the area six or eight times, and when he politely refused, he handcuffed and arrested the retired steelworker on a charge of disorderly conduct.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- from Caleb

Good work Karl Rove!! Make Protesting a national security threat. Right On!

I will post your thoughts. Send them to: Caleb@anti-bush.com.

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