Monday, October 04, 2004

my heros have always been retired steel workers...

Taking a page out of Sloth's book, since she is back from her very looooong vacation, I went to McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush and found this very interesting tidbit.

DAY 123:

When President Bush traveled to Pittsburgh in 2002, a protester named Bill Neel who refused to move to the "designated free-speech zone"—a baseball field a third of a mile from Bush's speech—was arrested for disorderly conduct. At Neel's trial, a police detective testified that the Secret Service had told local police to keep "people that were there making a statement pretty much against the president and his views" in the free-speech zone. The judge threw out the charge, saying, "I believe this is America. Whatever happened to 'I don't agree with you, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it'?"

This excerpt is a little bit longer on the site, but as I read the first part of it I recognized the first name right away. Bill Neel is from Butler, where I live. So I looked him up, and I found his statement of challenge to Bush’s free speech zones on the ACLU site. Check it out, he said some pretty interesting things.

And I thought all the cool people were in Clarion. I don’t remember this from the news, but as it happened when I lived in Clarion, I guess that’s probably why. Yay for guys like Bill Neel, who have worked hard their whole lives, served our country, and have the balls to stand up and defend what they believe in, and our rights as American citizens. This is someone from my hometown that I can be proud of.

*By the way, do you know what my sign said? It said, “The Bush family must surely love the poor – they made so many of us.”  If the Secret Service thinks statements like that are a threat, then we’re all in trouble -Bill Neel*

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