Hello there. It's been a few weeks since this happened, so it's stale now and nobody really talks about it anymore and it's old news and nobody cares. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY I'M GOING TO BRING IT UP AGAIN. Because this might be one of the more important events of 2007, a year that will forever be remembered as the year before America finally elected and got to keep someone besides W. Either that, or the year before the revolution. Either way, you know...
I ran this a few weeks ago, in a slightly shorter, tamer form, on another website where I can't vent my spleen so ineloquently as here. So:
If you haven't seen the video already, go watch it. If you have, maybe you should refresh your memory. I'll wait. Watch here
I am absolutely outraged by this, and I think you should be too, and I'll tell you why.
The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights was drafted for precisely this reason. To give every citizen of our nation the right to question the government and all representatives of authority.
There are various reasonable restrictions on the freedoms of speech and press. The young man in the video - Andrew Meyer, 21 - violated none of these. He was stubborn and combative in his questioning, yes. But he did not break a single law.
If anyone behaved illegally, it was whoever cut the power to his microphone, in effect denying him the right to express his opinion and - presumably - eventually get to the point and ask his question.
Police wanted to charge Meyer with violently resisting arrest. I've only watched the video a couple times - it turns my stomach, frankly - so maybe I missed it. Help me out. Did any of you catch the part where one of the officers informed Meyer he was under arrest, or attempted to read or recite his Miranda Act rights
Even if there had been any lawful reason for Meyer to be placed under arrest - which as far as I can tell, there was not - the arrest itself would be illegal due to the omission of the Miranda Rights.
It was disturbing enough to see police surrounding him and dragging him away. But then they had to go and taser him. Listen to him scream for help. That is the sound of someone realizing the freedoms promised by the Bill of Rights are not what they seem.
And as he screams and begs them to stop, they just keep pumping juice into him. How many taser-shocks are necessary, really? And how much fun do you think those campus cops were having, finally getting to use it on someone?
I was at work and CNN was on and when I caught sight of it I thought for a second it was a movie, something like V for Vendetta
but one I hadn't seen yet. Then I noticed the CNN logo and my blood fucking went cold.
And what angered me the most is this: John Kerry did nothing to stop this. The crowd just standing around watching is one thing, but the man on the stage with the working microphone could have stopped this. He could have at least said something.
But the man who was almost the next President of the United States -- head of the executive, tasked with protecting and enacting the laws of our land and protecting at all costs our basic freedom -- just watched it happen.
By allowing police to use tasers on an unarmed citizen who had broken no laws, Kerry granted implied approval of this violation of Andrew Meyer's rights. Hell, I bet he was enjoying it.
Teach that little bastard to try talking over me!
I'm John Kerry! I'm the man who was going to save the world from Bush!
This country and its leaders used to stand for something better than this. And we've been heading down this dark path for too fucking long. And we're going to keep going down it, because this thing happened and if there was a public outcry I didn't notice. I saw people on TV making fun of the poor bastard! Making fun of him!
Christ Almighty, when the Nazis came and took the Jews away, did the other people of Poland or Belgium or any of the others point and laugh?
When we were kids our teachers told us this was the best country in the world. They told us how lucky we were to live in the land of the free. But here's the thing. You've got to pay attention. You have to watch.
You can't just take it for granted. You can't just accept that everything's OK. And for fuck's sake, you can't give the President, military, and police almost unlimited power so they'll keep the terrorists away. Because this is what will happen:
Young men who may be assholes, but have done nothing wrong will be arrested and electroshocked. Popular entertainments will be banned or censored. Television personalities and newspaper journalists will be fired for criticizing the administration. Laws will be passed that whittle away your freedom while simultaneously giving the police agencies more power, most of it completely unConstitutional. All of these things are already happening.
But at least we're safe from terrorism, aren't we?