The Donkey Is Sleeping Today

Law and Disorder

In First Amendment, Inequality, Plutocracy, Politics on July 6, 2010 at 9:51 am

In the criminal justice system, the people are treated as two separate but unequal groups – the plutocrats who run the corporations and the Dirty Fucking Hippies (DFH) that need to be punched.  This is one of those stories, which was reported on Raw Story yesterday…

The Defendant: Ted Glick (60), environmentalist and Policy Director for Chesapeake Climate Action Network, noted tree-hugger, meddlesome activist, and DFH.

The Crime: On September 08, 2009, DFH unfurled two banners in support of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the Hart Senate Office Building. The banners read “Green Jobs Now” and “Get To Work,” upsetting the delicate sensibilities of the corporate lobbyists in attendance, many of whom were allegedly blinded by the obviously socialist messages.

The Case: To protect the Senate establishment and their efforts to collect millions in corporate campaign contributions, DFH was convicted of disorderly conduct and unlawfully assembling on Capitol Grounds, even after entering the building legally, providing proper identification, and having the banners scanned by police.

The Prosecutors: DFH was offered a plea bargain of 30 days in jail, and if he had accepted his punishment like a man, things would have been just fine. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bench. DFH had the temerity, the unmitigated gall to assert his Constitutional right to trial. Now the prosecutors are seeking three times the mandatory six-month sentences for both offenses – for a total of three years in prison.

Fellow DFHers are petitioning the judge for leniency. The sentencing is today.  Any guesses on who will prevail?

Of course, BP executives have been hanging the following banner all over the Gulf of Mexico for the past three months:

And look what’s happened to them. Yacht races in England and concern for the small people.

While I don’t agree with every policy position and action that Glick has taken over the years, he shouldn’t get punched in the mouth for exercising his First Amendment rights, especially while our corporate masters walk free for far more heinous crimes.

But don’t worry, the Obama DOJ is on top of investigating this whole oil spill thing…

-SF

Update: So the good guys won one for a change.  Judge Frederick H. Weisberg chose the First Amendment over a zealous U.S. Attorney’s office, handing down a suspended sentence (no jail time) for Ted Glick. Judge Weisberg went on to say that the letter-writing campaign on Glick’s behalf helped sway his decision. Here’s the money quote (emphasis mine) from the follow-up report on Raw Story:

Mike Tidwell, founder and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) where Glick is Policy Director, said that “everyone in the climate movement should be relieved for Weisberg’s decision.”

But Tidwell also noted that, “The fact that the government chose to go after this case with the intensity it did, while a single person from BP has yet to be prosecuted shows how misguided the government is in its environmental policies.

“We’ve always maintained it was wrong that a non-violent leader like Ted be made an example of and we give immense credit to Weisberg for recognizing that what the U.S. Attorney’s Office was asking for did not fit the crime,” added Tidwell.

Final score: DFHers 1, Plutocrats 0.

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