[saymaListserv] Fw: Free Speech appeal set for Sept 1, Columbia
tolsen at tusculum.edu
Mon Aug 30 10:47:24 JEST 2004
I wonder if Friends have suggestions for educating others about the free
speech threats we are facing now. Should I look to FCNL?
Mike Shell wrote:
> Please read and share this account of the Bush Administration's court-sanctioned suppression of free speech in South Carolina.
> Blessed Be,
> --------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: SC Progressive Network <network at scpronet.com>
> To: network at scpronet.com
> Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 23:18:09 -0400
> Subject: Free Speech appeal set for Sept 1, Columbia
> Message-ID: <email@example.com>
> August 28, 2004
> For Immediate Release:
> BURSEY FREE SPEECH APPEAL SEPT 1
> Wednesday, Sept. 1, 11am, Courtroom 2, Perry Federal Court House,
> Richland and Lincoln St., Columbia (behind to the federal building at
> Assembly and Laurel)
> Brett Bursey will return to federal court Sept. 1 to appeal
> to U.S. District Court Judge Cameron Curie that his January
> conviction under the Threatening the President statute be overturned.
> "I appealed the conviction because the Bush Administration's
> unconstitutional use of the Secret Service to stifle dissent needs
> some judicial restraint," Bursey said. The trial is scheduled for
> 11am. Both sides have been given 30 minutes to make their case.
> Attorney Lewis Pitts was joined by the Center for
> Constitutional Rights, a 40-year-old group dedicated to preserving
> rights granted by the Constitution, to prepare Bursey's appeal.
> "This case has national significance because it is the only
> time a peaceful protester has been charged by the federal government
> for refusing to be corralled into a 'free speech zone.'" Pitts said.
> "The government is unconstitutionally protecting Mr. Bush's political
> security by keeping protesters out of sight and out of mind."
> Jeff Fogel, lead counsel for CCR, said "The use of this
> federal statute for the first time in Mr. Bursey's case opens up a
> whole new area of concern about the Bush administration's wholesale
> assault on civil liberties."
> Bursey, director of the South Carolina Progressive Network,
> refused to go to the approved free speech zone during a Bush visit to
> Columbia, S.C., on Oct. 24, 2002. Bursey was arrested by local police
> for holding a "No War for Oil" sign in an area where hundreds of
> Republican supporters, many with signs, were gathering
> "When the arresting officer told me that the content of my
> sign was the problem, I decided to take a stand. I thought that if
> everyone backed down in the face of this foolishness, we soon
> wouldn't recognize our country," Bursey said.
> Four months after the arrest, state trespassing charges were
> dropped and US Attorney Strom Thurmond Jr. indicted Bursey under the
> federal statute that governs threats to the President. Bursey was
> denied a jury trial and was found guilty by a federal magistrate. He
> was sentenced to a $500 fine January 6.
> "I hope everyone who believes that America is a free speech
> zone will show up Sept. 1 to stand with me against this
> administration's nationwide assault on our constitutional rights,"
> Bursey said.
Dr. Taimi Olsen
Associate Professor of English
Chair, Department of English
T C Competency Program Coordinator
Greeneville, TN 37743
tolsen at tusculum.edu
For web site, see “faculty pages”
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