Is This America?

Human Rights

What do Kalamazoo, Evansville, Albuquerque, Stockton, Trenton, Phoenix, Columbia, St. Louis, Knoxville, and Charleston have in common?

All are among the cities where the secret service or police have jailed people for displaying anti-Bush signs during public appearances by his eminence, King George the W. Is this America, The Land of the Free?

That's what Nicole and Jeff Rank asked themselves this July 4th as they were taken away in handcuffs by police in their town of Charleston, West Virginia. What was their heinous crime? They were guilty of not being Bush supporters.

George W's Independence Day trip to Charleston was billed as an official presidential visit, not a campaign rally. Nicole and Jeff – two patriotic, hardworking, taxpaying Americans – were in the crowd, quietly exercising their free-speech rights. They wore T-shirts declaring: "Love America, Hate Bush."

They had proper tickets to the event, they proudly sang the National Anthem with everyone else, they were in no way disorderly – but they were not politically correct, so they were summarily arrested, taken to jail, finger printed...and charged with "trespassing." Others who were there wearing pro-Bush T-shirts and Bush campaign paraphernalia at this public event on public property were not arrested. It seems that the Bushites define "trespassers" by their political beliefs.

Nicole, who worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Charleston, was promptly told that her services were no longer required. Technically, she wasn't fired, but she was "released" from her job and not reassigned – meaning she no longer gets paid.

But Nicole and Jeff are still not bowing to King George. Despite the financial hardship, they're fighting Bush's absurd, un-American assault on their constitutional right to dissent. They're not the only ones being denied their right to speak out – dissenters all across America are being treated like this. To fight this autocratic lockdown, call the ACLU: 212-549-2500.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by