Monday, May 18, 2009

Extremely Disturbing Reports from Notre Dame

Obama at Notre Dame. Protesters attempting to exercise their first amendment right to protest a staunch abortion advocate speaking at a Catholic university have been subject to instant arrest.

From Mart Ann Krietzner at

I just spoke by phone with a friend, Sonny Torres, who went to Notre Dame this weekend with his wife Karen to protest the university giving Obama an honorary degree and a platform for promoting his policies which include murdering unborn children. Neither of my friends had any intention of getting arrested, but the Lord apparently had other plans.

After six hours of joining in the protests off campus, Karen and Sonny left to begin their long ride back to Virginia. But they got turned around and pulled into the parking lot of a credit union bordering the university campus to get their bearings. As they did, they noticed a group of police cars gathering and officers putting up barricades which appeared to mark the route of the Obama motorcade. So Karen and Sonny got out and Karen pulled out her sign, a half posterboard sheet, that read, "Shame on Notre Dame!"

A few minutes later a police officer came over and told them they'd have to move back 50 feet from the road which they did even though others were standing closer. As they walked back with the officer, they objected to being singled out and asked why those walking on the sidewalk weren't being moved back. The officer spoke into his phone and a minute later they were surrounded by cops and Karen was summarily arrested, handcuffed, hauled off, and charged with criminal trespass.

In the meantime Sonny, still in the credit union parking lot, watched as a growing crowd gathered, one person carrying a sign that read, "We're proud of Notred Dame" and another with a sign praising Notre Dame president, Fr. Jenkins. Sonny went over to the officer who spoke to them originally and asked why Karen was arrested and these people weren't. The officer claimed Karen "was belligerant" (if you dare to ask a question, you're "belligerant") and then threatened Sonny with arrest as well.

Sonny stayed in the parking lot another fifteen minutes or so and watched the officer sit in his car twenty feet from a group of about 80 people not 50 feet from the street, not ten feet, but actually sitting and standing on the curb practically in the street itself. Apparently none of those who came to worship at the feet of the abortion president was trespassing even though they gathered in the same place, even closer to the street, on ground forbidden to my friends because of Karen's sign, an unwelcome form of speech.

After talking to Sonny, I called the jail and spoke to Deputy Vawastowski (Is she a polish Catholic?) who told me Karen was charged with criminal trespass and her bail was set at $250. She could not give me the statute under which Karen had been charged and said she had no other information, but it would be on the arresting officer's charge sheet.

Now, let's recap this and make everything perfectly clear. Approximately 100 people ended up milling around in the same area as my friends, some much closer to the street within the forbidden 50 foot zone. But the only individual singled out for arrest FOR TRESPASSING was a woman holding a sign that said, "Shame on Notre Dame!" Those bearing signs of approval were unmolested. If this isn't a first amendment violation and a case of false arrest I don't know what is.

The Department of Homeland Security may have pulled their "right-wing extremist" report, but it's clear that pro-lifers are in the sites of law enforcement who will use any pretext to shut them up and make sure the abortion president won't be embarrassed by their signs. The deputies in this case acted like little brownshirts I'm sad to say. (My brother is a retired police officer and one of my heroes. It pains me when I have to criticize law enforcement officers who abuse their authority.)

I hope when you read this you're as angry as I am and will call the jail and protest the false arrest of my friend Karen Torres. The number at the South Bend jail is 574-245-6518. Ask them why they didn't arrest any of the other 50-100 people in the same area who were obviously trespassing as well if my friend was. If you call, please be polite, but express your concern that Karen's was singled out, a clear violation of her right to free speech.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has nothing to do with Right wing vs Left wing. Its Power vs You. If they were anti-war the or anti -torture the same thing would have happened

3:28 PM, May 18, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

It is true that our power elites are no longer willing to endure listening to our protests from whatever angle. I don't consider opposition to eternal wars for global empire to be "left wing", its freedom wing and left and right should both support it. The ones who want eternal occupation of the globe are fascists, not conservatives or liberals.

8:40 PM, May 18, 2009  

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