Spero News’ Mary Ann Kreitzer relates this story of a Notre Dame Barack Obama protester who was arrested for ‘belligerance’ for holding up an anti-abortion sign while police permitted pro-obama supporters free curbside motorcade access.
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.
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.