As most of
you have probably heard, I was arrested before the State of the
Union Address tonight.
I am speechless
with fury at what happened and with grief over what we have lost
in our country.
been lies from the police and distortions by the press. (Shocker)
So this is what really happened:
at the People’s State of the Union Address in DC where I was joined
by Congresspersons Lynn Woolsey and John Conyers, Ann Wright, Malik
Rahim and John Cavanagh, Lynn brought me a ticket to the State of
the Union Address. At that time, I was wearing the shirt that said:
2245 Dead. How many more?
After the PSOTU
press conference, I was having second thoughts about going to the
SOTU at the Capitol. I didn’t feel comfortable going. I knew George
Bush would say things that would hurt me and anger me and I knew
that I couldn’t disrupt the address because Lynn had given me the
ticket and I didn’t want to be disruptive out of respect for her.
I, in fact, had given the ticket to John Bruhns who is in Iraq Veterans
Against the War. However, Lynn’s office had already called the media
and everyone knew I was going to be there so I sucked it up and
I got the ticket
back from John, and I met one of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s staffers
in the Longworth Congressional Office building and we went to the
Capitol via the underground tunnel. I went through security once,
then had to use the rest room and went through security again.
My ticket was
in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in. The person who in
a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.
I had just
sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up
from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right
to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and
yelled; "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me
out of my seat and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved
me up the stairs. I said something like "I’m going, do you
have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.
ran with me to the elevators yelling at everyone to move out of
the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me
outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me
said, "That’s Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer
who arrested me said: "Take these steps slowly." I said,
"You didn’t care about being careful when you were dragging
me up the other steps." He said, "That’s because you were
protesting." Wow, I get hauled out of the People’s House because
I was, "Protesting."
I was never
told that I couldn’t wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never
asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked
to do any of those things…I would have, and written about the
suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and
roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled
off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."
After I had
my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt.
came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2245, huh? I just
got back from there."
I told him
that my son died there. That’s when the enormity of my loss hit
me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I
have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started
crying in pain.
What did Casey
die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for?
What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm’s way for
still? For this? I can’t even wear a shirt that has the number of
troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies
are responsible for killing.
I wore the
shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there
and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would
have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would
have unzipped my jacket during George’s speech. If I had any idea
what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable
that I would be arrested…maybe I would have, but I didn’t.
already been many wild stories out there.
I have some
lawyers looking into filing a First Amendment lawsuit against the
government for what happened tonight. I will file it. It is time
to take our freedoms and our country back.
I don’t want
to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has
paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying,
writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government.
That’s why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. That’s
why I am not going to let Bushco take anything else away from me…or
I am so appreciative
of the couple of hundred of protesters who came to the jail while
I was locked up to show their support….we have so much potential
for good…there is so much good in so many people.
and 2 jails after I was arrested, I was let out. Again, I am so
upset and sore it is hard to think straight.
Keep up the
struggle…I promise you I will too.
Love and peace