By The Progressive on April 23, 2005
Evicted from Bush Event, Denver Progressives to Sue
Matthew Rothschild

April 23, 2005

On March 22, President Bush was holding a townhall meeting at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum in Denver.

Alex Young, 25, Karen Bauer, 38, and Leslie Weise, 39, all had tickets to the event, which they obtained through the proper channels. (They got them from the office of Republican Representative Bob Beauprez.)

But they weren't allowed to see the President.

When Bauer and Weise approached the metal detector, "a man checked the women's drivers' licenses against a paper, then asked them to stand aside," the Rocky Mountain News reported. Another man, "dressed in a dark suit, with an earpiece and a red lapel pin," approached Bauer. "You two have been ID'd, and if you have any ill intention, you will be arrested," he said, according to the paper.

The man let them in, but before the President arrived, he returned and ordered all three to leave, grabbing one of them by the arm.

"We were forcibly removed," they told the blog Daily Kos. "We were shocked."

The following week, the three, along with their attorney, Dan Recht, met with the Secret Service in Denver to discuss what happened.

"The Secret Service revealed that we were "ID'd" when local Republican staffers saw a bumpersticker on the car we drove which said "No More Blood for Oil," they told Daily Kos.

It turns out that Young, Bauer, and Weise, members of a group called Denver Progressives, had T-shirts hidden under their top shirts that said, "Stop the Lies." And they had considered revealing those shirts during Bush's speech, though they said they had second thoughts about that.

In any event, they weren't given the opportunity.

Attorney Recht told The Progressive that when they met with Ron Garner, the head of the Denver Secret Service office, Garner said it was not the Secret Service that forced the three to leave but a Republican staff person. Garner "specifically told us that the only reason this happened was because of the bumpersticker," Recht said.

"It's an outrageous violation of their First Amendment rights," Recht said. "They were literally being punished for their political speech. To be excluded from being able to hear and see your President because of a statement on a bumpersticker just reeks of totalitarian regimes in other parts of the world."

Recht vows to take legal action.

"I anticipate suing, frankly," he says. "We don't quite know who to sue. But we're going to find out, and we're going to sue that person, or the person who trained him, or who paid him, or who told him what to do."

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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