20
Sep
2005

Man Arrested at Union Square - Rally Over Permit Dispute



Another view of the event

Please distribute...

There is a rumor on the internet that Cindy Sheehan was arrested today. This is NOT true. Please read stories below.

//www.villagevoice.com/news/0538,fergusonshee,67983,2.html

Village Voice

NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan City's Finest pulls move even Bush wouldn't have tried

by Sarah Ferguson September 19th, 2005 5:54 PM

[Cindy Sheehan speaking out in Union Square with Al Zappala, who also lost a son in Iraq photo: Sarah Ferguson]

Cindy Sheehan may be the Rosa Parks of the anti-war movement. But that didn't stop members of the New York Police Department from marching into the crowd of about 150 people gathered in Union Square Monday to hear her speak and yanking away the microphone.

The NYPD pulled the plug just as Sheehan was calling on the audience not to lose heart in the fight to end the war in Iraq.

"We get up every morning, and every morning we see this enormous mountain in front of us," said Sheehan, speaking on behalf of the other parents and family members of fallen soldiers who have taken up the crusade to bring the troops home.

"We can't go through it, we can't go under it, so we have to go over it," she continued, just as the cops rushed the makeshift podium.

Police dragged away Paul Zulkowitz, a.k.a. Zool, an organizer with “Camp Casey NYC, the small encampment that he and other activists set up a month ago in Union Square in solidarity with Sheehan's vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The New York branch existed much to the ire of the city's Parks Department. Today, Zulkowitz was arrested for failing to obtain a sound permit—a charg Moments earlier, Zulkowitz had been chastising Parks officials for refusing to grant a permit to the encampment, and accusing the police of trying to harass the antiwar protest away. Contrasting the liberal Big Apple with the hostile environs Sheehan faced in Crawford, Zulkowitz told the crowd: "You would think that here in New York City, at Union Square—our Hyde Park As the activists hustled away Sheehan and the other family members on the Bring Them Home Now tour, an enraged crowd of about 50 people stormed after the police, chanting, "Shame! Shame!" Meanwhile Iraq war veteran and now peace activist Jeff Key played "God Bless America" on his trumpet.

"Since when can't you talk out here in Union Square?" demanded an Upper West Side social worker who identified herself as Quha, who said she'd taken her lunch break to hear Sheehan because she has a 20-year-old son who is considering enlisting. "I've seen everyone and their mother come out and speak nonsense out here in this park, and for them to shut down Cindy Sheehan is just not right."

"They came in like gangbusters. It was really ridiculous," said Margaret Rapp, a retired teacher from Inwood who added that she planned to file a complaint after an officer forcibly shoved her in the chest. A mother of a 19-year-old, she said she'd come to hear Sheehan because she lost her fiancee during the Vietnam War. "This is very close to home. There is a chord that Cindy hits among people that have lost people in this war and other wars, or who have draft age children like me. We're scared to death.”

Inspector Michael McEnroy, commander of the 13th Precinct, insisted the shutdown order had nothing to do with the content of Sheehan's speech, but was instead about the "provocation" caused by Zulkowitz. “This has been going on for much longer than today, McEnroy said, adding of Sheehan, I don't even know the woman. That last part prompted one pissed-off onlooker to shoot back: Haven't you watched the news or read a paper in the last three months?

Sheehan has been touring the country for the last month with members of Gold Star Families for Peace, Military Families Speak out, and Iraq Veterans Against the War. They will be speaking tonight at 6:30 at St. John the Divine (Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street), part of the lead up to Saturday's big anti-war march in Washington, D.C.

--------

Protesters draw link between Katrina and Iraq war
Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:09 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's faltering performance after Hurricane Katrina, like his decision to invade Iraq, show his priorities are at odds with actions needed to keep Americans safe, anti-war protesters said on Monday.

"One of the bogus reasons that George Bush gives for this invasion (and) occupation of Iraq is to make America safer -- and Katrina exposed that clearly he has made America more vulnerable through his policies in Iraq," anti-war activist and bereaved mother Cindy Sheehan told a morning news conference.

U.S. troops fighting an unexpectedly stubborn insurgency in Iraq should come home to help face domestic challenges like the unprecedented humanitarian relief and recovery effort on the Gulf Coast, said the activists, who will stage a march on Washington this weekend.

When Sheehan later spoke in Manhattan's Union Square to a group of about 200 anti-war protesters, New York police broke up the rally and arrested a man over a dispute about whether their permit allowed amplified sound.

Morrigan Phillips, spokeswoman for the Bring Them Home Now Tour, which has been stopping in towns across America on its way to the march in Washington, said the arrest was the first since the group began its campaign earlier this summer.

Leaders of the coalition organizing the September 24-26 protest in Washington include Sheehan, who gained international fame by camping out for weeks outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The anti-war group United for Peace and Justice, spearheading the march on Washington, said National Guard troops and materiel deployed in Iraq were needed to respond to the tragedy in and around New Orleans.

Sheehan is the star attraction for the three-day protest, which will include nonviolent acts of civil disobedience at the White House and an interfaith religious service, organizers said.

After her soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq, Sheehan demanded to meet with Bush while he vacationed in Texas so he could explain why U.S. troops were not being withdrawn from Iraq.

Bush, who had met briefly with Sheehan on a previous occasion, has declined to meet with her again.

"We were alarmed to hear the first company to get a contract in the rebuilding of New Orleans was Halliburton, another nonbid contract," said Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice, which bills itself as the largest anti-war coalition in the United States.

The largest U.S. contractor in Iraq, Halliburton Co.'s subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root has been given a $29.8 million contract to rebuild Navy bases along the Katrina-battered Gulf Coast.

Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton, whose subsidiary secured no-bid contracts in Iraq after the United States toppled Saddam Hussein.

© Reuters

//olympics.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-09-19T230933Z_01_WRI974261_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-USA-PROTEST.xml


Informant: John Johnson



Cindy Sheehan
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