In the name of Liberty, what is going on in the United States of America?
It is hard to believe that scenes from the University of Florida on September 17, 2007 were actually happening in this country. Anyone who values the freedoms given to us by our Founding Fathers should be appalled. Are we not a free country? Is this not the United States of America, where our rights are clearly defined by our founding documents, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
Andrew Meyer, a 21-year-old journalism student at the University of Florida was, in my opinion, tortured at the hands of the police department in Florida. Tasered for exercising his First Amendment rights, Meyer is a shining example of what is right in this country, a young man who stands up for what he believes. His reward, however, for practicing his freedom of speech was to be tortured by those who are sworn to protect and serve.
Meyer was accosted by the police officers while asking a question of Senator John Kerry, who, by the way, said he would answer the question. Meyer can be heard repeatedly asking what was going on, asking for help from anyone and asking why he was being arrested. A female police officer continually shouted, “Stop resisting.” He told officers he would walk out the door only to find they were not going to let him up. Instead, they chose to taser him.
Rather than focusing on what we actually witnessed in this nightmare, why don’t we call attention to what was grossly omitted from the scene, help and support for Meyer from his fellow citizens. First and foremost, Senator Kerry had an excellent opportunity to show he understood his oath of office during that forum. If Kerry had any notions of winning over the United States population, he should have jumped off that stage and helped Andrew Meyer. He can be heard saying that he would answer the question, but he offered no support what so ever when things started to get out of hand. Kerry did make the off-color comment “unfortunately, he is not available to come up here and swear me in as President.” Senator Kerry, you have no business even thinking about becoming President of the United States, as you clearly do not understand your oath of office and our country’s Constitution!
The students and faculty, for the most part, were remiss in Meyer’s time of need, as well. Do these people not know what country they live in? Do these college students and professors not understand Meyer’s, and their, rights under the Constitution of the United States of America? How did they get to college? Last time I checked, Government, or Civics as it was called when I attended high school, was a required subject for high school graduation in this country. My teenage children know their rights, why do these college students and professors not know theirs?
Even more sadly, if they DO know, why did they just sit idly by and let these police officers torture this young man? Some of these people were laughing and even clapping as Meyer was being thrust around, shoved to the back of the auditorium, and finally wrestled to the floor and tasered. There were a couple of people asking why the officers were doing what they were doing, but for the most part, people can be seen moving out of the way and even smiling as Meyer is being abused. Maybe it was out of shock. Maybe it was out of fright. The people in that audience should have been utterly horror-struck by what they were witnessing.
What is even more shocking is this is not the first time a student was tasered on a college campus in the United States. In November 2006, on the UCLA campus another student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, was tasered for not showing his student ID to Community Service Officers. University of California police officers returned with the CSOs to assist with Tabatabainejad’s exit from the building. He had already begun to walk out of the building when he was accosted. The gathering crowd, some asking officers for their names and badge numbers, were told to get back or they would be tasered, as well.
And yet the outrageous behavior towards U.S. citizens continues. According to an independent video from Why Not News, United States citizens were arrested for reading the Constitution! In what dream of the arresting officers could this even be legal in our country? If you watch the video through to the end, you will see that some of these people were in opposition to a pro-war rally and were told they could be there, but were told where to stand and that they were to keep quiet. That isn’t remotely constitutional! Not only that, where was this “edict” during the End the War peace rally on September 15, 2007? The pro-war opposition was not told “stand over here and be quiet!” In fact, the pro-war bunch were quite ridiculous at the September 15 anti-war rally.
Our country, however, is not the only country where this type of behavior is going on. The September issue of Namaste Magazine, an English publication dealing with global issues and available around the world, features an article about an eighty-three year old hero, Elizabeth Beckett. She is standing up for her rights in our sister country, England, with little to no luck. She is about to lose her home and be forcibly bankrupted for refusing to pay what she says are illegal taxes. She is the daughter of a High Court Judge and wife of a District Officer in India. Mrs. Beckett is quite studied in the British Constitution. She knows the law. Yet she is being coerced into paying the taxes before she has her day in court. Is England to follow in the police-state footsteps of the United States?
The treatment of Meyer, Tabatabainejad, and the many arrested for expressing their First Amendment rights are just a few of the many offenses being foisted upon knowledgeable United States citizens, on U.S. soil, at the hands of other U.S. citizens, most of them police officers! Do these officers not understand the constitutional rights of the people they have sworn to protect and serve?
I cannot believe more people are not outraged! If ever there was a time for standing up for what is right and good and true, this is it, my friends! We cannot let these people get away with this. This behavior must be stopped! I implore you to take some kind of action now. Do not sit by and let this go unnoticed! If they will do it to one of us, they will do it to the rest of us. What happens when it is your turn, if you do not stand up for your rights now? Only YOU can fight for your rights. It is clear that the police officers, and apparently Senator John Kerry, have no intentions of seeing to your rights.
The time has come. Make your stand now!
http://www.starbanner.com/article/20070917/NEWS/70917006/1053/BREAKING_NEWS Student Tasered at Kerry speech
http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=7NWukZhsiBw Andrew Meyer Video