Judge: Academy can ban graduation war protest


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May 5, 2007

A federal judge said Friday that the U.S. Army’s military academy at West Point can refuse to let outsiders on campus for an anti-war demonstration during Vice President Cheney’s commencement speech.

The Democratic Alliance of Orange County and several individuals had asked District Judge Charles Brieant to intervene after the military school’s garrison commander turned down their request for a 1,000-person permit for next Saturday morning....
Some people simply don't know when to STFU. :unhappy:

I'll refrain from further comments in deference to past discussions and decisions.
"West Point is the colloquial name for the U.S. Military Academy, founded in 1802 to train officers for the Army. West Point cadets receive free tuition in exchange for at least five years of active-duty service and three years in the reserves."

Do we have to explain to the Army Times that it Ain't FREE. It's a loan that's paid back in full with the active duty and reserve commitment of that Cadet or Midshipman?

I am really trying hard not to comment on the hippies at the gate. For me this is deje vu. We suffered through the sixty's and seventy's with these pin-head's parents(grand-parents?) all claiming the First Amendment gave them permission to spit on us, call us baby killers and murderers, and defile the flag we swore allegiance to as America's protectors.

I'm going to go sit in a time out chair next to Zap now and try to calm down.
Calm down Squid. Unfortunately, Army Times, and the others, must rely on wire services for much of their news. This is the observation of an AP journalist.

Additionally, I would like to be in the audience when these idiot's lawyer presents their case to the Court of Appeals.

In 1972, General Greer, Commanding Officer of Ft Dix, NJ, would not alllow Dr Benjamin Spock on base to distribute leaflets. The Supreme Court, on March 24, 1976 in Greer v Spock ruled that a CO could prohibit anyone on base he so chose whose purpose was contrary to the separation of the military from political viewpoints. I think it would cover this case.

I never saw the anti-war hatred directed toward soldiers and sailors which you have expressed. Of course, I never walked through downtown San Francisco in uniform. Someone, a few years ago, probably a very liberal news organization, claimed they had tried in vain to find news reel clips of spitting, etc and had relegated it to the urban myth file.

And, if I haven't done so yet, just to get a good discussion started, I feel that flag burning is the ultimate form of free speech. I have expressed this opinion personally with one of the presidential candidates, also a veteran, who agrees with me.
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I'm sure that the images that don't fit into the current media template are no longer in existance. I wish that we could "play back" some memory engrams to exhibit what really was during those times. Where is the technology of "Star Gate" when you need it.

I agree. In a totally esoteric discussion of the rights granted to a citizen by the Constitution, flag burning would be acceptable as an extreme example of liberty. However, while I've learned to listen intently and craft reasonable ideas and responses, drawing a Claymore and hacking the bastards to mush always seems to be the more accurate reaction. There's a reason that it's a "Raging Lion" on the Scots flag
We are facing the same thing at the CGA this week, only we have the prez who is even a bigger target. The various groups will be picketing...I believe in free speech myself and am no friend of W or the Iraq war but let's give the kids their day.:thumbdown:

Abbreviated version from the New London Day

New London — Dozens of groups from around New England, joining an event planned by two national peace organizations, are setting up a big day of demonstration to coincide with Wednesday's Coast Guard Academy graduation visit by President Bush.

The groups won't venture any crowd-size estimates, but they are making bus, van and carpool arrangements all around the Northeast.

It will start with a march from downtown to a loud rally at the academy gates that is expected to include sign waving, amplified peace music and speeches by parents who have lost children in the war.

They will be joined not only by demonstrators from impeachbush.org but by marching scientists from an assortment of colleges in Connecticut, who plan to don their academic robes and carry signs protesting the Bush Administration's science policies.

The peace groups, organized by sponsors Veterans for Peace and Act Now to Stop War & End Racism (A.N.S.W.E.R.), will themselves be protested by demonstrators from a new national pro-war group, Gathering of Eagles, which has put out a call on its Web site for people to turn out Wednesday “to counter the left-wing Communist A.N.S.W.E.R. event being held the same day.”

Protesters from the two sides clashed a bit during a peace rally in Washington in March that attracted tens of thousands of people, although both groups say they don't want any trouble in New London.

“At previous events these so-called peace organizations have historically been violent,” said James Bancroft of Bristol, a Marine veteran and the Connecticut coordinator for Gathering of Eagles. “If there is going to be any confrontation, we expect them to start it.”

Bancroft said the group, which has dozens of inquiries on its Web site about travel arrangements to New London, expects as many as a thousand people on each side to come Wednesday.

“They have a right to be there, but we are not going to engage them,” said John Bangart, a spokesman for Veterans for Peace. “What would Martin Luther King do? He would listen.”

New London Police Capt. William Dittman said protests sometimes never materialize in the numbers that organizations predict, but he said the department will be prepared. He said New London is working with Connecticut State Police on security for the presidential visit and the demonstrations.

“I would venture to say, yeah, there will be a lot of people here,” he said. “We don't expect any problems, and if there are any we'll be ready.”

Tahnee Stair of New Haven, an A.N.S.W.E.R. spokeswoman, said planning for the New London demonstration began months ago. In addition to the demonstration Wednesday there will a series of related events in the city, starting with a forum, slide show and discussion tonight at the Hygienic Art Galleries, which begins at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, the national group Iraq Veterans Against the War will host a public forum, starting at 1 p.m. at The Oasis on Bank Street. It will feature a panel discussion with U.S. Marine and Navy veterans and the co-founders of Appeal for Redress, which is collecting signatures of active-duty military who support a troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Veterans for Peace will have a regional peace planning meeting for its members Tuesday in New London, and the region's national president, Elliott Adams, a descendent of the two presidents, will be in town conducting nonviolence training.

Starting Tuesday evening, the group will conduct an all-night peace vigil at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument downtown. It will be held in honor of Cal Robertson, who has conducted his own vigil there for more than 20 years. Robertson hurt his knee in a fall recently but is expected to attend, Bangart said.

“Cal has been a constant Gandhian presence in the New London community, and we want to honor his tradition,” he said. “We also want to take the opportunity to stand up against George W. Bush.”

Also attending the group's demonstration will be Carlos Arredondo, who lost his son in the war and who has become known around the country for the memorial he sets up at peace rallies, with a flag-draped coffin in the back of his pickup truck.

The Raging Grannies, grandmothers against the war, and Code Pink, women war protesters known for their pink feather boas, will also be here, Bangart said. Bangart said he has been involved in the peace movement since 1971, when he protested with John Kerry, who served in Vietnam with Bangart's twin brother.

Wednesday's protest by scientists was organized by Marc Zimmer, professor of chemistry at Connecticut College. He said the group will include about 100 scientists, many faculty from schools all over the state, who will march from the college's science building to a lawn at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, across Route 32 from the academy.
Protesters vow appeal of West Point ban


Anti-war activists said they would appeal a federal judge’s ruling that West Point can refuse to let outsiders on campus to demonstrate against the war in Iraq during Vice President Cheney’s commencement speech.

“The fact that we oppose the war does not make us a security risk,” said Michael Sussman, a leader of the Democratic Alliance of Orange County. He said he expected arguments to be heard in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Wednesday or Thursday....