Friday, August 17, 2007

Attempting Democracy

I'm in a local paper today. The-Leader ran the story, I'd provide a link but their website sucks and only includes two articles a day, I think its a decent paper I just don't like their website. I didn't get quoted which is fine by me, but I'm in the picture, the big guy to the left in stripes, thats Me!

We have grown tired of being ignored by our representative, a group of us left our info at his office several weeks ago and have heard nothing back. We have called, left messages, e-mails, one woman wrote an old school paper letter. One member did have a meeting scheduled for yesterday but it was canceled by Kuhl so we decided to go anyway. All we were planning to do was to formally invite him to a meeting we are holding as a part of the Take a Stand campaign.

I can't claim we were total innocents as we felt like throwing in a visual joke at Randys expense, we wanted to get bullet proof jackets in response to his flap about "packing" to defend himself from peace protesters. Unfortunately no one had one and when one person attempted to buy one they were warned that bullet proof vests are illegal in New York. So to try to make the joke anyway the purchased a couple of paint ball chest protectors, which always seem to have cheesy batman-esce muscles sculpted into them. It looked particularly stupid on a guy my size. Oh well.

Now on to what happened, we stood waiting around the corner from the office about a block away on the main street as our group gathered and a couple members of the press got ready. Then a police officer came around the corner and began by telling us he has not authorized a parade permit. At this point I need to explain the scene as I haven't been sent the photos yet and the couple I took on my phone don't feel like transferring to my computer at the moment. Its about 6-8 people standing on the sidewalk the only thing that makes us obvious is the silly vests and one guy carrying a white flag to go along with the joke. No one was carrying signs or anything that could be called a protest, we weren't yelling out, no music, nothing just oddly dressed citizens talking amongst themselves. Two of the guys immediately explained to the police officer that we had not filed for a permit because all we were doing was delivering an invitation to a meeting to Mr. Kuhl. We wanted to talk to him if it was possible then we would leave, if there was press around we would speak with them. We were not there to protest. He allowed us to do that, which is good because we were well within our rights and I'm sure some would have left in cuffs rather than be chased off by over reaching police. The officer then went back to his spot directly across from the office.

A few minutes later we had everyone, we had to wait as one person purchased a new memory card for their digital camera. We walked down the street and up to the door, which was locked as we knew it would be. The secretary we met the last time opened the door a few inches and asked us what we wanted, the pleasant persona we encountered the last time was gone. We explained that we simply wanted to invite him to an event, then explained how we have tried to set up meetings with him and have gotten no where. The secretary said she would pass on the invitation and she passed the blame saying she doesn't set the schedule without telling us who does. We talked for a minute, two at most then turned around. We then asked permission from the police officer if we could stick around just for a couple of pictures. At this point a couple men in suits came out of the office. Pictures were taken and I promise they will be up at some point, then we walked away, and as we did a second cop car with two officers showed up. Back-up for us unruly citizens. A woman from The Leader then asked us questions, we had her walk with us to the end of the block as to keep things kosher with the po-po. I was more than a little concerned about the angle when her first statement was about how we should have gotten a permit. A permit to talk to an elected official, Fuck That! She talked to a few of us and I think the article was ok, there was one "quote" that I don't recall in the least and I was standing next to the person quoted, hopefully it was my bad memory and not hers as it was a fairly volatile comment.

We then stood on the street and made some quick little videos of our reactions, I'm guessing mine is pretty lame, public speaking isn't really my thing, but the others like my finish. So that how I spent my thursday lunch break, how was yours?

1 comment:

Rob the Granola Guy said...

I wonder of the Fairport Po-Po's have been put on double secret watch. As I recall, they're right around the corner from his office. This police state is getting downright nutty.