Quarantining dissent / How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech Good article. This is a real issue Republicans should be concerned about. I always thought that the USA was a “free speech” zone.

When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up “free speech zones” or “protest zones,” where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.

When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, “The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us.”

The local police, at the Secret Service’s behest, set up a “designated free-speech zone” on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush’s speech.

By the way this concern is not coming from left-wingers, but American Conservatives. Here is the first alarm printied here. In the American Conservative Magazine

And whomever didn’t think Bush was a trendsetter should read how the Deomcrats did it at their convention:

Protesters at this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Boston may be confined to a cozy triangle of land off Haymarket Square, blocked off from the FleetCenter and convention delegates by a maze of Central Artery service roads, MBTA train tracks, and a temporary parking lot holding scores of buses and media trucks.

What’s the point to just have a rally, when you don’t have an audience for whom the rally is organized?

Under a preliminary plan floated by convention organizers, the “free-speech zone” would be a small plot bounded by Green Line tracks and North Washington Street, in an area that until recently was given over to the elevated artery. The zone would hold as few as 400 of the several thousand protesters who are expected in Boston in late July.

related links:

Baltimore Chronicle
Free (satire)

  1. Dave says:

    That’s pretty funny – Rush Limbaugh was just talking today how Kerry has sicced his lawyers on everybody going to the media with negative stuff about him – such as the swift boat veterans. George W. Bush hasn’t. Kerry won’t even release his military records, nor all of his tax records.

  2. Ed Campbell says:

    Another facet of Bush’s Iron Curtain is filtering out any possible dissent from those attending. It’s pretty widely understood and reported. Though, there probably are a few True Believers who will have a Drudge or Rush quote denying it — and that’s “good enough”.

    I know we’ve passed down this street before; but, I was just reminded of it, a few minutes ago, when I received one of those mass emailings from the NM State Democrats letting folks know that Bill Clinton will be in Albuquerque, Sunday, leading a Kerry Rally. Like all such events, it’s ticketed.

    The email had an attachment so you could print out your own ticket.

  3. lynn says:

    ok look as far as i know bush has not released his military or tax records eather. so back of on the kerry bashing.

  4. Paddy Mullen says:

    yet another reasonI’m voting libertarian.

  5. Tomlaureld says:

    It is so hard to believe that we let the police hustle folks off by telling the world that they are just doing their job.
    As I sit here I am letting our ability to speak freely in public go down the tubes.
    That is so sad.
    Everyone has that ability to speak freely in public, but we just sit and watch TV.


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