Cindy Sheehan Busted In the Big Apple…

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reportedly. The city so nice they named it twice shows no love to the protestor mom, who gets hauled away, according to this witness for speaking in Union Square without a permit.

Update: Village Voice says Sheehan's speech was kiboshed but she was not arrested. Organizer Paul Zulkowitz was arrested for not obtaining a sound permit. Funny detail:

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?"

As I thought Union Square was in the 9th Precinct, I'll recuse myself from further commentary.

NEXT: Chang Is Missing

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  1. I despise this woman, think her a gross opportunist.

    That said, wtf, a speech permit?

    Hope some big-time law talent takes up her cause and sues NYC for serious dough for all the free publicity.

  2. I belive it's time to unleash Chiang on NYC.

  3. What Some Guy said. She's as crazy as a road lizard - but arresting someone for public speech???

  4. Apparently the tenet of "Free Speech" applies only once you have gotten proper permits to conduct said speech.

    Bravo NYC BRAVO!

  5. Well... she was using loudspeakers (according to the account), and in a public park. I *think* you need a permit for that sort of thing. But to sic the cops on her so quickly seems... gross. By the way, that section of Union Square has a more-or-less permanent camp set up in support of lefty causes. I mean, really radical stuff. This Cindy Sheehan is not exactly endearing herself to America anymore.

  6. It figures that New York would now require a permit for speaking in public. As Jacob Sullum has written, New Yorkers have been cheerfully surrendering their civil liberties lately.

  7. Quote from the Indymedia article:

    "As Cindy was speaking, a large platoon of police massed behind from the interior of the park, then formed a circle behind her, the speakers' area and a few dozen people who were deployed in an arc behind her. Overall, about 200 people were in attendance, with the crowd steadily increasing in size as the rally progressed."

    The police probably cut it short because the rally started getting big. No permit, no rally. I don't see the problem. (I mean, besides needing a permit to peaceably assemble. W T F?)

  8. Isn't this sort of stuff common knowledge by now?

    I mean, c'mon, we live in a nation of "Free Speech Zones."

  9. Yeah, there's always people protesting something there -- but usually nobody anybody's heard of. Just your run of the mill local activist groups. I'm sure she drew more attention than most.

  10. You don't need a free speech permit as long as you are in a free speech zone.

  11. OMG, this is too freaky. Either everything she stands for is true (say it ain't so), or we're handing her relevance on a silver platter replete with 'get out of jail free' card.

    Now all that's left is a 'mysterious death' in jail that 'looked like an accident'.

    Paul

  12. I just checked all the news sites and found nothing. I realize that it has only been a few minutes but I would think that this would be big news. I went to CBS 1st, cuz I know how much they hate bush.
    Anywhooo, I agree with Paul. If this is true, she is handing the world the ammunition that shows that we live in a soft authoritarian and/or totalitarian State.

  13. I did a search on Google News. So far it looks like only the Village Voice has this, but then the story is only 17 minutes old.

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

  14. There's no infringement of constitutional rights here. This is a content-neutral restriction on the use of public property. I see nothing wrong with it. We certainly wouldn't allow someone to stage a noisy, disruptive protest in a public library. Placing some restrictions on the use of a public park is no different. Ideally we wouldn't have public property in the middle of Manhattan, but as long as we do, it's entirely reasonable to have rules governing appropriate conduct.

    It's absurd to think that shutting her down had anything at all to do with the content of her speech. The NYPD really doesn't give a damn. The conspiracy theory being peddled by DailyKos is a joke.

  15. I think she's a secret Karl Rove plant.

    Seriously, how else does anyone that insane become the icon for the left?

  16. From the livejournal story:
    I'm not sure the details of the permit situation. The announcer said they sought a permit for weeks with no response from the city government.

    If this is true, one might argue that the city's bureaucratic stonewalling amounts to a violation of the First Amendment.

  17. Sheehan - and Air America - seem to have a link to a hip-hop activist who was recently reportedly arrested in New Orleans and who's a researcher of "national liberation struggles inside the United States".

    And, of course, there's the Michael Moore, Arianna connections, etc. etc.

    (I don't know why I'm building content for this site and helping it with search engines, since the use of the nofollow tags makes those links irrelevant. Thus, I'm providing search-engine-friendly content that helps Reason, but I'm not getting any search-engine benefits in return. All the other commentors who are providing free content for Reason should consider that before commenting.)

  18. I just checked all the news sites and found nothing. I realize that it has only been a few minutes but I would think that this would be big news. I went to CBS 1st, cuz I know how much they hate bush.

    And I checked freerepublic.com cuz I know they hate Sheehan. Found a link to the story at Daily Kos here. Looks like Kos has a report from an eyewitness, plus a couple more links to other blogs. I haven't even read that stuff yet so I could post this quickly here.

  19. Lonewacko: While I have no idea what a nofollow tag is and therefore have no idea what you're talking about, I think you might be under a misapprehension as to why people post here. Do any other commenters see themselves as providing "search-engine-friendly content that helps Reason" in exchange for "search-engine benefits"? And, if so, would they consider getting over themselves?

  20. We certainly wouldn't allow someone to stage a noisy, disruptive protest in a public library. Placing some restrictions on the use of a public park is no different.

    Well, Union Square's a wee bit different from a public library. Part of the civic and entertainment value of the place has long stemmed from its ability to act as a venue for loonies to vent.

    Speaking of which, why is it that these kinds of things almost never happen in Manhattan when I'm there to see them? Knowing that the General Assembly was in town, I walked over to the UN complex on Saturday, digital camera in pocket, with the express purpose of seeing hundreds, if not thousands, of nutjobs of one stripe or another ranting in the name of their cause(s) celebre. But all I got were two minor, subdued protests involving highly uncontroversial subject matters - one denouncing Mugabe, the other railing at the Burmese junta.

  21. <offtopic>

    Jesse Walker,

    It looks like the posting software adds a rel="nofollow" attribute to all anchor (<a>) tags, which I might guess tells search engines to not follow the links indicated. It seems like a reasonable thing to do, because most of the links are the e-mail addresses that are almost entirely invalid, and links put here by posters aren't necessarily relevant to the discussion.

    Heck, most comments might be irrelevant to the discussion, like this one. 🙂

    </offtopic>

  22. <more-offtopic>

    Then again, maybe Lonewacko is pissed off that Tim actually had the gall to ask if he was willing to pay for advertising space instead of providing a bunch of (more than one) links to his blog. I'm just guessing here, and could be completely wrong in that speculation. If so, I apologize in advance.

    </more-offtopic>

  23. Were Cindy Sheehan and Beth Holloway Twitty separated at birth? Right now they have blurred together in my mind as one gruesome Super-Cable-News-Celebrity.

  24. If this happened, how is it that the NY Times story on her visit makes no mention?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/19/nyregion/19cnd-sheehan.html

  25. Jeff,

    This happened this afternoon. The NYT article was pubished tin this morning's paper.

  26. All the other commentors who are providing free content for Reason should consider that before commenting.

    You seem to be laboring under the delusion that the content I "provide" for Reason posesses intrinsic value.

  27. Then again, maybe Lonewacko is pissed off that Tim actually had the gall to ask if he was willing to pay for advertising space instead of providing a bunch of (more than one) links to his blog.

    Man, I had completely forgotten about that; I hope he's not still mad about it. FWIW, we recently did a Movable Type upgrade, which, like all Movable Type upgrades as far as I can tell, made everything slower, worse, and harder to use. The nofollow tag may have gotten instituted as part of that, but it definitely wasn't planned; since I'm not even sure what it is, I wouldn't have been interested in putting it in.

  28. The sole benefit of Katrina was that we didn't have to hear Cindy Sheehan for a few days.

  29. You seem to be laboring under the delusion that the content I "provide" for Reason posesses intrinsic value.

    Didn't Hakluyt recently say something about how he was providing somebody (Jennifer?) with valuable knowledge free of charge?

    Perhaps we should send tuition checks to anybody who gets rude on this forum.

    So, to everybody reading this post: YOUR MOTHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR FATHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRIES!!!

    That will be $20 apiece. I accept PayPal.

  30. The nofollow tag just means you don't get extra google points for posting here. And why the hell should we?

  31. For once I'm grateful for the severe limitations of the collective conscious.

    Cindy who?? Sheehawhatsis??

  32. Poor ol' Cindy will need to pull a big stunt to get the collective idiots to pay attention to her again.

    I suggest she streak during Monday night football. At kickoff.

  33. Cindy Sheehan? Mission Accomplished.

  34. joe:

    Her "mission" definitely was supposed to last more then a couple weeks. Sheehan is suffering from a severe case of Attention Deficit, coupled with media premature withdraw.

    Her promoter needs to get off his ass. Maybe she can land a gig on one of those reality shows, where they can stick her in a house with Tom Green and Kato Kalin.

  35. "Her "mission" definitely was supposed to last more then a couple weeks."

    I believe her mission was supposed to last exactly as long as it took to shame the president before the nation, and explode the "you can't criticize the war, or you're attacking the troops" mythology.

    Missions Accomplished.

  36. I say no, joe.

    Weren't we supposed to be treated to a magical cross-country bus tour that was going to park in front of the White House indefinitely?

    I think that bus threw a rod or got lost somewhere.

  37. I just checked all the news sites and found nothing. I realize that it has only been a few minutes but I would think that this would be big news. I went to CBS 1st, cuz I know how much they hate bush...

    If this happened, how is it that the NY Times story on her visit makes no mention?

    i.e., "If it's not in the New York Times, I don't believe it happened."

    Here.

    Here.

    And more.

  38. OK, here's a nofollow answer:

    The nofollow tag is designed to eliminate the reward for spam commenters. Their spam links don't get followed by search spiders, so it doesn't help them with search engines. That's why MT installs this as a standard feature.

    The Lonewacko of all people should appreciate the irony that he is using Reason's own version of the open-borders policy to post on our site, then turning around and griping about all the entitlements he thinks he deserves. The Lonewacko also has a history of bellyaching around the web about imagined slights he has received at the Reason site. We have killed ourselves doing everything possible to keep our site an open forum for commenters despite massive problems with spam, and I'm unmoved by LW's feeling that he isn't getting adequate credit for helping us "build" our content. The comments exist as an open forum and service for the readers. If LW wants to help us, he can avail himself of the Paypal and Amazon support links; if he wants to help us while driving more traffic to his own site, he can, as I've suggested in the past, buy an ad.

    Though I frequently follow and enjoy the links people include in the comments, the idea that anybody is doing this with a hope of raising his Google ranking is a) pathetic, and b) not my problem. It's also questionable from a netiquette angle: In my opinion you should get a high Google ranking because other people have willingly linked to you, not because you bombard their comment boards with links to yourself.

    But this is just one of many areas where the Lonewacko's notions of property rights and the privileges of citizenship differ from mine. When the Lonewacko admits that illegal immigrants should have all the rights and benefits belonging to U.S. citizens, I'll consider granting him all the rights and benefits of a full-time Reason staffer.

  39. despite massive problems with spam

    Tim, why not disable comments after a few days, or require posters to copy a short numerical code?

  40. "I believe her mission was supposed to last exactly as long as it took to shame the president before the nation, and explode the "you can't criticize the war, or you're attacking the troops" mythology.

    Missions Accomplished."

    Then how come she won't go away!

    Seriously, unless there is evidence that the city deliberately prevented the organizer from getting a permit to use the amplifier, there's no free-speech story here. Until 2 months ago, I lived near Union Square, and every group of left-wing nutbars imaginable held rallies, many with amps, and with no police interference as long as they didn't block traffic. The organizer probably just screwed up and forgot the permit.

    In fact, at the risk of sounding like a nutbar conspiracy theorist myself, I wouldn't be surprised if he deliberately didn't get one in the hopes that something like this would happen. Cindy's fifteen minutes are over, and she's desperate to stay in the spotlight as long as she can.

  41. She's a celebrity now, so making a speech in a public place would gather a large crowd, which would cause traffic problems, etc.

    Too bad the NYPD isn't as efficient at picking up Muslims who recite "death to America" speeches.

  42. Cavanaugh:

    This site makes at least two major errors that hurt you with search engines. Those are errors that I wouldn't make.

    I also knew about nofollow, whereas you didn't. So, one might assume I know a bit more about this than you do.

    I'd suggest doing your research on what exactly nofollow does, since - as with other things - Reason doesn't appear to have thinked this through:

    theregister.co.uk/2005/01/19/google_nogoogle/

    nonofollow.net

    ioerror.us/2005/05/23/nofollow-revisited/

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