Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Freedom of Speech Starts at Home
After the protest at Chet Edwards office on Jan 12th, we sustained the momentum on Jan 21st with another live freeway blog at the I 35 pedestrian overpass. Onward to D.C. on Jan 27! On the freeway our messages were: "Chet--no more troops or $$." and "Honk for impeachment."
Thanks to the half a dozen dedicated activists who spent 2-3 hours spreading the word. An estimated 27,000 travelers read our messages.
However, we had 3 challenges to our presence and voices that day. A group of college students asked what did we expect to accomplish--suggesting silence and apathy were the more patriotic approaches. They were very gung-ho about the Iraq war--until we asked them why they were not serving in Iraq. Suddenly, they denied being such fervent supporters of the occupation. Next, 2 aggressive young men asked how dare we protest at a time of war. When I quietly asked about the First Amendment rights we are reportedly defending by invading Iraq--the response was profanity and the ripping of one of our banners. Finally, a local citizen did not agree with our message and summoned the police. We were told that we could not be there with our banners. We held our ground and insisted to see the actual law or regulation that prevented our presence there. Eventually a supervisor arrived and admitted in fact that the law only prevented tying signs to the overpass. Thus we stayed and plan to return.
We observed it's not necessary to travel to Iraq to defend our American rights--we must struggle right here in Waco to preserve them.