Veteran Arrested for Wearing "Veterans for Peace" Shirt
Is the kind of freedom Bush is spreading across the Middle East?
This afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "OK, you've had your 15 minutes, it's time to go."Why are so many people frightened of the word "peace?"
"Huh?", I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.
"You can't be in here protesting," officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.
"Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists.
Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go."
Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, "Not before I finish my coffee."
He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason. "Hey, listen. I'm a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I'm sitting here not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I'm not protesting and you can't kick me out."
"You'll either go or we'll arrest you," Adkins threatened.
"Well, you'll just have to arrest me," I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in.
You know the rest. Handcuffed, led away to the facility's security office past people with surprised looks on their faces, read my rights, searched, and written up.