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Re: E-M:/ Gale Norton's Visit to LEMP



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Enviro-Mich message from Anne Heise <aheise@wccnet.org>
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No matter how many times I hear about an incident like this, it *simply
amazes me* that this can happen in America after the experience of the
1960s.  My dismay is independent of whether I happen to agree with the
suppressed protester.  It's cases like Dave's that moved me to recently
join the ACLU.

Doug Cowherd
Chair, Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group

On Sat, 27 Sep 2003, David Brooks wrote:

>
> The traffic on Enviro-Mich yesterday inspired me to attend the Detroit
> River International Wildlife Refuge Centennial Celebration Opening
> Ceremony 10:00 am Ė 11:30 am Saturday, 27 September 2003. I got to Lake
> Erie Metro Park (LEMP) about 9 am and walked around the main stage and
> the various displays setup or being setup. At a little before 10 I went
> to my van and got out my sign that I had made Friday evening. It said:
> THERE IS NO REFUGE IF YOU CANíT DRINK THE WATER OR BREATHE THE AIR. My
> sign had the same message on both sides and was mounted on a stick
> fastened to a backpack frame. This put the sign 2 or 3 feet above my
> head.
>
> I walked to the opening ceremony and took up a position behind and to
> the right of the seating area. I was quite a ways from the stage and
> not in front of anyone. It was about 15 or 20 minutes into the program
> while Congressman John D. Dingell was making the Peter Stroh Dedication
> that a police officer approached me and asked me to leave the park. I
> asked him for his name and badge number and tried to record his answer
> in the memo function of my personal phone. I hadnít practiced and it
> didnít work. He left and a few minutes later returned with 5 or 6
> officers. I think that the first officer to make contact was a
> Brownstown Township officer with badge number 1.
>
> In the group there were also Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Park
> Rangers and Wayne County Sheriff. They told me that there was a place
> for me to picket at the entrance to the park. I told them that I was
> not picketing or protesting, but they continued to insist that I leave.
> I asked them what law I was being ordered to leave under and the park
> ranger told me it was the riot act. Iíll have to read it in the next
> day or two.
>
> I went to the park office and got clarification on where I could stand
> with my sign. It was anywhere from the parking lot in front of the
> office to Jefferson Ave. I left my van in the office parking lot and
> walked the entrance median to Jefferson and picketed there until about
> 12:30 pm. About 12:15 pm a fleet of police cars with lights flashing,
> including two officers on motorcycles, escorted two civilian cars onto
> northbound Jefferson. I assumed that was Secretary Gale Nortonís
> motorcade. On the way back to my van a Wayne County Sheriffís car
> pulled over to ask me if I was allowed in the park. There was a male
> officer at the wheel and a female officer in the passengers seat. I
> told them that I had been told that I could display my sign from the
> office to Jefferson. I told them that I was headed back to my van to
> put my sign away because I was getting bored. I went back into the park
> and walked through the art show and displays and left. I stopped at the
> park office and got directions to the Brownstown Police and went there.
> They told me that badge 1 was officer Wilson and gave me his phone
> number.
>
> I feel that there was no justification for evicting me from the park
> but Iím not sure how to get the establishment to admit they were wrong.
> Any suggestions?
>
> Dave
>
>
>


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