Hillary Bans Dissent in New Hampshire

I wasn’t going to inflict myself here any further until my time came to replace the estimable Monsieur Tedesco during his annual holiday on the Cote d’Azure, but this is, I think, important enough to break my self-imposed rule:

Hillary Clinton barring anti-war demonstrators from a speech in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Via Kevin Hayden at The American Street comes an article from Foster’s Daily Democrat (a local newspaper) pasted into a comment on the Connecticut blog My Left Nutmeg, and it’s an eye-opener if you were under the impression that Hillary isn’t a Dem version of Bush.

On Sunday, September 2nd, the day of the Clinton Rally in Portsmouth,
I went downtown with a sign that read “No first strike on Iran” and
on the other side “Stop the Killing.” The Clinton Campaign had taken
over a large area of Pleasant Street from State Street to Market
Square and claimed large areas of the public sidewalks as well.  I
stood in the Square for over an hour as people assembled for the
Rally.  When people were permitted to enter the rally areas, I
started to walk in with them.  I was stopped by Clinton Campaign
workers who told me that no signs were permitted.
  I’d have to leave
my sign outside the rally area.

I am a thirty-year resident of Portsmouth, a member of the anti-war
movement, and NH Coordinator for Codepink: Women for Peace.  Whether
you agree with my politics or not, this is still supposed to be a
Democracy–or more accurately a Republic with democratic ideals.  I
know that this is not what the Constitution says about my rights of
free speech.  I challenged them.  I was certain that there would be
pro-Hillary signs permitted in the rally zone.

(emphasis in the original)

And, in fact, there were.

They would not permit me to go forward.  I asked them to send a
policeman over for me to talk to and Detective Boucher showed up and
informed me, I have since found out erroneously, that the Clinton
campaign had a permit for a “no-sign zone”
  and that I would have to
leave.  Not wanting to be arrested, I said that I would comply with
his request but that I needed to assert my Constitutional Right of
Free Speech. I was required to leave under threat of arrest.  I did
so.

Now if any of you have seen photos of this event, you will clearly
understand my chagrin when you see the Pro-Hillary signs all over the
Rally’s designated “NO SIGNS” area
.

(again, emphasis in the original)

Understandably unhappy, the writer called Portsmouth City Hall the next day, and the City Manager told her “that there was no such restriction in the permit that
was issued to the Clinton Campaign, that they were required to permit
entry to anyone who wanted to come in and he and City Attorney Robert
Sullivan both said that I had every right to have been on public
property with my sign.”

To have the leading Democratic presidential contender stifling disagreement with one of her policies at a public rally a la George W Bush is a goddamn disgrace. Worse, it’s a very bad sign that a Clinton presidency will do anything to restore the civil liberties Republicans have taken away – she clearly supports them.

Just today, an editorial in the WaPo, of all places, excoriated King George’s Presidential Advance Manual for “muffling protests”.

Despite heavy censoring of the released document, the elaborate orchestration of White House efforts to muffle protests is evident. Attendees entering the president’s public events have to be screened in case they’re hiding secret signs. Only those who are “extremely supportive of the Administration” are allowed near the president. Coordinators should ask police to designate a “protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in view of the event site or motorcade route.” For those “demonstrators” who are accidentally admitted to an event, the manual recommends forming “rally squads” of young Republicans and other supporters to interrupt the sightline between the president and the demonstrators with big signs and to chant “USA! USA! USA!” to drown out hecklers.

(emphasis added)

Our NH protester’s sign wasn’t even unfriendly to Hillary, only to her support for the war, and that on the flip side – the front was a plea to oppose a war with Iran. But as mild as that was, it was too much for our Hillary.

And before you decide to believe her when she claims she didn’t know what her campaign workers were doing, let me remind you that before his advance manual was forced into public view by a lawsuit, Bush said the very same thing.

One Response to “Hillary Bans Dissent in New Hampshire”

  1. Suebird says:

    This is yet another reason why I’ll never, ever vote for Hillary Clinton if the Democrats nominate her. I’ll vote for just about anybody else– Edwards, Richardson, Obama, almost anyone– but not Hillary. She is a fraud, a warmonger, and according to WaPo, she even wants to send US engineering jobs to India and China by increasing outsourcing and the H1’s? She’s even worse than many of the Republicans!

    If Hillary’s nominated, I sincerely hope that either Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel runs on a Third Party ticket, IMHO this may be the first election year in over a century when a Third Party is actually viable. Maybe writing in Al Gore would be another option. But I’d personally get a kick out of a Kucinich or Gravel ticket, I’d certainly support it.

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