March 5, 2003 Student Protest Aftermath
March 10, 2003
Videographer Arrested For "Disorderly Conduct" Two Days Afterwards For Filming Student Protest

Sadly, I had to create a "March 5, 2003 Student Protest Aftermath" category today. The article below, combined with other accounts I heard reported last week, have led me to believe it to be necessary, unfortunately.

The War On Terrorism At Home

Wes Brain is the producer of the Labor TV show OPEU D4 Productions and is on the Executive Board of SEIU503...

At approximately 2:45 p.m. on 3/7/03 while at work for the Safety Department at Southern Oregon University I was sitting at my desk when an Ashland Police Department Officer stuck her head around the doorway and asked if I could talk to her for a few minutes. Since the Safety Dept. (occupational health and safety services for university employees) shares the same building with the SOU Security Dept. it was not strange at all seeing Ashland Police in our building. In fact I know many of the officers and although there are a few bad cops on the local force most of them do a good job, I have always thought.

I walked out back to the small porch attached to our building and noticed there were three officers in attendance. Since no one said anything I started the conversation, "What's Up?" The reply was most surprising: "Mr. Brain, put your hands behind your back. You are under arrest for disorderly conduct." They failed to reveal it, but later I found out that the charges for diorderly conduct are twofold with an additional impeding a police officer charge. Two days later as I write this I am still in utter shock and disbelief...

Since anything I say can be used against me, and since I have not talked to my lawyer yet, and since I am paranoid that the FBI monitors my electronic messages, and since I believe our system of justice is fundamentaly corrupt... I will only give you the short and sweet version right now...

On 3/5/03 in Ashland Oregon there was a very successful and well attended peace march and rally called "Books Not Bombs", and ours was part of a national day of action against the impending Iraq war by students all across the U.S.. Our new Rogue Valley Independent Media Center had the best local media coverage of this event:

So on the day in question I took 4.5 hours of vacation time to be a journalist and video tape this event (activists never take real vacations, they use such time for peace and justice). Here in Southern Oregon we broadcast regular programming on Rogue Valley Community Television (RVTV), that's our access televison station and the show highlights progressive issues about Labor, Human Rights, and the Environment (M & W, 6PM, Ch.#31)...

That day I shot one hour and 41 minutes of raw footage which shows the colorful march and rally with 500 or 600 (some say more) students demonstrating that money for war should instead be spent on education (books not bombs). This footage shows some of the things not reported by the local mainstream media like the SWAT team that was called in from a neighboring county to square off against our peacefully protesting students. This footage looks like it is taken from another planet, I mean can you imagine riot cops squaring off against young kids? Blanked from coverage in the local press, it happened. My footage also shows the tail-end of a scuffle in the street which shows the Ashland Police throwing people to the ground. I did not capture the beginning of this incident but do have an interview of someone who says she saw it from the start and that the police instigated the scuffle.

Well, two days later on March 7th they came and arrested me, I told you that part... I have no idea why. But am fearful that the war on terrorism is more a war against anybody who speaks out against the war mongering and foolish, corporate bought & paid for leadership of this country. Period.

Stay tuned. Arrainment is 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 11 in Municipal Court here in Ashland. More vacation time required, damn it, so that I can prove myself innocent and stand proud for protecting our First Ammendment Rights here in little ol' Ashland, Oregon. It is an important fight and I am ready for the cause. Please come to the court arrainment. Attendance of supporters is encouraged and appreciated.

Wes Brain

Posted by Lisa at March 10, 2003 02:58 PM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)

Disorderly conduct and impeding an officer could become quite popular with those in power, who want an easy "standard" for branding the opposition, eh? He can wear the charges, and conviction as a badge of honor. Someday, we'll have a ticket for voting in only those who have been convicted of disorderly conduct and impeding an officer. :)

Posted by: Tom Poe on March 13, 2003 10:37 PM
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