Granny is arrested on the steps of Capital Hill while reading the Bill of Rightsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Exposing Rightwing Corruption : One Thread
By Public WebWorks Staff
On July 10, 2000, shortly after 2 p.m., Dorris Haddock and six other protestors were arrested by Capitol Hill Police immediately after she entered the U.S. Capital and began reading aloud from the Bill of Rights.
She had walked more than 3000 miles from Pasadena California in an effort to focus attention on campaign finance reform and public financing for elections.
Ms. Haddock was reduced to tears when, as is customary during arrest, an officer tried to remove a wedding band from her arthritic finger. The officer eventually gave up.
Just before entering the Capital building, Ms. Haddock read a short statement to the press gathered outside:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the term "no taxation without representation" has in our history been used by Americans to rebel against the idea of unfair taxation. Today, I should like to speak about the other side of that equation. In that we pay taxes, how about some representation? If our elected leaders take money from special interests, the access that is sold is in fact stolen from us --from "we the people." It is a right of every American to be represented without the interference of a corrupt system of institutionalized bribery.
I have come here today to simply read from the Bill of Rights inside our great hall of the American People, where our rights of peaceable assembly and free speech must be held most sacred. I do this to make the point that we have a fundamental right to representation, just as we have a fundamental right to peaceably assemble for the redress of our grievances."
On Wednesday, August 9, 2000, Ms. Haddock appeared in court in Washington where she was sentenced to time already served and a $50 victims restitution fee that judges are required to collect from all who plead or are found guilty.
Ms. Haddock made the following statement in court:
"Your honor, all Americans are protected by our Constitution, which says, at the very top of our Bill of Rights, that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. That is the highest law in the land, is it not? Under what legal authority, then, was I dragged away from my Capital Building in shackles, when I entered peaceably, and peaceably did nothing more than read, word for word, that very Bill of Rights in a calm voice? What country is this, Your Honor, where we do not have the right to peaceably assemble, where we do not have the right to petition the government for a redress of our grievances, and where we are not allowed speech in our own hall?
The grievance I was there to stand against is the fact that ordinary citizens are no longer represented in Congress, because special interests have bought and paid for our elected representatives and corroded the process of free elections.
We are taxed without representation. More importantly, the graves of one million Americans who have died under our flags are being spat upon by those who think our democracy is theirs to sell to the highest bidder.
You honor, I have pled guilty because I do not dispute what is charged: I spoke freely in the halls of what used to be my own government.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 04, 2002