“…Carol Fisher, 50, was brutalized by Cleveland Heights Police, charged with two felonies and handcuffed to a hospital bed after trying to put up a “Bush Step Down” poster on a telephone pole. Even when she agreed to take the posters down, officers felt it was better to manhandle her in an act of outright police abuse and brutality…”
Cleveland Women Arrested And Charged With Two Felonies Related To Putting Up Anti-Bush Posters
1 Apr 2006
By Greg Szymanski
As posted at Arctic Beacon
Carol Fisher left her Cleveland home early one morning to put up some anti-Bush posters on a busy downtown street. She never returned, being jailed after a run-in with police.
Instead of being allowed to peacefully express views, Fisher claims she was brutalized by Cleveland Heights police, charged with two counts of felony assault and held incommunicado under police custody in the hospital
The incident occurred Jan. 28 and the case is set for pre-trial hearing Monday on the 21st floor of the Justice Center in Cleveland Heights at 9 a.m..
“This outrage and others like it must be exposed and opposed by all who hate the direction that the Bush regime is taking this country and the world,” said Fisher in a long email Friday, seeking support and detailing her story. “Most likely, the case will go to trial this Monday, April 3. Your support will make a strong statement that people are not going along with this “new normalcy” of intimidation and repression.”
“As it says in the Call, If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will try to stop us. But we speak for the majority, here and around the world, and as we get this going we are going to reach out to the people who have been so badly fooled by Bush and we are NOT going to stop…The future is unwritten. Which one we get is up to us.”
And Fisher’s run-in with authorities is just another example of the long line of cases piling up across America showing the “real live day to day” lock down on freedom of speech and the use of police as the gestapo arm of the fascist Bush administration
In Fisher’s case, why does a incident involving posting a “Bush Step Down” poster have to lead to violence? Obviously, in this case, law enforcement tempers were “boiling hot” and their ability to treat citizens as “friends not enemies” came through with flying colors.
Just ask Fisher, an employee of Revolution Bookstore in Cleveland, now facing jail time on felony charges: This is her detailed account of what happened the morning she tried to put up anti-Bush posters:
“I had set out from my house with a full agenda, to contact lots of people and get out materials about our upcoming Cleveland event to Drown Out the State of the Union address, and the call to march around the White House on Feb. 4th. My first stop was the an area known for its community of artists and progressives, where I stapled up posters for blocks and was greeted warmly by those who saw and appreciated what World Cant Wait is doing. I talked to an artist, and a Palestinian store owner who took fliers to distribute to customers.
“Next stop, to the east side. I drove down a street in Cleveland Heights, another area known for its diversity and progressive history. This street was badly in need of postering too and though i was in a big hurry, I couldn’t drive on without getting up a few signs. Before long a cop called from across the street: “Ma’am! Hundred dollar fine for doing that!” Oh really, since when? Another way of keeping us from getting the word out, eh?
“But not wanting to get arrested, I said ok and put up my staplegun and walked away. But that wasn’t the end of it. “Ma’am! Hundred dollar fine unless you take those posters down.” He is pursuing me across the street. Damn! OK fine, I say, I will take them down (not wanting to get into a confrontation, because I have lots to do today!) But this too is not enough for the cop. He wants my ID. I say I don’t have my ID. He grabs my arm. I say let go of me, I am not doing anything wrong, I will take the posters down. People are watching to see what happens, are outraged but very afraid. The cop wont let go, he clearly wants more grief from me, and he is in the spotlight. He wants people to be scared. He pushes me against a store window and next thing I know I am face down on the sidewalk with two cops on top of me, one with his knee in my back. I am trying to call out to people, to tell them what the posters are about.
“They keep pushing my face into the sidewalk. I cant breathe. I have osteoradionecrosis in my jaw, resulting from radiation treatments for cancer. My jawbone is slowly deteriorating, is very fragile, and doesn’t heal well. I am 53 years old, not exactly a spring chicken. A hand comes down again to push my chin against the concrete. By this time there are four cops on the scene. My hands are tightly cuffed behind my back. They lift me up and shove me onto a park bench and shackle my legs. I am still calling out, telling people what this is about. One of the cops says to me, “Shut up or I will kill you!”, “I am sick of this anti-Bush shit!” “You are definitely going to the psyche ward.” Then somebody calls the EMS, and a fire squad shows up.
“The cop supervisor appears and puts his finger in my face: “I don’t like it when people treat my men like this and if you don’t obey the law you will suffer the consequences.” I am lifted into the EMS truck, hands still cuffed behind my back. I ask to make a call and this is refused, but a fireman offers to make a quick call for me. If not for this, no one would have known where I was or what was happening, a fate shared by many immigrants in this country. At the hospital, I am treated as an arch-criminal. Escorted by four policemen, I shuffle into the emergency room, legs still shackled, covered with leaves and mud. I think to myself, if I was Black, I would not have made it this far. I would probably be dead by now.”
According to the facts of the case, through Fisher’s attorney, she clearly wanted to obey officers in taking down the signs, but it appears hot tempered officers wanted to arrest her anyway.
In recent developments, the prosecution has refused to drop charges in return for a promise to seek charges against the officers for brutality. As a counter, Fisher has refused to accept a reduction to a misdemeanor, saying she did nothing wrong.
“The facts show that I was willing to take the posters down as the officer requested. But I was arrested anyway. Yet the prosecution intends to distort the facts and police still promote the lie that I was arrested because I refused to comply, and attacked them,” said Fisher.
“The real point here is, there need to be more posters all over the place demanding an end to the Bush Regime! The facts clear and simple: I was wrongly arrested and assaulted for putting up anti-Bush posters. I was further punished for defying them. What about my injuries, trauma, intimidation, a threat on my life, being labeled a crazy wildcat, held incommunicado for six hours, forced to undress in front of four male policemen, and now the loss of my job? And most of all, what about the fact that all this happened because I put up a poster calling for active opposition to the Bush Regime!”
Note: Anyone interested in helping Fisher or attending her hearing Monday in Cleveland can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want to voice your concern directly to authorities call William B. Mason, County Prosecutor, at 216-443-7800, Judge Timothy McGinty at 216-443-8758 or Cleveland Heights Law Director John at 216 291-5775.
Listen to my Radio Broadcast live Monday night at 8pm Pacific time on LewisNews, returning Jan. 1 2006 Radio http://webs.lewisnews.com/radio/index.htm. Greg is also regular on Rense.com the first Thursday of every month at 9pm pacific time.
Greg also has his own daily show on the Republic Broadcast Network. Go to www.rbnlive.com and will be starting a daily program on the Genesis Communications Network soon at www.gcnlive.com Greg Szymanski is an independent investigative journalist and his articles can been seen at www.LewisNews.com. He also writes for American Free Press and has his own site www.arcticbeacon.com