So Much for the Right to Assemble, Free Speech in Eric Cantor’s America?


    Why was this man, Jon Taylor of Louisa County, being arrested and manhandled by police Monday? Because, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he was attending an apparently public event at a coffee house, promoted by Rep. Eric Cantor on his website.

    Taylor said the Democrats were asked to leave by the coffee shop’s owner. When they refused, authorities escorted them outside.

    The three others were issued summonses for trespassing.

    Cantor arrived after the disturbance, entering the coffee shop by the rear door. He spoke for about 20 minutes, shook hands with the guests and left.

    So, are you feeling comfortable in Eric Cantor’s America? Get used to more of this if these guys win next Tuesday.

    UPDATE: The Washington Post has more:

    Cantor also has a tendency to surround himself with layers of defense, as was the case Monday when he appeared at a coffee shop in the small town of Louisa, supposedly to meet voters.

    One man attending was John Taylor, a member of the Louisa County Democratic Committee and a backer of Rick Waugh, Cantor’s Democratic opponent. Taylor and two others were asked to leave the coffee shop. County police then subdued Taylor, as can be seen in a video shot by his son with his cell phone.

    Events like these raise questions about the decorum of the man who would be in such a powerful position on Capitol Hill. Violence at campaign stops, regardless of who may be at fault, is not something commonplace in Virginia politics.

    If Cantor says he will meet and debate voters, he should have the nerve to do so. He should not hide behind his party’s gatekeepers and a rural police department.

    • blue bronc

      The precedent setting bush-cheney-rove regime tossed people out of public gatherings too. And the Roberts corporations are more people than you are SCoUS said that was perfectly fine.

      So those of you who believe in the Constitution should just look to the side least you be arrested too.

    • robsmithiii

      …that Mr. Taylor is retaining an attorney to sue the officials involved in this debacle.  Let a judge decide if it was excessive force, sure, because I’m sure there are other facts involved and the law must be respected, but I think his rights were pretty harshly violated.  This reminds me of some of the crap that went on in Zimbabwe before it got kicked up to the next level [i.e. public beatings and public shootings]: wrench the opposition from events and arrest them as an example.  Morgan Tsvangirai can tell you all about how that took place.

    • Hugo Estrada

      Showing up at the president’s rallies with guns, and with threatening posters.

    • Was this really a “public” event or was it “private” (albeit at a public coffeeshop)? Did the coffeeshop owner really ask Jon Taylor to leave? Were others asked to leave?  Did Taylor in any way resist arrest? Was it in any way necessary – let alone justified – to arrest him?  From the video, it doesn’t look good, but maybe there’s a “backstory” here that would explain this?  I’m all ears!

    • the Teapaggers were yelling “hear my voice!” at the health care town halls? I’m sure they are outraged at all the liberals having their voices violently suppressed by teabagger candidates/staff/supporters.

    • aznew

      If the event was in a coffee house, and the gentleman was asked to leave by the owner, he had to leave, and if he refused to do so, he was subject to arrest. It was private property, and that’s that, in my view.

      But being subject to arrest, and the police choosing that as the means to handle this situation, are two different things. Still, if the guy was truly being disruptive, I have no problem with it. Eric Cantor has as much right to campaign free of disruption on private property as Tom Perriello does.

      The cops here seemed a little too enthusiastic in my opinion. It is hard to tell how much that guy was struggling (at one point, one of the officers tells him to stop resisting), but I wonder whether four trained police officers versus one aging hippie need be so physical.

    • Old Redneck

      And the cops are wearing brown shirts.

    • VADEM

      was the guy asked to leave I wonder? Was he raising hell and being disruptive? Or was his only crime was that he was a democrat?

    • The coffee house – “Solid Grounds” – website is here.

      Apparently, the Cantor campaign was advertising this event heavily – not clear at the moment whether that was just to supporters – as part of the “Eric Cantor Victory Tour” or some such b.s.  I also head that the request to leave was not made by the restaurant staff or owner, but directly by the security/police folks.  Another interesting tidbit – at least some of the Democrats bought coffee, which means that they were paying customers of this establishment.  Finally, it appears that the Democrats were targeted for who they were, not for any untoward behavior.

      That’s it for now, I’m sure we’ll find out more since Louisa is a very small town and word gets around.

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    • Jim B

      Sure doesn’t sound like a private event to me.  

    • Jim B

      Screw all the comments including my own, basically it is a case about republicans that can’t take the heat over any questions about their fraudulent actions probably during the bush years. No doubt the owner of the shop knew the democrats and sought to achieve a little mischief by throwing them out.

      Cantor knows he has the election in the bag and is doing little as possible towards campaigning.

      A few days ago  Rick Waugh’s, Cantors dem opponent,car was vandalized by someone. Could have been by a Cantor supporter or someone strictly up to no good. Cantor’s office responded saying they regretted the incident.

    • not2plato