“Jon Taylor & Free Speech in Virginia’s 7th”


    (UPDATE: Taylor will be on Ed Shultz’s MSNBC program as the lead story tonight! – promoted by lowkell)

    Thanks to Rick Waugh grassroots supporter Jon Taylor for this statement of what happened in Louisa on Monday.

    Perhaps its time my side of this story got out on the DailyKOS, so my apologies in advance for the length of my comment.

    The morning of Monday the 25th,  I was sitting at a table in the Solid Grounds café in Louisa VA waiting for our Republican 7th district congressional representative, Eric Cantor to arrive for the first stop of his “Victory Tour”.

    According to the web site, it was an open event and an opportunity for the public to hear him speak…and presumably for them to ask questions. So I RSVP’ed his link and reserved a spot for my self and 3 other guests.

    While enjoying a cup of their coffee, with 2 other Democrats with their young children, I was asked to leave by someone who (with a clear earpiece dangling from his ear) and who appeared to be part of Cantor’s advance security team to leave.

    When I asked why, he stated that he believed that I would be “disruptive” and the owner of the café wanted me to leave.  The owner then walked up and chimed in, “I want you to leave because I think you’re here to disrupt this meeting”.

    When I asked why they thought that, the security man parroted, yet again “we believe that you will be disruptive and will have to leave”. I replied that I was sitting here peacefully, and was not being disruptive and I wished to hear Mr. Cantor speak. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this event is open to the general public?”  

    Mr. Secret Security man was also accompanied by 2 police officers, one from the County Sheriffs department, and the other a local town of Louisa officer.

    When I responded with “Let me see if I have this straight, if I refuse to leave what has been promoted as an open public event I will be arrested? Please tell me how this belief that I will disrupt your event, negates my constitutional right to confer with my congressional representative?”  

    “You do realize that you are essentially forcing me to choose between giving up my constitutional rights to meet with my representative, or being arrested?”  

    Let me restate my intent was to attend this event and if possible ask a few questions regarding Mr. Cantors positions from his own website. After recovering from the audacity of their request, giving their request some thought, I replied, “Well then it looks I am going to exercise my constitutional right be civilly disobedient.”

    The officers then put a cuff on one wrist and escorted me out the door. I went willingly and without resistance. When they put me up against my car directly in front of the café things started to go seriously south in a hurry.

    The town police officer on my right pinned my right shoulder up against the car and proceed to move my right arm in directions contrary to the laws of nature. This went on for ~10-12 seconds as I was told to “stop resisting”, to which I responded “I’m not, your really hurting me.” In that excited atmosphere, it simply was not possible to make them understand that I was physically unable to comply with their request.

    What happened after that, all I can say is that the video speaks for itself.

    Afterwards, I found myself charged with Trespassing, Resisting Arrest and Public Disturbance, and have been rocket docketed for the morning of November 4th.

    The aftermath of this is that I could potentially be looking at jail time and/or lengthy probation, which would seriously affect my ability to provide for my family. Since I have been unemployed for just over 6 months, and was planning to apply for an extension later that afternoon, a loss of even this meager sum would be catastrophic.

    After returning from jail that afternoon, and juxtaposed around what was beginning to look like a very grim future for my family, I got an unexpected phone call offering me a job, which I would start in the second week of November.

    Even with this unexpected ray of light at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel for my family, this most welcome news runs smack into the realization that it could all vanish again. Now anybody that knows me will tell you that I loves me some black (as in dark) humor. Not nearly as amusing when you find yourself stuck in the middle of a Kafkaesque nightmare.

    For those of us fond of esoteric references, the great sci-fi writer, Harlan Ellison wrote short story titled, “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”. Frankly, all this silent screaming is exhausting, so I am respectfully asking the KOS community to use their knowledge, skills and contacts to assist me with what has evolved into a seriously frightening situation.

    My immediate need is for the services of criminal defense attorney who can represent me pro-bono or at least on a sliding scale until I can get back on my feet. If there is anybody out there willing to represent me in facing a seriously entrenched authoritarian good old boy network, man I certainly could use your help.

    Right now, it feels like the local followers of Cantor’s “young gun” crowd are about to kick my ass…again.


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