Monday, June 26, 2006

Protest Draws Law Enforcement to Hamblen Co.

After checking with a few sources about a local protest against illegal immigrants in Hamblen County, a few details are quite disturbing -

- Armed officers on the Courthouse Roof (reported in the local newspaper print editions)

- Nearly 100 law enforcement officers on site (who pays for that?)

- Videotaping all those in attendance

- Tasering a disabled vet who wanted to bring a flagpole with the American flag onto the site

- A helicopter buzzing the crowd

Like others, I don't think much of the anti-immigration stand, but they did have a permit and this IS still a free nation (isn't it?).

Video footage here and R. Neal has more details here (via KnoxViews)

UPDATE: To clarify the point about armed officers on the roof of the courthouse, it was reported in the Sunday, June 25th edition of the Citizen Tribune, in an article titled "Opponents of Illegal Immigration Rally in Hamblen":

"Everyone was searched, and a THP videographer and still photographer documented the event. Two men equipped with high-powered binoculars - and presumably, hihg-powered rifles - were stationed on top of the courthouse annex."

I don't think the word "sniper" quite fits the armed officers on the roof, and after re-reading the article, I cannot verify they were even there.


  1. Holy Hell.
    What the hell is going on over there?

  2. the local police chief claimed he had received "credible threats" linked to the protest.
    since the Klan is LARGE locally as well as a local Minuteman Border Patrol group, and since we have a Regional Homeland Security Office in town - all kinda makes for a big mess!

  3. I'd say.
    Sort of like putting out a fire with gasoline

  4. The mexicans are coming, the mexicans are coming..

  5. Oh, i forgot..high five..I was scared there for a minute i was going to be thrown out of the club..

  6. *snicker*

    god bless them wacky neo-cons - thanks to the Coulter posts and the Cats That Look Like Hitler link from last week, nearly 1000 people have visited in last few days.

    hmmm ... coulter and hitler ... i never knew they travelled so well together!

  7. Other than in the guilt-by-association dreams of the SPLC, I'm not aware of any links between the KKK and the MMP. Yet, that seems to be the standard line in relation to this protest.

    I don't expect Insty to cover this story, but perhaps other TN bloggers could look into this.

    Specifically, are there local bosses in Morristown who profit from illegal immigration?

  8. Alloyd411:25 AM

    Good thing I spent the weekend stoned and didn't listen to/read the news. You never know who's going to show up at these peaceful gatherings.

  9. straightarrow7:09 PM

    I am so sick of cowards in law enforcement uniforms. Chickenshit little boys playing at being dangerous, but only with an unbeatable edge. How fucking pathetic is that?

  10. Joe, Sent your link, the Knoxviews link and the Channel 6 link to my sister in Palo Alto.

    Her response has some nice suggestions:


    Thanks so much for forwarding this to me.

    Its infuriating and disturbing, but I'd rather know than not.

    This kind of police over reaction to peaceful public gatherings has been going on since 9/11(fearFearFEAR!!).
    It really ramped up after the invasions (Afghanistan, Iraq...) commenced.

    The authorities want to intimidate the citizenry into a trembling silence. Not only are they eroding civil liberties at every turn, surveilling our phone calls, financial transactions and comings and goings via "traffic cameras." They get in our face with heavy weaponry, helicopters and horses if you have the audacity to voice our opinion in public!

    I see two silver linings to this.

    1) Mom's neighbors seem to be on the good side of the immigration issue, and have the chutzpah to stand up for their 1st amendment rights.

    Blessings upon Tom and Audrey for calling this out for what it is and for pursuing their grievance in a legal and PUBLIC fashion. They will need much support from the community, I really hope they get it.

    2) This is a big wake up call to all those folks who have been lulled into complacency by the government and the mainstream media. Democracy as we have known it, is being eviscerated at every opportunity by the Bu$h administration.

    Millions of our tax dollars have been spent militarizing local police departments .
    Don't be fooled, this is NOT to protect you and yours from "terrorists."
    (Mister Rogers might ask, "Can you say 'Police State'?)

    The more people in places like Morristown figure this out, the more hopeful the situation becomes. Talk it up! Get people informed and involved. Its YOUR home and life on the line, after all. It is up to US--you and me, our friends, neighbors, colleagues, to assert and protect our civil liberties (push for net neutrality, clean elections, clean campaign financing, the list goes on and on).

    (begin rant)
    Ask questions, put the sheriff or police chief on the spot--IN PUBLIC.
    WHO authorized this action? how much did it CO$T?
    and whose budget will that be coming out of?
    Just what *exactly* were their concerns about a bunch of middle
    aged citizens with a flag in front of the courthouse?
    Now how much did it co$t again, well, doncha think the city of Morristown
    ought to be *reimbursed* by the feds/state of Tennessee, etc.
    since it was so clearly unnecessary to have all those
    officers (on overtime), with all that heavy equipment ...

    What an OUTRAGEOUS abuse of the first amendment!
    How UNAMERICAN of them!
    How DARE they!!

    *Keep going UP the chain of command.*
    Keep asking WHY? who authorized?
    Find out where this oppressive agenda originated. (I find it difficult to believe that the Morristown police came up with this on their own.)

    MAKE A REALLY BIG STINK ...and... follow up. Work with the city council to form a citizens human rights committee that performs oversight on the police department. Keep asking questions. Document everything. Take Pictures. Put it in writing. Spread the word--Contact WATE 6 ! Go for the SUNSHINE, TRANSPARENCY, expose the real story.

    These are the kinds of actions that will make the feds/state/local authorities think twice about doing this again. They need to see that people are paying attention, that they care about this stuff and are ready to raise some hell about it.

    Extra credit ;-)

    Democracy now article

    Tuesday, June 27th, 2006
    Is Bush Administration's Bank Spy Program One Part of a Resurgent Total Information Awareness?

    Todays installment of "yet more spying on us by our government"

    you can read the transcript, watch the video, or listen to the audio

    get up, stand up...

    Peace and love,

  11. excellent views, Itchybro --

    I also noticed that Tom Lowe and Teddy Mitchell were on Hannity and Colmes tonite talking about what happened.

    I see some serious legal actions hitting the city, county and state for their tactics.
    Once again, Mo'town makes national headlines with BAD news.

  12. ScorpioRising4:57 PM

    To put things in a different light: Picture waiting for hours in line for an item only to have someone bully up in front of you, or a traffic situation where a lane is closed ahead and the cars whip down the lane passing you and then bull in way down at the blocked point.
    This to me illustrates the illegals. We have folks from all over waiting patiently to come to this country, having done all the proper things, and they are getting shunted aside by illegals who seem to get amnesty after BREAKING the law. Nothing against anyone wanting to come to the U.S., but lets give preference to those who care enough to follow the rules.

  13. in that line of thought, imagine that police are making sure some can jump line ahead of others - that's what employers who actively see illegals to hire. and often those same employers make sure to provide fake documents and assurances to some who believe that they ARE following the rules - it is that warp of rules that creates a true problem, not immigtants who think they have completed the requirements for admittance.
    also, providing a permit to protestors and then allowing for widespread harrasment of protestors only creates a situation in which little but bad news coverage emerges.