This past Sunday, Iron Mike and I met at the Lexington Library to be on hand to discuss why the meeting of OFA was abhorrent… and why it reflected particularly poorly on the Town of Lexington.  Mike brought signs for both of us (see pic) and we stood there by the entrance to attempt to make our position known to library patrons who were there to attend the OFA meeting.  Keep in mind, this is a public meeting, in a public building.

The short of it is, many came to the meeting.  Very few were interested in our position (surprised?).  The library told us to leave.  We refused.  I had to leave at one point to attend another meeting and left Iron Mike behind, knowing that he could handle himself.  Only to discover that after I left the police came and told Iron Mike to leave the library premises as he was trespassing.  (their conclusion, not mine)

If a citizen of the United States, a taxpayer, a veteran can’t express his own opinions on public property then this nation is in far more trouble than I thought.  And the message of our signs is more appropriate than I thought.   The next page contains a detailed account: mine, not Iron Mike’s of the afternoon’s events.  rr

Events in Lexington on Sunday, March 13, 2011

When       Sunday, March 13, 2011 – 1230hrs through 1325hrs
Who         The Rabid Republican

Where     Sidewalk at the front entrance to the Lexington Public Library (the entrance adjacent to the parking lot)
Summary of Events
• I decided that the meeting of Organizing for America was not something I agreed with politically.
• I decided to protest the meeting by holding a sign at the library and was willing to discuss my political position with other fellow citizens to advise them of my position.
• I was neatly dressed in jeans, sport shirt, jacket and my USS Fred T Berry ballcap.
• The library didn’t open until 1300hrs so I waited for the doors to open to take a position near the entrance.
• The meeting was scheduled to begin at 1330hrs but I figured that some attendees would arrive early.
• I stood to the side of the entrance, on the sidewalk, never blocking the entrance.
• As people arrived at the entrance (usually walking across the driveway from the parking lot) I (or my partner) greeted them casually and in a friendly manner, inquiring if they were there to attend the meeting. If they were not, we didn’t engage them further unless they continued in conversation with us.
• If they were, we briefly expressed our displeasure with the current political situation… and our dismay that Lexington’s history of patriotism seemed to have ceased to exist.
• We offered many of those stating that they were attending the meeting a copy of our sign and the expression of our point-of-view. Several took one of our flyers.
• At least four or five people stopped to discuss our position with us. I had an extended (5 minute) conversation with one gentleman who was interested in my point-view. He also wanted to tell me his. It was a genial conversation.
• At one point someone came out of the library and asked us to leave. The person never identified himself either verbally, or by showing us any id. He could have easily been one of those attending the meeting, wanting to get us to leave.
• I had to leave early (about 1325hrs) to attend a District American Legion meeting (I’m the Commander of the American Legion Post in Acton).
• I told Mike to call me if he needed help and I would return if I hadn’t gotten too far away. He didn’t call me so I assumed all was ok.
• Later in the day I received an email from Mike telling me of his rude encounter with the police. He told me that the police were not interested in hearing of his First Amendment rights but that they kept insisting that he was trespassing and should leave. The policeman even tore up the sign I had left behind – an act I consider a destruction of my personal property.
• There were several people who were supportive of our position, including one gentleman who was a WWII veteran in the Army Air Corps who said that he agreed with us, but he figured no one really cared what an old man thought. I told him that this was definitely NOT the case and that his vote counted equally with everyone else’s.
• One other gentleman engaged me in a conversation about the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK and its comparison to the Obama Healthcare Plan. I had consulting with the NHS for nearly a year in 2008-09 and am an expert in this particular area. We also discussed Social Security and its alternatives.
Conclusion
• I am very disappointed that the Town of Lexington, one of our per-eminent cradles of liberty would take a position such as this on public property.
• They were comfortable letting the President’s organization, Organizing for America, use their meeting rooms, but weren’t comfortable letting a couple of dissenting veterans of the US Armed Forces demonstrate and express their opinion.
• That the Lexington Police forced Mike to leave (after I left for my meeting), citing that he was “trespassing” seemed preposterous to me.
• If one can’t demonstrate one’s political beliefs at the front of a public library I fear for the future of our republic.

– – – – – The Poster – – – – –

3 Responses to “Demonstrating Against “Organizing for America”: Lessons Learned”

  1. Tom Gilroy

    It is obvious from the encounter with the Lexington Police, that they have no respect for the First Amendment rights for any of the citizens in the United States. Where is the ACLU? Have they called willing to defend your rights? If the phone doesn’t ring, you will know it is them. Public meeting, public building, public meeting law (?), does this allow the local police to threaten with trespassing or are the Rights that were fought for by the Minuteman Patriots across the street on the Battlegreen almost 236 years ago at the desgression of the local police? The Town Of Lexington has lost their revolutionary spirit. Both Jim and IronMike should receive a written apology from the town fathers or any future Patriot’s Day celebrations in that town are a disgrace to those that died on that day “when the shoot was heard round the world.”

  2. dannap

    I want to read the small print, but my eyes can’t squint any tighter! What do the posters say?

  3. Demosthenes

    No veteran of the culture wars should be surprised at this incident. We’ve been saying for years that liberals in general, and Massachusetts liberals in particular, have had it all their way for so long that they cannot abide a critical audience. And when they encounter one, the First Amendment is the first casualty, despite the lip service they pay to freedom of speech.

    Another example of “progressives” exercising liberal tyranny.

    But shame on the cop for doing their bidding.