Progs crack down on Free Speech

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"... President [Clinton] is coming to town. We want a real good real good reception... We want to drown out demonstrators." - Then-Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell to former Teamsters' Boss John Morris, Philadelphia, Sept. 1998

"I want you to talk with them whether they are Independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face ... You are my ambassadors." - Barack Obama to supporters, Elko, Nevada, Sept. 2008

Despite my natural apprehension to partake in rallies or protests, I decided to attend a recent McCain/Palin Campaign event in Media. It had been almost 10 years to the very day since I last attended a political demonstration of any kind - and for good reason.

On Oct. 2, 1998, 10 years ago today, at the height of the Lewinsky scandal, my sister and I traveled to Center City to protest Bill Clinton during one of his numerous presidential visits to the area. Little did we know that the Teamsters Union would be present to intimidate and harass us at every turn - beginning with the blaring music emanating from their moving tractor-trailers, which could be seen and heard several blocks from our ultimate destination. Despite the ominous atmosphere, I proudly carried my sign that read, "Resign or get impeached."

Upon our approach to City Hall, the Teamsters began cursing and jeering us. Since police protection, at this point, was virtually non-existent, we had to fend for ourselves, which meant, for all practicality, getting out of the Teamsters' way.

The situation seemed so out of control; we talked of heading home. At that fateful juncture, however, we ran into a group of like-minded individuals - about 60 in all, young and old alike. While, as Clinton protesters, we were in a definite minority, it now seemed possible to carry on.

As late afternoon turned into the early evening, our numbers began to dwindle - many felt the unrelenting Teamsters might become more violent. (They had already ripped signs from some Clinton protesters and roughed up a few others.) But, finally, several TV cameramen focused in our direction, and the 30 of us who had remained thought we might get a chance to air our message.

Yet, just as we were marching past the cameras, chanting, "Impeach Clinton now," a Teamster snuck-up behind us (my sister and me) and grabbed our signs. When we turned around to demand them back, a group of 20 Teamsters encircled us. And then it happened.

After a quick verbal exchange, an old-style Molly McGuire Union Boss, John Morris, rammed a fedora over my face, blinding me to the onslaught of Teamsters who would proceed to knock my sister and I to the ground. Once we were down, they pummeled us. If my sister hadn't protected my head from some of blows, I don't know if I'd still be alive.

In the aftermath of the highly publicized beating, District Attorney Lynne Abraham prosecuted me on trumped up charges that I had hit two Teamster women - despite exculpatory police statements and news video evidence. Mrs. Abraham and the Teamsters tried to pressure me into accepting a quid pro quo - drop your charges against the Teamsters and they'll drop their charges against you. I wasn't moved. And so I stood trial, the only person in the entire matter to do so. I was found not guilty.

Five Teamsters copped pleas and received the usual slap on the wrist. Their ringleader, John Morris, was never indicted.

The civil phase of the incident was a drawn-out affair. After learning that then-Mayor Ed Rendell had instructed the Teamsters to "drown out" Clinton protesters, and he had subsequently intervened in the criminal case by telling Morris "nothing was going to happen to your [Teamster] boys," we named Mr. Rendell in the suit, but to no avail.

Mrs. Abraham, too, received immunity from civil prosecution and, after nearly 10 years of fighting the Teamsters and their political cronies, the only people to receive a modicum of justice were the five Teamsters who pled guilty in the criminal phase.

Yet, in spite of it all, here I was, 10 years later, attending a McCain/Palin rally. Not much has changed. We were greeted with curses and jeers from Congressman Joe Sestak's, D-7th, supporters, allies of Mr. Obama to be sure. During speeches by Sarah Palin and John McCain, Obama forces "drowned out" the candidates' words by repeatedly shouting, "O-BAM-A, O-BAM-A." I heard not a word from either Republican nominee.

Indeed, as Mr. Obama had requested, his supporters got in our faces. Just as they had gotten in the faces of Fox News reporter, Griff Jenkins, and his cameramen, at a Democratic Party rally in Denver on August 25. The Obama crowd literally tossed the Fox News Team off the premises.

Sadly, the attempt to silence political opponents continues on the legislative front. Democrats in Congress would like to "drown out" conservatives in the media by instituting the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." This is an ever so slight veiled attempt to silence opposition talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. If Barack Obama becomes President Obama, they will surely have their way.

From my vantage point, the tyranny of it all is quite apparent. Here's the message of Mr. Obama, Mr. Rendell and Mrs. Abraham as well as the judges and thugs they control - OUR POLITICAL OPPONENTS SHOULD NOT BE SEEN, NOR HEARD, NOR TOLERATED. THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION BE DAMNED.

Mr. Obama's new politics is nothing but the old politics of leftist tyranny.

- Don Adams is a freelance writer living in the Philadelphia area. He is currently writing a book, "In the Faces of Teamsters, Rendell, and Clinton: Our Ten Year Battle Defending Free Speech."


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