Friday, April 21, 2006

Falun Gong Protestor: A Federal Offense?

Fuck the feds. This is not a federal offense. Speaking truth to power is protected by the United States Constitution, no matter how inconvenient the Bush Administration finds free speech. Speaking of offenses, I'm offended that we would be repressing speech. I'm offended by free speech zones surrounded by barbed wire and armed police officers; by not being allowed in to Presidential speeches unless I'm a Republican; and by stupid things like this potential prosecution. I can just hear the Bushco minions -- next they'll be arguing that the First Amendment was implicitly repealed by President's inherent war powers. Impeach now.

Attytood: Free-speech outrage: Wenyi Wang may be charged with federal crime for daring to criticize the president...of China

Earlier today, we made the point that if you consider 1989's so-called "Tank Man" of Tiananmen Square to be a hero for standing up to China's totalitarian regime -- and most Americans, regardless of political persuasion, do -- then surely you would think the same thing about 47-year-old Wenyi Wang.

Wang is the courageous woman who rose up on the South Lawn of the White House this morning to confront the leader of that brutally repressive regime, President Hu Jintao, as well as America's President George W, Bush, who was busy playing footsie with Hu. "Stop the killing and the torture!," shouted Wang, a Manhattan physician who writes for a newspaper supporting the spiritual group Falun Gong, banned in China.


Last night, officials with the Secret Service, which eventually dragged Wang away and arrested her -- literally seconds after Bush called on China to permit more free speech -- said they are seriously considering charging Wang with an obscure federal offense, intimidating a foreign official.


But do you honestly think Wenyi Wang violated the law -- "intimidating" the leaders of the world's two yelling really, really loud?

The irony here makes us sick. Hu, after all, is the leader of a regime which, according to Human Rights Watch, carries out:

restrictions on free expression; a deficient justice system that encourages the use of torture; restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and the right to act on those beliefs; harassment and arrest of HIV/AIDS activists; abuse of petitioners seeking remedies for official misconduct; and absence of progress in holding national elections.

What's more, it is Chinese oil money that supports Sudan's murderous militias committing genocide in Darfur. Those who protested in Tiananmin Square or who practice Falun Gong have been imprisioned, tortured, and killed.

So what kind of treatment does China's leader get? A 21-gun salute, music from a bluegrass band, and a fancy lunch in the White House.

And Wenyi Wang, who is not afraid to speak out against such a man, is dragged away by officers of our own government, one of whom put his hand over her mouth in a futile attempt to silence her. The picture of Wang being gagged by U.S. agents, shown at the top of this post, is something that America should be deeply ashamed of.

If the Secret Service ever takes the time to read all of Title 18, Section 112(b), they might notice this passage, too:

(d) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or applied so as to abridge the exercise of rights guaranteed under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Yeah, right.

What a freaking joke.

No comments: