Cleveland Women Put In Gulag
Cleveland Women Put In Gulag And Held For Psyh Eval For Trying To Put Up Anti-Bush Poster
Carol Fisher is being held indefinitely in a surprise May 9 court hearing, becoming another political prisoner held illegally for speaking out against Bush.
13 May 2006
By Greg Szymanski
A Cleveland woman, manhandled by police and charged with two felonies for trying to display anti-Bush posters, was jailed in a Cuyahoga County psych unit last week in what her attorney called a "highly unusual and outrageous" decision.
Carol Fisher, 53, was ordered by state court Judge Timothy McGinty to undergo a psychological examination as a part of her pre-sentencing investigation in the anti-Bush poster incident.
From the onset of the case, Judge McGinty openly claimed Fisher suffered from "mental problems" for resisting a brutal encounter on Jan. 28 when Cleveland Heights police manhandled and arrested her even after complying with orders to not display the anti-Bush posters on a downtown Cleveland Heights street.
And during a last minute May 9 hearing, Judge McGinty said Fischer's opposition to the Bush administration makes her "delusional."
In response, Terry Gilbert, one of Fisher's attorney, said in more than 30 years of practicing law, he has never seen "anything remotely like this," adding legal challenges are ongoing, including a writ of habeas corpus.
"This is gulag stuff," said Gilbert. "Is this the kind of country you want to live in when dissidents are determined to be crazy?"
In a phone call after being put in the psych ward, Fisher said her eyeglasses were taken, she was put on suicide watch and if she doesn't comply with the psych examination, she will be sent to the North Coast Mental Institute for a 20 day evaluation.
During the hearing, Judge McGinty made other strange requests baffling attorneys, asking defense counsel to openly read a lengthy message on Fisher's t-shirt, saying:
"Wanted for Illegally Crossing Borders: The Bush Regime. If you are going to insist that crossing borders illegally is a crime which cannot be tolerated, how about George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice (and yes, Colin Powell) and the rest of that gang, with their highly illegal, and violent, 'crossing of the border'-into Iraq, among other places?!"
Judge McGinty then said this was proof of her delusional state, adding that "Carol wants to go to jail and that she has a martyr complex." Fisher had initially refused to taking a state ordered psych _eval, saying there was no reason for it due to the fact American citizens have the right to express political opinions in an open and honest fashion.
However, Judge McGinty's response to Fisher's refusal and statements was simply that "I don't negotiate with felons."
"I'd be crazy to go along with the psych test," said Fisher, adding she feared being railroaded by crooked state psychiatrists based on her opposition to the Bush administration. "That which you will resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn or be forced to accept."
And looking back on the entire Fisher story, starting with the Jan. 28 police brutality incident involving the anti-Bush posters, her case is a stark example of the fascist climate existing in America, an unsettling climate were dissidents are punished and authority figures are allowed to trample on civil rights.
As reported in the Arctic Beacon as well as being a guest on Greg Szymanski's radio show the Investigative Journal, Fisher said she was brutalized by Cleveland Heights police, charged with two counts of felony assault and held incommunicado under police custody in the hospital even after complying with orders not to post the anti- Bush signs.
"The facts show that I was willing to take the posters down as the officer requested. But I was arrested anyway. Yet the prosecution intends to distort the facts and police still promote the lie that I was arrested because I refused to comply, and attacked them," said Fisher.
"The real point here is, there need to be more posters all over the place demanding an end to the Bush Regime! The facts clear and simple: I was wrongly arrested and assaulted for putting up anti-Bush posters. I was further punished for defying them.
"What about my injuries, trauma, intimidation, a threat on my life, being labeled a crazy wildcat, held incommunicado for six hours, forced to undress in front of four male policemen, and now the loss of my job? And most of all, what about the fact that all this happened because I put up a poster calling for active opposition to the Bush Regime!"
And Fisher's run-in with authorities and subsequent illegal incarceration is just another example of the long line of cases piling up across America showing the "real live day to day" lock down on freedom of speech and the use of police as the Gestapo arm of the fascist Bush administration.
"I had set out from my house with a full agenda, to contact lots of people and get out materials about our upcoming Cleveland event to Drown Out the State of the Union address, and the call to march around the White House on Feb. 4th. My first stop was the an area known for its community of artists and progressives, where I stapled up posters for blocks and was greeted warmly by those who saw and appreciated what World Cant Wait is doing. I talked to an artist, and a Palestinian store owner who took fliers to distribute to customers.
"Next stop, to the east side. I drove down a street in Cleveland Heights, another area known for its diversity and progressive history. This street was badly in need of postering too and though i was in a big hurry, I couldn't drive on without getting up a few signs. Before long a cop called from across the street: "Ma'am! Hundred dollar fine for doing that!" Oh really, since when? Another way of keeping us from getting the word out, eh?
"But not wanting to get arrested, I said ok and put up my staple gun and walked away. But that wasn't the end of it. "Ma'am! Hundred dollar fine unless you take those posters down." He is pursuing me across the street. Damn! OK fine, I say, I will take them down (not wanting to get into a confrontation, because I have lots to do today!) But this too is not enough for the cop. He wants my ID. I say I don't have my ID. He grabs my arm. I say let go of me, I am not doing anything wrong, I will take the posters down. People are watching to see what happens, are outraged but very afraid. The cop won't let go, he clearly wants more grief from me, and he is in the spotlight. He wants people to be scared. He pushes me against a store window and next thing I know I am face down on the sidewalk with two cops on top of me, one with his knee in my back. I am trying to call out to people, to tell them what the posters are about.
"They keep pushing my face into the sidewalk. I can't breathe. I have osteoradionecrosis in my jaw, resulting from radiation treatments for cancer. My jawbone is slowly deteriorating, is very fragile, and doesn't heal well. I am 53 years old, not exactly a spring chicken. A hand comes down again to push my chin against the concrete.
"By this time there are four cops on the scene. My hands are tightly cuffed behind my back. They lift me up and shove me onto a park bench and shackle my legs. I am still calling out, telling people what this is about. One of the cops says to me, "Shut up or I will kill you!", "I am sick of this anti-Bush shit!" "You are definitely going to the psyche ward." Then somebody calls the EMS, and a fire squad shows up.
"The cop supervisor appears and puts his finger in my face: "I don't like it when people treat my men like this and if you don't obey the law you will suffer the consequences." I am lifted into the EMS truck, hands still cuffed behind my back. I ask to make a call and this is refused, but a fireman offers to make a quick call for me. If not for this, no one would have known where I was or what was happening, a fate shared by many immigrants in this country. At the hospital, I am treated as an arch-criminal. Escorted by four policemen, I shuffle into the emergency room, legs still shackled, covered with leaves and mud. I think to myself, if I was Black, I would not have made it this far. I would probably be dead by now."
Editor's Note: To see Fisher's original story go to http://www.arcticbeacon.com/1-Apr-2006.html. To hear her live radio interview with Greg Szymanski go to http://mp3.rbnlive.com/Greg06.html.
Greg Szymanski Greg also has his own daily show on the Republic Broadcast Network. Go to www.rbnlive.com Greg Szymanski is an independent investigative journalist and his articles can been seen at www.LewisNews.com. He also writes for American Free Press and has his own site www.arcticbeacon.com
Listen to my Radio Broadcast live Monday night at 8pm Pacific time on LewisNews, returning Jan. 1 2006 Radio http://webs.lewisnews.com/radio/index.htm. Greg is also regular on Rense.com the first Thursday of every month at 9-10 pm pacific time.