When I was in college the Viet Nam War was raging. I was vehemently opposed to it just as I am vehemently opposed to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The polls in 1971 were very similar to today's polls on Iraq. 70% of the people wanted us out of Viet Nam. In those days people used their right to petition the government. I was proud to be one of those people.
I participated in a demonstration in Washington in protest of that war. Here is a short (and very accurate) account of it:
Protest - 'Stop the Government'
On April 24, 1971, more than 500,000 demonstrators arrived in Washington DC. They intended to shut down the federal government by stopping the flow of traffic into the city on May Day.
Police agents had infiltrated the demonstrators and obtained their 'tactical manual' for the action.
A retired police officer who was on duty that day recalls:
They looked at all of the major access routes coming into the District from Maryland and Virginia, and they made assignments to demonstrators where they could go to block the streets. They were going to come out in waves, so that when the first wave got arrested, the second wave would fill the streets and then a third wave and so on. They had done a pretty good job.
A lot of them came down because they felt very strongly about what they were doing, and a lot of them came for adventure. And adventure meant confrontation.
As a result of the careful planning and disciplined response by the Washington DC Police Force, the city stayed open. Between 3 May and 5 May, about 12,000 protesters were arrested, including ex-Marine Daniel Ellsberg. The Washington DC Police set a United States record for the largest number of people arrested in one city over the course of a single day. Just six years previously, 12,000 would have been considered an unexpectedly large total turnout for an anti-war rally.
( http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A715051 )
The demonstration never really happened. The D.C. Police and Federal Marshals attacked the demonstrators before they reached their staging areas. I was walking down a sidewalk in a residential area with two friends when two cops jumped off their motorcycles and started chasing us. One of them stopped me with a police baton to my knee. He then threw me on the back of a car, continued beating me with his stick, and was swearing at me. I was then handcuffed with those plastic tie cuffs and led to a street corner where others were sitting in handcuffs with guards watching over them, batons at the ready. We were later picked up by bus and taken to a big gymnasium. About 500 of us spent three days in there cramped like sardines and fed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and OJ, courtesy of the US Marshals. Mind you, I was only walking down the street at the time of my "kidnapping", I was not committing a crime of any sort. I was never arrested or charged with anything. I was placed in a detention center without habeas corpus for three days.
When I got out I was pissed as hell about the "police state" I had encountered. As I was wandering D.C. trying to find the house I was staying at, I went by the Capitol building and there were some protesters sitting on the steps. I joined them. We were arrested (peacefully this time). I was taken to the DC central lockup and put in a four-man cell with 11 other guys and one-inch long roaches. We had to take turns sitting and stretching out to sleep on the concrete floor. I was in there 48 hours and then had to appear before a "tribunal" of FBI types who asked me a whole lot of questions. After that they took me to a crowded courtroom with many others like myself who had been arrested for peaceful demonstration. I forget what I was charged with but received a five-year suspended sentence and I am never to enter Washington D.C. for the rest of my life.
The five day experience left me very shaken. I was, and am fearful of them and recognize the power and control they have at their fingertips.
This happened in 1971. The post 9/11 laws are much vaguer then they were in '71 and can include anyone doing anything.
When I post about police state and martial law, I am not doing it as some kind of conspiracy nut and I don't care to be treated like one. I've had a "scared straight" taste of it and believe me you wouldn't like it. My point in posting about these subjects is simple: The police assault, kidnapping and detention was illegal in 1971. Now it is legal with the laws passed since 9/11. I am NOT a terrorist and 99.9% of you aren't either so why are we sitting on our asses letting them treat us like terrorists???