It's difficult for me to read the case of Carol Fisher, arrested for resisting arrest because she was challenged while pamphleting, without feeling some sympathy for the arresting officers. Fisher's politics are out on the fringe
and, having had some experience with them, I know they can be difficult to talk to.
And yet I remember that figures like Jesus were also regarded as fringe folk. For that reason alone, we should be slow to jail protestors.
The basic facts are these:
1. Carol Fisher
is a 53 year old, 5'4" woman, weighing 130 pounds. She has suffered from cancer.
2. Fisher was posting fliers
, when she was challenged by two police officers.
3. According to Fisher
, she attempted to comply with the demand to take down the poster.
4. According to one police officer, she refused to provide ID and became violent, biting him on the neck and clawing his hand. However, in court, he apparently said she bit his shoulder strap.
5. Fisher says the police officer said that he wasn't going to tolerate "this anti-Bush s&%t" and that he was going to send her to "the psych ward."
6. According to the judge
, four witnesses sustained the police officer's story
7. Fisher's attorney says
that the law forbids the officer to make an arrest in a case like this, unless the person refuses to provide ID.
8. The judge has made it clear he
thinks she's mentally ill and has sent her for psychiatric evaluation.
I don't like judges (or police officers) making decisions about the mental health of political dissidents. It's too much like what we saw in the former Soviet Union.
I am therefore inclined to support Fisher's legal defense, which is being run by Not in Our Name/World Can't Wait. If you wish to also do so, here's the information:
Carol Fisher Defense Fund
PO Box 609034
Cleveland, OH 44109