Busted for wearing a peace T-shirt; has this country gone completely insane?

Now this is republican tyranny!

Mike Ferner | July 5 2006

Friday afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "Okay, you've had your 15 minutes, it's time to go."

"Huh?" I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.

"You can't be in here protesting," Officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.

"Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists.

Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go."

Beginning to get his drift, I said firmly, "Not before I finish my coffee."

He insisted that I leave, but still not quite believing my ears, I tried one more approach to reason.

"Hey, listen. I'm a veteran. This is a V.A. facility. I'm sitting here not talking to anybody, having a cup of coffee. I'm not protesting and you can't kick me out."

"You'll either go or we'll arrest you," Adkins threatened.

"Well, you'll just have to arrest me," I said, wondering what strange land I was now living in.

You know the rest. Handcuffed, led away to the facility's security office, past people with surprised looks on their faces, read my rights, searched, and written up.

The officer who did the formalities, Eric Ousley, was professional in his duties. When I asked him if he was a vet, it turned out he had been a hospital corpsman in the Navy. We exchanged a couple sea stories. He uncuffed me early. And he allowed as to how he would only charge me with disorderly conduct, letting me go on charges of criminal trespass and weapons possession -- a pocket knife -- which he said would have to be destroyed (something I rather doubt since it was a nifty Swiss Army knife with not only a bottle opener, but a tweezers and a toothpick).

After informing me I could either pay the $275 fine on the citation or appear in court, Ousley escorted me off the premises, warning me if I returned with "that shirt" on, I'd be arrested and booked into jail.

I'm sure I could go back to officers Adkins' and Ousleys' fiefdom with a shirt that said, "Nuke all the hajis," or "Show us your ****," or any number of truly obscene things and no one would care. Just so it's not "that shirt" again.

And just for the record? I'm not paying the fine. I'll see Adkins and Ousley and Dubya's Director of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, if he wants to show up, in United States District Court on the appointed date. And if there's a Chicago area attorney who'd like to take the case, I'd really like to sue them -- from Dubya on down. I have to believe that this whole country has not yet gone insane, just the government. This kind of behavior can't be tolerated. It must be challenged.

I was at the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center because I'm participating in the Voices for Creative Nonviolence's 30-day, 320-mile "Walk for Justice," from Springfield to North Chicago, Illinois, to reclaim funding for the common good and away from war.


30 E 15th St Chicago Heights, IL 60411, United States of America

Update 2:

Lea is right. I`ve checked it out and the writer seems not to have known what he was talking about.

Damen between Polk and Taylor.

Update 3:

Jesse Brown Va Medical Center‎ - more info »

820 S Damen Ave, Chicago, IL, United States‎ - (312) 569-6116‎

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Jesse Brown VA Medical Center‎ - more info »

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, 820 South Damen Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA‎

5 Answers

  • Lea
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The person who wrote this article knows nothing about Chicago geography. Jesse Brown VA is on the west side of Chicago. It is off of Damon between Polk and Taylor. It used to be called the West Side VA.

    Source(s): been to Jesse Brown VA
  • Jody
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    So, that was 2006, how did it turn out?

    What was on the creative non-violence T-shirt, exactly?

    What does participating in a walk have to do with sitting in a government medical facility? or why does this writer say that it provides legitimacy? It doesn't.

    I'm surprised one of the older vets didn't kick him right out of the main door, literally..

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Unbelievable.. well I guess it's all over for me because I plan on going down to the Clear Channel station tomorrow, here in Syracuse NY with a "Water Board Dick Cheney" Shirt.. and on the back is the Dark Lord with his big belly exposed getting "Boarded" and not in the "friendly Skies" sort of way... R E V O L U T I O N world Wide Live .. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

  • 1 decade ago

    Just get his badge number and have him reported. The country isn't insane, some people are just a little slow that's all.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Simply because you had a bad day doesn't mean the country has 'gone insane.'

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