Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Friend in Need

If you can, please give to the Free the Jefferson 1 Defense Fund:


Brooke faces criminal charges for breaking no law. She requires legal counsel for her criminal case, and may require further representation as the media attention increases. Other costs may come to bear in the future. We ask that you please give what you can--whether it's $20, $50, $100, or more--to the Free the Jefferson 1 Defense Fund to cover her various expenses, and pass this message along to anyone else who might be interested.

We do not wish to discredit or in any way degrade the U.S. Park Police or any other police officer in the nation. But this is a clear-cut case of wrongful arrest and Brooke needs your help to clear her name. Please give what you can.

The fund is in Brooke's name and will be used initially to retain the services of a criminal attorney; after legal and other expenses are covered, remaining funds will be distributed at Brooke's discretion to worthwhile causes that defend civil liberties. All accounting of the fund will be transparent, and stewardship of the fund will be at the discretion of Brooke and her attorneys. Contributions are not tax-deductible and are essentially treated under the law as gifts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"The Jefferson 1"

I figure it's about time I throw in my worthless two cents about what happened at the Jefferson Memorial last night.

I was there. I am friends with the arrested person and the organizers of the event. I did not dance, but I enjoyed the show...briefly.

I know more than I am going to share because a lot of it would be speaking in place of her, which I am neither authorized nor willing to do.

What I can say, with full confidence, is that 1) she was not in any way intoxicated and 2) she gave not the slightest bit of implication that she was looking to get arrested or even cause trouble. So, for all the blog commenters on the several sites that have covered this story who have speculated otherwise, let it go. If need be (although I think highly unlikely), I can and will testify to that effect.

As for the hubbub that has followed in the hours since: I think it is unfortunate that my friend has to go through all this. She has to tell to people that she was arrested, explain why, and somehow convince them that it wasn't her fault...which it wasn't. And, whether she wants to be or not, she is now a poster-child in our most recent "F- the state" efforts. While there can be perks to this last bit (e.g., becoming a minor-celebrity), that status neither pays bills nor protects privacy.

A lot of us are acting as though we are under some sort of moral obligation to do something. (I am no exception to this. Both as a libertarian, and more importantly (to me) as a friend, I am happy to do whatever needs to be done.) But in the grand scheme of abusive police actions and power -- of which this incident is minor, comparatively speaking -- is the end result going to amount to much? I find it unlikely.

I should probably mention here that my father was a police officer. I grew up respecting police and admire what many of them do on a daily basis. I think it is unfortunate that they enforce a lot of unjust laws (e.g., drug laws, etc.), but that isn't even at issue in this case. She broke NO LAW -- yet still spent several hours in police custody and her life will very plausibly be negatively affected as a result.

I digress.

I am all for this fight, really. But I can see this getting out of hand and I don't want to see my friend hurt.