The last free Fourth of July?

CounterPunch
by Clare Hanrahan

07/11/06

Tonight, to celebrate Independence Day, I joined a dozen others participating in the CoDe Pink Troops Home Fast. We stood at Vance Monument in Pack Square in Asheville, North Carolina, with ten or more Veterans for Peace during their usual 5-6 p.m. weekly vigil. Streams of people passed by, many gave a thumbs up to our signs, some stopped to join us, others presented a stony countenance or averted their eyes as they passed by on their way to the bandstand at the other end of the fountain. About 45 minutes into the anti-war vigil, two Asheville police officers moved toward us from a group of about ten. I had watched them discussing our presence in a cluster across the street. They approached the Veterans with the question, 'Who is your leader?' This comment drew laughs all around until one of the Vets identified himself and asked, 'What's the problem?' ... 'You can't stand here. You don't have a permit. Ingles has the permit for this space,' the officer responded. 'We have received a complaint,' he continued, though he did not identify the complainant. 'You will have to move across the street'...

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