I am always skeptical about third hand stories, but less so when they have names attached throughout their provenance, and this one does. Here's a tale to make you sad at least, and maybe worried,
Detained for Refusing to Clap: i was dragged off the floor of the RNC, just as bush began his speech, by three cops because i refused to accept and wave an american flaglet. earlier, they had already called me and art s. away from our press seats because we were wearing t-shirts with slogans, but they couldnt decipher them, and couldnt find anything “wrong” so we were allowed to go back. . arts t-shirt read “pray for a secular society”, mine just had chinese characters and then the word Bush. i told them the chinese meant i love —bush. then when bush came, i got up, walked downstairs to the central arena, i had a permit to do so, was handed a flag, , said no thanks, and immediately felt a hand on my shoulders. two thugs and a secret service officer hauled me away. they took away all my documents, held me for an hour, called the immigration service to check on my status as an american citizen, took away my phone after i spoke to emily in german, “you dont speak in a language we cant understand here”, i was interviewed by five different cops, including a Good Cop, the secret service man, two immigration experts, and one real gangster. they were going to take away my purse when i persuaded the good cop to google me up on the internet before doing another thing. then he brought me my documents, and he and the original two thugs escorted me to the street, trying to make nice on the way.
When you can be arrested and gang-questioned for failing to wave a flag, then it's not the America I learned about in law school. But it does start to resemble some places I learned about in History class.
Update: Now auditioning for the role of brownshirt.