I arrived at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan at 11:45 am on Monday, October 19, 2009. The weather was perfect: about 50°F and sunny. I stood in the middle of the plaza in front of the courthouse.
I started to pass out the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) pamphlet entitled "A Primer for Prospective Jurors" along with my handout (see below). Within a few minutes a Homeland Security police officer approached me, accepted a pamphlet, informed me that I cannot distribute literature on federal property without a permit, and asked me to leave. I disagreed with him and said that I would not leave. He left momentarily, but soon returned with another officer, and we repeated the conversation.
Then one officer left the scene, but the other officer stayed and said that the other officer was checking with headquarters. In a few minutes he left also.
I continued distributing literature. At 12:10 pm two federal marshals exited the court house and approached me. They accepted my literature and informed me that I could not distribute literature on federal property without a permit. I stated that I had a permit, and removed my pocket U. S. Constitution from my pocket. They informed me that they had the same document. I told them to read Amendment I. They returned to the courthouse.
I continued my activity until all but one of the FIJA flyers had been distributed. At 12:18 pm, I noticed the two Homeland Security officers across the street. Soon they were joined by a third officer, who apparently was in command. They crossed the street at about 12:30 pm and approached me. The third officer stated that he did not want to arrest me, but that I had to move. We had some discussion. I was asked for my name, but refused to provide it. One of the other officers said that I was being confrontational. I reminded him that they approached me, and that they were the ones being confrontational.
The boss officer asked me to move over to the side, where we could discuss the issue. I refused. One of the other officers grabbed my arm. I asked if I was under arrest, and was informed no. Then I demanded that the officer holding my arm let go, which he did.
At this point I was placed under arrest, fell to the ground and remained limp and silent. I was handcuffed behind my back and searched. All of my possessions, including what was in my clothes pockets, but not my clothes, were removed by the police. I had no identification with me, so they never found out my name or address. They waited a short while, but I did not move.
An ambulance was called. It arrived at about 12:50 pm. I was transferred to a gurney and put into the ambulance. The police transferred custody of me to the ambulance crew. I was taken to Saint Vincent Hospital in Manhattan. The nurse attending me in the ambulance called a person listed in my cell phone to inform her that I was alright and under medical custody. They asked her to identify me, but she refused.
I arrived at the hospital at 1:15 pm and laid on a bed. Several doctors and nurses examined me and checked my vital signs. I did not move a muscle or utter a sound from the time of my arrest until 5:00 pm. During much of the afternoon, I took a nap. At 5:00 pm a psychiatrist approached me for an interview. At this point, I responded to most of his questions. I did not provide my name or address. He decided that I was a harmless nut and released me with instructions to attend a psychiatric clinic.
I signed my name as Ayn Rand on the hospital release papers, recovered most of my property, and left the hospital for home at 5:50 pm. However the police had confiscated my sign, which read JURY INFO.
I had so much fun that I will repeat the festivities next Monday, October 26, 2009, at 11:45 am. I hopeful that some of you will join me, so that there are witnesses. A video of the events would be very useful and greatly appreciated. Eventually, I will sue the U. S. Department of Homeland Security for violation of my First Amendment rights.
There is an interesting legal point here. The federal government presumably has a statute that no person can exercise his or her First Amendment rights without a permit on federal property. Presumably, state and local governments could pass identical statutes. Then the only place left to protest would be on private property. But that is trespassing. In this way the First Amendment would be repealed. We must not let the federal statute, if there is one, stand!
October 19, 2009
THE JUDGE WILL INSTRUCT THE JURY THAT IT MUST UPHOLD THE LAW AS HE GIVES IT.
HE WILL BE LYING.
THE JURY MUST JUDGE THE LAW AS WELL AS THE FACTS.
JURIES WERE INSTITUTED TO PROTECT CITIZENS FROM THE TYRANNY OF GOVERNMENT.
IT IS NOT THE DUTY OF THE JURY TO UPHOLD THE LAW.
IT IS THE JURY'S DUTY TO SEE THAT JUSTICE IS DONE.