Speaking of Protestors…

Maybe PM Harper can see if he can borrow a copy of President Bush's Combating Protestors for Dummies:

A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of "deterring potential protestors" from President Bush's public appearances around the country.

Among other things, any event must be open only to those with tickets tightly controlled by organizers. Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by "rally squads" stationed in strategic locations. And if that does not work, they should be thrown out.

But that does not mean the White House is against dissent -- just so long as the president does not see it. In fact, the manual outlines a specific system for those who disagree with the president to voice their views. It directs the White House advance staff to ask local police "to designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in the view of the event site or motorcade route."
Ooh, poor widdle delicate pwesident! Is our legitimate, legal, and patrifuckingotic dissent sullying your beautiful wee mind? We're sowwy!

The "Presidential Advance Manual" was released under subpoena to the ACLU, who have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jeffrey and Nicole Rank, two protestors "arrested for refusing to cover their anti-Bush t-shirts at a Fourth of July speech at the West Virginia State Capitol in 2004." The t-shirts had "Bush" crossed through on the front and "the back of his shirt said 'Regime Change Starts at Home,' while hers said 'Love America, Hate Bush.' Members of the White House event staff told them to cover their shirts or leave, according to the lawsuit. They refused and were arrested, handcuffed and briefly jailed before local authorities dropped the charges and apologized."

Nice. Meanwhile, my new favorite White House fuck-knuckle, Tony Fratto, refused to comment on the manual "because it is an issue in two other lawsuits." Ongoing investigation, bitchez.

[Image via Think Progress.]

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