Statement From Carol Fisher After Release - May 14th
Statement from Carol Fisher
Given at a public Speak Out! in Cleveland Heights
May 13, 2006
(These remarks are slightly edited, in brackets)
Letís get an assessment of what happened and where we go from here.
The first thing I want to say is: ďThe World Canít WaitóDrive Out the
Bush Regime!Ē And the reason why Iím saying that is because above all
that is really whatís at issue here. Everything about this case and
everything that happened from the moment I put those Bush Step Down
posters up on the telephone poles and was assaulted by the police has all
been about trying to intimidate people who are opposing this regime and
doing whatever they can to step up in their way and turn this shit around
and create a different future.
So we waged a hell of a battle to get to this point and its been
incredibly inspiring from day one, because people were so outraged to see
that this kind of thing can happen for the smallest example of someone
speaking out against the Bush regime. And from there, I have determined
and done all I could to steel myself to take a firm stand and refuse to
apologize for anything and to say ďI did nothing wrongóthose police
assaulted meĒ. In spite of all the slander, all the lies from the police,
in spite of a trial that was filled with unbelievable bizarre stories from
the police about all the things that I did to these cops when in fact the
only hard evidence of any injury at all [to them] was three tiny little
marks on one copís hand. And this is the truth that I am telling you
here. Sometimes itís hard to even believe that things have gotten to this
point around this. As opposed to what the copsí injuries were, my arms
were bruised up and down, I had scrapes on my face, I was wounded on my
mouth and not only that, humiliated in the hospital, being forced to
undress in front of four male police officers, and then again humiliated
and attacked over and over again, not only in the media, but also in the
trial itself, where in the cross-examination, it was more of an
interrogation that lasted two hours, where the prosecution was trying to
trap me, and trying to make me lose my temper, and make me fit their
profile of a crazy woman. And they didnít get over with that.
In fact I think the trial itself was a real exposure of how desperately
they are trying to whip up a very ridiculous and very conflicting story
about what happened that day to cover over the fact that these cops have
in general an intimidating attitude toward anybody who raises questions
and that this particular cop had vengeance against me because of my
anti-Bush stand, and they donít want people to know that he actually did
arrest me unlawfully. [And they are trying to cover over the truth that
this case is highly political, it has everything to do with trying to
suppress the movement to drive out the Bush regime] Thatís the facts,
I want to tell you what happened that day when I got thrown into jail
after the hearing. The reason why this hearing happened is because I sent
a letter to the judge. I made a decision: I am not gonna comply with a
psychiatric examination that the judge had ordered. I wasnít gonna comply
with the presentencing investigation. I was very very angry about the
fact that it had come to this point where I was being forced to submit to
a psychiatric examination to prove my sanity, when in fact none of this
ever should have happened to me to begin with, and my sanity has nothing
to do with it. This was part of their ongoing attempt to try to punish
anybody who is protesting, to portray them as insane and throw them into a
whole gamut of psychiatric evaluations and even imprisonment into mental
So I made that decision and I sent a letter to the judge and the judge was
furious. In the hearing you heard some examples of the way he lashed out.
He also said, after he read this T-shirt Iím wearing, ďyou are delusional
if you think George Bush cares what youíre doing. He couldnít care less,
heís much too busy with other things.Ē Well, Iím sorry, but we need to
really understand the terms here. What we are doingówhat all of us are
doing, is definitely and absolutely causing them to tremble and quake in
their boots. This whole movement of World Canít Wait is the last thing
that they want to see. People taking a firms stand in opposition to every
level of repression that they are bringing down is the last thing they
want people to be doing. A lot of people have been saying that Judge
McGinty is a fool. Heís just a clown, heís a nutcase. But the truth is
that he concentrates everything that this regime is up to right now. And
if you think about it, what he is doing is a whole lot like George Bush.
He comes across like a stupid asshole. But when you look at what heís
saying and what heís doing, and what his whole social base is up to, itís
extremely dangerous and itís about everything that we oppose. Thatís how
we need to look at Judge McGinty.
I stood firm and I refused to submit to the psychiatric evaluation. It
didnít matter whether I said I will take your presentencing investigation
or not, either way I was going to jail so I said screw it, Iím going, all
right? And in I went, not knowing at that moment that he had also added
on an order that I would be sent directly to the psych ward of the jail
with a suicide watch. Okay so heís already declaring me crazy regardless
of any evaluation. So in I went to the psych pod. And I want to tell you
some things about who I met and what went on there, later on.
Right now what I want to tell you is that the moment I walked in there,
yet again, the stakes of the struggle became more intense, and the terms
were more confusing and the battle went higher. Because they were all
about making me submit to these tests. What they did when I went in there
was they said, ďyou have to meet with these psychiatrists, or youíre going
to be sent to North Coast Mental Institution for a 20 day evaluation.Ē A
social worker there was practically begging with me, ďYou do not want to
go there. You should try to talk to these people.Ē
So I thought about that. And at the moment, when I was in there and I was
on my own, I have to say, and I am going to tell you straight out that I
backed down right there. I said ok I am going to go talk to these
psychiatrists. I want to be very honest with you about this, because itís
extremely serious that we all look very carefully at whatís important and
where we need to draw the line, and why, at this point. And if we make a
decision at a moment of confusion, or make a wrong move, itís important to
talk about that and to learn about it. To strengthen ourselves in the
process. So hereís the thing: I convinced myself that if I can just have
a minimal interview with these psychiatrists, then itís better to do that
than to go to a mental institution not knowing what kind of vulnerable
position I would be put into.
And thereís two very important things I was forgetting right there. One
is that we have set out on an important political battle right here by
saying that these psych evaluations represent something extremely serious
for the direction the country is headed in and it was right to draw a line
and say No, no matter what the consequences. And it was wrong for me to
think that I could negotiate my way through. Not because of my own safety
but because this is an important symbolic struggle thatís represented
right here, far beyond what the deal is with me. The second thing is,
they are going to use whatever they did learn from me against me anyway.
You know they will. [forgot a point I wanted to make here, actually the
second very important thing. That point is: We will constantly be
confronting pulls to go backward and settle on their terms. We have to
struggle against the illusion that there is no other option that what they
force on us, when in fact what is critical right now is to be rising to a
whole new level that sets a different framework where people are demanding
that this reactionary trajectory be stopped in its tracks and we take it
on a whole new track to a different future.]
I hope people see what I am saying here. There are a lot of people who
have said, ďwe were so concerned for your safety. Itís true that you were
in a much more vulnerable position and we donít know what they would do.Ē
Even my daughter was saying, ďI was so incredibly worried, and who is
going to look out for you?Ē Hereís what I said to her, and I firmly
believe this. What good is it for me to sacrifice my principles and have
to live with that [in order to] come out unscathed, if actually what is
being sacrificed is far more important? Okay, so now I understand that, I
understand that much for firmly and I will go down on that, on this
question or any other question where our future is at stake.
Let me tell you a little bit about these women that I met in the psych
ward. Because another thing that people were saying to me is, ďArenít you
afraid to go to jail, you know, you donít know who youíre going to end up
having to... but you donít know, youíre going to be in the mix with who
knows who in there.Ē And the whole time Iím thinking about the potential
of going to jail, and I know this judge wants me back in there, by the
way. Because he says, ďwhen you come to this sentencing, be prepared to
apologize AND admit youíre wrong, or youíre going to jail, bring your
toothbrush." So thatís what his intention is, letís not be fooled. But
when I was going in there this is what I was thinking: Iím not afraid of
jail. Iím not concerned with who all Iím going to be interacting with
because for the most part, I know, themís my people in there.
And that actually is what I found when I got in. In fact these women, the
minute I walked in were so sweet and caring and giving me a lot of tips,
showing me the ropes. You know, ďOh, youíre in for felony assault, I
know about that one, get thrown down on the sidewalk, yeah, yeah, the knee
in the back, uh huh, happened to me too.Ē Sharing their stories with me.
And of course some of the women in there genuinely were hardened
criminals. Or genuinely did have some serious mental problems. But I
would say 90% or 95% of them were actually either set up because they
talked back to a cop, defied a cop, kicked Ďem in the shin, or they are
serious victims of the system, having been brought up in an environment
from a very young age, 10 or 11 years old in the inner city, surrounded by
drugs and not knowing any other options. Okay so I donít consider people
like that criminals. And all of these women were dying to know, what are
people doing out there? What other options are there, and there was a lot
of struggle over praying to god for the solution vs. we gotta fight. And
there was a very strong view in the prison of, ďweíre all in this
togetherĒ. Really talking to each other on that kind of level. I could
go on and on, but it was extremely inspiring to me.
So here we are, and Iíve decided that my stepping back was not the right
thing to do. But this battle continues, goddamn it, and weíre not gonna,
and I am not gonna let this break me. And when we make mistakes, you
gotta fuckin learn and move on. So I am going to go into that sentencing
and I am going to be prepared to say ďNO, I do NOT Apologize, I did
nothing wrong, I am NOT crazy, and hereís my goddamn toothbrush!!
This is one part of the battle that people are fighting all across this
country in one way or another and maybe people want to speak to some of
that. The terms are getting more and more intense and itís causing every
one of us to really question how we can play the maximum possible role.
And here I am, speaking from a megaphone and getting on the media and
everything else, and despite what the judge says, no, I do not enjoy media
attention. But I have had to challenge myself to get up and do this
because itís necessary. Itís the same for other people too, we all do
need to be very honest about where we are coming from on this.
Hereís me, Iím a volunteer at Revolution Books. Iím a revolutionary
communist. I think, and I am more convinced than ever, that what itís
going to need to come down to is a revolution. So that we the people can
actually have state power. And think about this, really think about this:
It is a true fact that we actually are capable of running society in a
better way than they are. In a fundamentally [different] and far better
way. And it is possible! And I will continue to struggle with people over
that. But in the meantime I know that each and every person here and all
those people across the country that are agonizing over these questions,
trying to figure out what to do, from wherever they are coming from, I
know that they all also have an important part to play. And I know that
if it comes down to it and if this judge tries to continue to vilify me
and label me as crazy, and throw me into a mental institution, then I can
rely on the people out here to get me out Ė or to do the same for anybody
else that this happens to. This is the kind of a movement that we need.
And this is the kind of people that we need to become. All of us,
leaders, developing a widespread, historic, mass initiative that creates a
political climate and a culture of change, and rebellion, and opposition,
and questioning, and a whole bright new future.
DC Counterinaugural Update
As the capitalist parasites spend $47 million plus of money they never labored to earn, holding their inaugural festival in a spectacle reminiscent of Marcus Crassus - the Roman Triumvir who lost it all in HIS invasion of Iraq - outbreaks of Resistance are planned on the parade route and across the U.S.
Read Dr. Susan Block's hard core polemic,
a message from some Akron workers
to shake things up on Inauguration Day, a list from NION of lots of things you can do to mark the day, a message to our website from DAWN (DC Anti War Network), and a great idea from Katha Pollitt and Jennifer Baumgardner to "honor" Bush by making a donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds. Oh! The Donations, the corporate donations! The wonderful "The New Standard" covers them with "Bush Inaugural to Ride High on Unregulated Corporate Donations" by Catherine Komp.
Also announced are the Women's March & Funeral Procession from NION, the Call for an Anti-Authoritarian Bloc by the NYC Counter-Inaugural Cluster, and the Independent Media Convergence
announced by the DC Media Coalition. There's lots more!
Take the Bus to D.C. From Kent,
Akron, or Cleveland . If you can't go, give the sponsors some of your hard-earned money to help someone else go in your place.
If you can't go protest in CLEVELAND: Public Square at 4PM or AKRON: Noontime gathering at Federal Building, Main and Market street.
DC Indymedia | Counter-inaugural 2005 (anarchist) | Counter Inaugural (ANSWER) | Turn Your Back on Bush |
DAWN (DC Anti War Network)
STOP THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ
Northeast Ohio Rally
Saturday Noon, Cleveland
Thru the snow flurries, one hundred and thirty-three people made the march from Market Square, across the Detrot Superior Bridge, to Public Square in protest of the ongoing US war of occupation against Iraq. The pre-march rally at Market Square included satirical "Christmas Carols" against the war and the Bush dementistration which the crowd joined in loudly. The march proceeded with Earth Flags flying. After a very brief rally at Public Square, what was to have been a "public speak out' was turned into a spiritied march inside Tower City right through the merchandising hell where throngs of shoppers could see it.
Photos of the Action | Account and Message From NOAC
Rally for Families of Missing Children and Adults
December 4 Saturday
Memorial Wall / Wall of Sorrows
14770 Euclid Avenue
According to the Annual Report on Missing Children in Ohio, in 2003 out of 245 cases recorded, 213 children were reported recovered. This figure represents all recovered/located cases reported to the Clearinghouse staff by law enforcement, other agencies, or parents.
Too much time passes after a child is reported missing, television and newpapers can be utilized during the crucial first 48 hours of time this person is missing by posting the mssing persons image and information.
The sooner it becomes publicized the better the chance for recovery of the missing person before great harm may be done.
"I don't know if there's a new policy at the TV stations or the newspapers, but no one seems interested in covering stories about our children being murdered and the need to stop the rise in these murders..." Judy Martin
[ Read Full Article ]
Cleveland 5 / Chief Wahoo
The case of the "Cleveland 5", accused of burning an effigy of "Chief Wahoo" outside Jacobs Field in 1998, goes before the Ohio Supreme Court.
If this arrest is upheld, "Chief Wahoo" will have more protection than the American Flag.
Read the Letter
Report from Saturday's march and rally
On Saturday about 80 people joined together to march in protest of the war and occupation of Iraq.
About noon you could hear the drums beating as the
Anti-Authoritarian feeder march began the path down Lorain Ave. from West 44th St. to the rally point at Market Square on the corner of 25th St. and Lorain.
Several speakers presented at the rally. The NOAC sponsored march began after the rally, winding down the streets mostly, sometimes herded onto the sidewalks by the police escorting the march. No arrests were made. No police violence was reported, although surveillance was in effect by unmarked cars and undercover persons on foot.
Despite the cold weather the march and rally had a good community gathering.
The Anti-Authoritarian feeder march included several persons from the Pittsburgh Organizing Group.
Throughout the day the drum beats from the brigade kept the energy up.
original report l feeder march info l
NOAC web page l
Read stories about the Nov. 16 rally and feeder march from last year:
"Whose Streets? OUR STREETS! Whose Bridge? OUR BRIDGE!"
"1000 People Take to Streets, Oppose War in Iraq"
Over 1000 Cleveland area peace activists and others concerned with looming war & continued aggression against the people of Iraq took to the streets today in opposition to US policies at home and abroad. Protest took the form of two lively marches and a rally on Public Square. Video Footage
[ Full Story
| Anti-Imperialist Bloc
By this reporter's memory, this was the largest October 22nd Protest Against Police Brutality in Cleveland History! For the first time, demonstrators took to the streets WITHOUT police escort. Maybe the establishment is starting to reconsider "free speach" or maybe they're just being cool and playing it safe, at any rate...
[ Full story
Peace activists in Northeast Ohio continue weekly peace vigils in Akron, Cleveland, and Kent. As President Bush's desire to attack Iraq grows, Akron
has just marked one full year of weekly vigils and Kent
's vigils continue to grow in size.
With recent demonstrations in Cincinnati during Bush's visit to advocate war, a sit-in of war vets in Toledo, and more than 200 from the Cleveland-area going to a "Not In Our Name" anti-war rally in NYC, peace movement activities are increasing. Activists have called for increased anti-war activities throughout the region.
[ Cleveland Anti-War Demo (Nov. 16) | Akron Anti-War Demo (Oct 24) | National Anti-War]