Free Speech Zone Established In Remote Location

Published: Wed 22 Oct 2003 10:33 AM
Free Speech Zone established in remote, sparsely populated location
Congress establishes nation's sole protest area for anti-war hippies wishing to gripe about Bush policies.
Satire from…
IMAGE: Republican legislators agreed that protesters would have plenty of room to wear their costumes and play their drums and whatever else they do at the nation's one and only free speech zone in Kansas.
Liberal, KS. -- Freedom just got a whole lot freer. That's the message from Congress after overwhelmingly passing legislation that established a national free speech zone outside of Liberal, Kansas.
“This is a great day for freedom lovers everywhere,” said Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). “For the first time in our nation’s history we’ve created an area where concerned citizens can strut their first amendment rights.”
The national 75-acre free speech zone will be located thirty minutes from the farming town of Liberal, Kansas. A chain link fence topped with concertina wire surrounds the field where the zone stands.
“Protestors who wish to vent their frustrations about Bush domestic and foreign policy now have a place to gather,” said Ted Stevens (R-AK). “Our democracy is stronger for having created a place where free people can use the freedom of speech guaranteed to them by the founding fathers in our bill of rights.”
The protest zone was established after the ACLU took the government to court because protestors outside of Bush and Cheney fundraisers were made to stand in special “free speech” pens that were established as far as a mile away from where the President and Vice-President were to speak.
IMAGE: Another selling point of the free speech zone is there will be no need to pay overtime for extra security out in the middle of nowhere.
The breaking point came when protesters at a Bush speaking engagement in Cincinnati were told to go to a free speech zone that had been established three hundred miles away in Milwaukee.
“There is a total double standard in the way that Bush supporters and Bush protestors are treated,” said ACLU Lawyer Rick Gilbert.
He cited one example where a protest zone in Denver, Colorado was established in the middle of a six-lane interstate while Bush spoke miles away.
“They had to keep dodging traffic while trying to hold up their signs,” Gilbert said.
On another occasion, a designated free speech zone was established inside the lion’s cage at the Minniapolis Zoo.
Other free speech zones were set up beneath a highway underpass, on an airport landing strip, under a bowling alley, in a broom closet and in the middle of the Okefoneekee swamp.
Bush supporters on the other hand are able to stand along the route that the President is traveling and throw rose petals at his feet.
“People love me don’t they Big Time,” a teary-eyed President Bush said at one such event as a cascade of Rose petals descended around him.
Protestors claim the free speech pens defeat the purpose of protesting in the first place.
“Bush can’t see or hear us and neither can his supporters. The point is for him to hear what we have to say,” said retired steel worker Bradford Gretsch.
IMAGE:The free speech zone is clearly marked so as to prevent ordinary Americans from wandering in and having their minds blown.
Gretsch was arrested after he refused to enter a free speech zone that had been established behind a chain link fence and concrete wall, three miles from where Bush was to speak.
Police arrested him for disturbing the peace and he spent the night in jail.
The national free speech zone is where all protestors will now have to go anytime that they want to protest President Bush.
“Well, you go down that away, until you come to a grain silo and then you take a left until you’ve gone another nought or two and you’ll see this broken down pick-up out in old man Palmer’s field,” said Wheat Farmer Rusty Waller, as he gave directions to the free speech zone. “After you pass that you’ll hit another fork where there’s this twisted black jack tree that kind of looks like it’s givin’ you the finger. Take a right down the dirt road for another mile or two and eventually you’ll hit a space in between a barbed wire fence. Take a left and go for another mile past an oil well and grove of oak trees. That’s where the free speech zone is. But be careful, there’s no signs or nothing and you’ll miss it if you blink.”
Protestors paraded around the 75-acres carrying signs that read, “All hail the thief”, “No blood for oil” and chanting “Bush and Cheney go away racist, sexist, anti-gay” but no one was there to see or hear them.
“This blows,” said California Resident Horatio Algren, who traveled over a thousand miles to protest Bush visiting Sacramento. “I stepped in a pile of cow puckey and the mosquitoes are eating me alive.”
Ironically, Liberal, Kansas is one of the most unliberal places in the country.
“If any of those hippies try and sneak on my property to swim in my back pond, I’ll put some buckshot in their ass,” said Gary Sullivan, farm equipment salesman, as he cradled a 12-gauge shot gun in his arms.
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