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Friday, 24 August 2007

Amerika, 2007

Jonas Phillips is the third resident of Asheville, North Carolina to be arrested in recent weeks for displaying a pro-impeachment sign.

Unlike Mark and Deborah Kuhn, who were targeted for official abuse because of a display erected on their own property, Phillips was arrested for "freeway blogging" – that is, displaying a sign on an overpass spanning the interstate near his workplace.

While different considerations apply to protests on "public" property, it's significant that Asheville authorities are finding it difficult to identify a specific offense with which to charge Phillips. That difficulty is symptomatic of institutional dishonesty: The Asheville Police Department can't afford to admit that it arrested Phillips because of the content of his sign, rather than because of some danger he protest posed to the public. Lew