Saturday, July 02, 2005


Police say protest crossed line

Akron Beacon Journal/Akron/OH/USA/2-Jul-05
``Certainly, everybody has a right to protest, but they don't have a right to leave a mess for somebody else to clean up,'' Powley said. He said the outcome of the case depends on whether Liske's conduct ``crossed the line in causing damage and an inconvenience'' to the recruiting center. Liske was one of 10 to 12 participants in the May 20 anti-recruitment ``vigil,'' which the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee organized. The event was tied to others held nationally. Liske isn't talking publicly -- on the advice of his attorney. But others are speaking on his behalf. ``It seems to me that the real crime is not what Karl Liske did on the sidewalks of Akron, but what the U.S. has been doing for two years-plus in Iraq,'' said Greg Coleridge, who is affiliated with the American Friends Service Committee and is director of the group's economic justice program. The criminal mischief charge that Liske faces is a third-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 90 days in jail and get a $750 fine. Some of Liske's supporters have asked: How is what he did any different than a child writing on a sidewalk with chalk? ``I think you have to look at the totality of the circumstances,'' Powley said. ``The difference between chalk on a sidewalk by kids and this case is you have to look at whose sidewalk it is, and what's been put on the sidewalk, and the difficulty of removing the material.'' Mendenhall said the issue comes down to free expression and nothing more. ``This was a public statement about the war,'' he said. ``I think the peace community in general is concerned about recruiting practices that target innocent high school students who really have no idea what they're getting into when they're signing up.''


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