Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lemonade Liberators October 4th Court Appearance: Did Not Go Well

1st and foremost Meg Mclain Will Duffield and I will need a very good liberty minded lawyer. Please if at all possible one that can work pro bono or at a discount. If anyone knows of one please please please let one of us know. To sum things up: things DID NOT go well today in court, and we are facing very severe charges given our crime as well as extended jail time. So here is what went down today. At 8:30 a.m. we had our first court appearance, and it was told to us that the charge "vending without a permit" was dismissed. Due to "failure to provide proper paperwork" by the Capitol police. In response to that they said that we could have the charge "esponged" from our record. This set up the first red flag that things would not go well today. Why should someone have to put forth effort to have "esponged" from their record a charge for a crime they were not convicted of. But since the charge of "vending without a permit" was dropped we assumed the other two charges would be dropped as well. Boy were we wrong.

At 10:30 a.m. we appeared in the federal court room to find that the charge of "vending without a permit" was only dismissed at the local level, and that The federal charge of "vending without a permit" or selling goods/begging as they put, was not removed at all at the federal level. Our name was called "the united states vs Kathryn Dill, Will Duffield, Meg Mclain" for us to appear before the judge and three men walked up infront of us claiming to be our lawyers. MEN WE HAD NEVER SEEN OR SPOKEN TO BEFORE IN OUR ENTIRE LIVES. We were legitimately confused because 1. we did not ask for lawyers 2. we did not tell these men our plea 3. we were under the impression our charge had been dropped (apparently that was only at the local level but everything against us still stands federally). The judge carried on and our lawyers told the judge our plea was "not guilty". Then the judge said that our conditions of release were the following:

1. We are banned from the US Capitol and its grounds. (Yes the US Capitol literally has a restraining order against me LOL )

2. we must submit to drug testing and if anything turns out positive must submit to weekly drug testing until trial

3. we must agree to appear before court on October 24th

Upon hearing that we must undergo drug testing as a condition of release, we "objected." Our case had absolutely NOTHING to do with drugs, even if it had, we are INNOCENT until proven guilty, where does the court get the authority to possess my urine, when i have been convicted of no crime! This is a gross violation of our 4th amendment right, the government cant just randomly drug test people without warrant. To this the judge took off her glasses started shaking her neck and screaming at us. She couldnt believe someone would object to her little "conditions" Then the judge told us to talk to our lawyers and come back after they had "talked some sense into us"....We were hustled out of the court room by our "lawyers" Apparently we had no choice in whether we had a lawyer or not, they were given to us by the court and mine SUCKED atleast Meg and Will's talked to them. Mine literally kept running away from me. Saying small mumbled sentences and then darting off. I finally caught up with Meg and Will and their lawyers so I could atleast find out what the hell was going on. We told them we felt like submitting to a drug test would be a violation of our constitutional and much more so BASIC HUMAN rights. We are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, why as an innocent person who is being charged with something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH DRUGS, do I have to submit my urine? - I think that was basically all our opinion, and we were notified by the lawyers that to fail to obey the conditions of release would put us in contempt of court, and make us liable to be held until our court date on October 24th up until our trial.

We re-entered the court room and our lawyers asked the judge if she could reconsider the restriction of us from the US capitol since it violates our right to our representatives and our right to redress grievances aka our free speech. They also asked that we not be required to take a drug test as a condition of release since the case has nothing to do with drugs. The judge went against our objections and overturned our requests. Our lawyers then told the judge that we understand what the consquences are and we still refuse to comply with conditions of release, and since our possible sentence is now a full year, they told the judge we demanded a trial by jury. Afterwords we were given papers to sign stating that we understand and agree to our conditions of release. Of course my flighty lawyer was nowhere to be found, and we were simply trying to READ what it was we were supposed to be signing. Apparently this was not ok to actually read something before signing it because the court aid snagged the papers out of Meg and I's hands for "taking too long" told us to "SHHHHHH" when we said we were reading it, and then scrabbled on "refused" where our signature was supposed to be. (which is fine by me because i was not signing that piece of garbage "terms of conditions" anyway. After appearing at the Pre-Trial services agency where we were given a review of our conditions, & told to appear in another room for drug testing. Instead we walked out of the courthouse.

We were reunited with Eddie Free after leaving the pretrial room and he told us the government prosecutor said "Just because they are white kids from suburbia doesnt mean they are above the law" In actuality it is HE who thinks he is "above the law" we were trying to get HIM to follow the rule of law (the consititution) and he said that our constitutional concerns were "not an issue"..HE is the one who thinks he is above the law! In addition to that, we were asked by the baliff to exit the courtroom while waiting for our case to be called. He said that we were talking too loud, and that it is putting the judge in a bad mood and that could effect our outcome....since when is "blind justice" liable to the whims of some moody woman's pms?

It is a racket! nothing more than another step to add in, and people just go along with it, and act as though it is perfectly normal that the government has a right to your urine when you have not even been convicted of a crime. The system knows probably half the people in the court room have some sort of drugs in their system and by adding on drug testing as a condition of release they know they can make money by adding on another charge, and by forcing that person to pay for whatever "drug testing" or "treatment" they must attend before court. Its all a racket, the law is SUPPOSED to protect our rights to protect our property, instead it steals our property through taxation, it violates our right to privacy at the point of a gun. It is absurd, it is violence, and I would rather die than submit to it.

In short, we face a maximum of 180 days (6 months) for each charge. The selling goods on capitol grounds as well as the new contempt of court charge for failing to allow our 4th amendment rights to be violated. I have been in contempt of court since 230pm when I failed to show up to my unconsitutional drug test that was a mandatory condition of my release. Our status hearing is October 24th at 9am in courtroom 314 500 indiana NW Washington DC, please please PLEASE if you can make it be there, and for our trial date (whenever that may be) we have to inform the jury of their rights and we honestly need all the support we can get, we are facing serious charges and more than likely jail time. Please let the prosecution know this is intolerable. We are peaceful people, we have commited NO CRIME, have NOT violated the consitution and are simply asking the court to follow the CONSTITUTIONAL RULE OF LAW. They do not have the right to make laws that go against our basic human rights as peaceful people. as Eddie asked them "How do you feel about persecuting peaceful people?"

Selling Lemonade in America: A Criminal Offense

On August 20th 2011, Will Duffield, Meg Mclain, and I were hand cuffed, kidnapped, loaded into a van, chained to a wall for hours, and taunted by armed men and women in blue uniforms for selling lemonade at 10 cents a cup on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

I knew there was a possibility of arrest for our action of free trade on the capitol lawn, but the physical implications of arrest were something I had not expected. I was initially handcuffed by what looked like a 6 foot 6 linebacker with metal cuffs. The officer held tight onto my hands and would not let me even wiggle my fingers. The officer immediately began taunting me, and tried to turn me against my friends by telling me “All your friends are using you as a pawn, they are walking around with video cameras and you 3 are the ones in handcuffs” to which I replied “Dont you dare try to turn me against my friends, YOU are the one that has me in handcuffs.” After several more baffling comments he realized his attempt of duping me into a state of Stockholm syndrome had failed. The three of us were loaded into the van that had no air conditioner. My hands were behind my back, I had no way to push my hair out of my eyes or wipe the sweat from my face.

Once we arrived at the station Will Duffield was taken into the station for processing, leaving Meg and I in the van with no flowing air or air conditioning, and no idea how long we would be in the van. I asked the officers to please loosen my cuffs because they were slicing into my skin. To this they mocked me and told me “You should have thought of that before you were arrested” They kept looking through the window at Meg and I laughing about how they were going to keep us in jail all weekend,and happily repeating “you have just ruined the rest of your lives” Next Meg was taken in for processing leaving me alone in the heat filled van for several additional minutes. Finally an officer came into the van, unfastened my seatbelt, and took me into the station, where I was placed on a hard wood bench while I waited to be processed. Again, I asked the officers repeatedly to loosen my cuffs. While sitting on a bench a female cop kept yelling at me from the other room mocking me with statements such as, “your parents must be so proud of you” telling me that I am a shame to my family, and that I have ruined my life. She gleefully said that she would gladly arrest people like me all day long.

Finally it was my turn to go through initial processing. All I could think about was getting the cuffs off my hands. The same female cop who had just mocked me was the one who did my initial processing. She asked me If i had any scars or tattoos to which I replied “only the scars from the handcuffs” Finally my handcuffs were removed to reveal deep red indentions in my skin, upon seeing this the officer said it was my fault because I didnt ask the officers to loosen my cuffs. WTH? She had me place my hands on a metal bar and began groping my entire body including my breasts and vagina. At this point I felt extremely violated, how did selling lemonade somehow make me deserving of physical molestation? How did it make me un deserving of basic human decency? The officer then made me take off all jewelery, I obliged but stopped when she told me to take off my ring. It was my grandmothers ring that I had worn every day of my life since the day my grandmother died when I was 10. I begged her to let me keep it on. I said “please just let me keep this ring on, it is my most prized possession, I never take it off, I don’t know what you are going to do with it.” This was the only point of the day where I became emotional, my eyes started brimming with tears. I explained to them I would not sell the ring for a million dollars, please just let me keep it on what will it hurt? To this she seemed joyous, and exclaimed “ I hope you are kidding” and “You should have thought of that before you were arrested” Again, as though I should have expected selling lemonade for 10 cents would make me un deserving of basic human decency. My ring was removed and I was taken into a a small square room and chained to a wall, where I would remain chained for the next 4 hours.

A series of officers came in and out of the room asking me various questions about myself, my family, and our “group”. The officers wanted to know my associations, where I was from and a series of other questions. An hour or so later an investigator came in and said they had been anticipating us. He told me he had been on the www.lemonadefreedom.com website, and had also been watching us on livestream even before we were arrested. The officers kept repeating “if you had just sold somewhere else, you could have sold lemonade all day long” or “if you just gave it away instead of charging, you wouldnt be here right now” or “if you had just gotten a permit, this could have all been avoided” Clearly they are incapable of grasping the point.

Do they think we needed the 10cents? Of course not, the very reason why we charged, was because it was “illegal” to sell. We were protesting an unjust law. People wonder why there is homelessness in America, why the unemployment rate is so high, It is because the simple act of buying and selling in America is a criminal offense. You have a God given right to barter, buy and sell, and take control of your own livelihood. If you get a permit, you are waiving your right and asking permission.Why would we ask permission for something that is a fundamental right? if you don't want to be slave, you have to assert your right. If something as simple as buying and selling is “legal” then why do we need a “permit” (permission) to do it?

As to the objection, we should have just “done it somewhere else”...my question is why? We were on public property. Property paid for with our own tax dollars. People say that if they allowed vending near the capitol then there would be tons of vendors all around the capitol, my response to that is “so what?” We had a huge line of thirsty people wanting lemonade, clearly people would like vendors near or on capitol grounds, thus adding to the enjoyment of tourists, and providing a livelihood for vendors. I am glad we did this on capitol grounds. It exposed in broad day light what happens in silence every day. Curious and excited children who want to be productive and learn the value of a dollar and the basics of entrepreneurship are told they are criminals, law breakers, and punished for their vision and imagination. I dont want to live in an America like that, I dont want to live where a child is told to go inside, that they can not make a difference in the world, that their ideas are “wrong” and to go back to playing video games. To this I say “No”. Good people disobey bad laws.

I was then told each Meg, Will, and I were being charged with 3 misdemeanors.

- Unlawful Conduct

- Failure to obey

- Vending without a permit

After the paperwork was filled out, I was placed in a room where pictures were taken from every side of my face, and each of my fingers were scanned into a system where they will remain for the rest of my life. After providing references and getting my thumbs printed onto my documents, I was told to wash my hands, my belongings (including my grandmother’s ring) were returned to me, and I was released from the building. Meg, Will, and I reunited outside of the police station, to find that a call launch was made by our friends demanding for our release. That a group had been standing outside of the police station for 45 minutes. I was overwhelmed with love and support. I couldnt believe there were so many people who cared about our well being. To everyone who called the station, and to all those who gave support and demanded our release, I say thank you, To be treated with such kindness and thoughtfulness was overwhelming.

Our court date is October 4th 2011, I hope as many of you as possible can come and show your support as Meg, Will, and I face our captors once again. Mostly I would like to thank Robert Fernandez who did not let the crushing of children’s dream happen without an uproar. Also each of the children who defied the police and purchased a cup of lemonade deserve to be commended. It was the children who were the most courageous. They had not yet been brainwashed to fear that which is not scary. Their instincts of natural rights had not yet been deluded. To me that is beautiful and inspirational. We should all hold on to those instincts and inherent rights and assert ourselves as free people, just as those children did on August 20th 2011 as shown below.


As for the cops who said I am a shame to my family, last night I got a call from my father, after I said hello, he goes “Well, I just saw you on the news..” ...I held my breath as I anticipated a long lecture about the long term implications of my actions, but instead after the pause my father replied “I’m proud of you”.