View Full Version : Carol Fisher sentenced to 60 days in jail

06-04-2006, 01:27 PM
Cleveland Woman Convicted Of Felony And Sentenced To 60 Days In Jail For Putting Up Anti-Bush Posters (http://pyramid.blog-city.com/cleveland_woman_convicted_of_felony_and_sentenced_ to_60_days.htm)
A 51-year-old Ohio woman was sentenced Friday to 60 days in jail for putting up anti-Bush posters, as another political prisoner falls prey to the fascist mindset controlling America.

Since Carol Fisher's run-in with police on Jan.28, she steadfastly maintained her innocence, saying she was manhandled by police and then railroaded by a politically corrupted judiciary.

Her attorney, Terry Gilbert agreed with his client, adding after a recent pre-sentencing hearing to question Fisher's sanity:

"In more than 30 years of practicing law, I haven't seen anything remotely like this.This is gulag stuff. Is this the kind of country you want to live in when dissidents are determined to be crazy?"

Fisher faced a maximum 3-year prison term on a felonious assault conviction, but claims she was manhandled and assaulted by police who then lied about what happened. Gilbert said Fisher refused to accept a plea bargain, insisting she did nothing wrong and leading to what her attorney and many observers called a "politically motivated kangaroo court" filled with compromised witnesses and a prejudicial judge.


And Fisher's run-in with authorities and subsequent illegal incarceration is just another example of the long line of cases piling up across America showing the "real live day to day" lock down on freedom of speech and the use of police as the Gestapo arm of the fascist Bush administration.

"I had set out from my house with a full agenda, to contact lots of people and get out materials about our upcoming Cleveland event to Drown Out the State of the Union address, and the call to march around the White House on Feb. 4th. My first stop was the an area known for its community of artists and progressives, where I stapled up posters for blocks and was greeted warmly by those who saw and appreciated what World Cant Wait is doing. I talked to an artist, and a Palestinian store owner who took fliers to distribute to customers.

"Next stop, to the east side. I drove down a street in Cleveland Heights, another area known for its diversity and progressive history. This street was badly in need of postering too and though i was in a big hurry, I couldn't drive on without getting up a few signs. Before long a cop called from across the street: "Ma'am! Hundred dollar fine for doing that!" Oh really, since when? Another way of keeping us from getting the word out, eh?

"But not wanting to get arrested, I said ok and put up my staple gun and walked away. But that wasn't the end of it. "Ma'am! Hundred dollar fine unless you take those posters down." He is pursuing me across the street. Damn! OK fine, I say, I will take them down (not wanting to get into a confrontation, because I have lots to do today!) But this too is not enough for the cop. He wants my ID. I say I don't have my ID. He grabs my arm. I say let go of me, I am not doing anything wrong, I will take the posters down. People are watching to see what happens, are outraged but very afraid. The cop won't let go, he clearly wants more grief from me, and he is in the spotlight. He wants people to be scared. He pushes me against a store window and next thing I know I am face down on the sidewalk with two cops on top of me, one with his knee in my back. I am trying to call out to people, to tell them what the posters are about.

"They keep pushing my face into the sidewalk. I can't breathe. I have osteoradionecrosis in my jaw, resulting from radiation treatments for cancer. My jawbone is slowly deteriorating, is very fragile, and doesn't heal well. I am 53 years old, not exactly a spring chicken. A hand comes down again to push my chin against the concrete.

"By this time there are four cops on the scene. My hands are tightly cuffed behind my back. They lift me up and shove me onto a park bench and shackle my legs. I am still calling out, telling people what this is about. One of the cops says to me, "Shut up or I will kill you!", "I am sick of this anti-Bush shit!" "You are definitely going to the psyche ward." Then somebody calls the EMS, and a fire squad shows up.

"The cop supervisor appears and puts his finger in my face: "I don't like it when people treat my men like this and if you don't obey the law you will suffer the consequences." I am lifted into the EMS truck, hands still cuffed behind my back. I ask to make a call and this is refused, but a fireman offers to make a quick call for me. If not for this, no one would have known where I was or what was happening, a fate shared by many immigrants in this country. At the hospital, I am treated as an arch-criminal. Escorted by four policemen, I shuffle into the emergency room, legs still shackled, covered with leaves and mud. I think to myself, if I was Black, I would not have made it this far. I would probably be dead by now."Cleveland Woman Convicted Of Felony And Sentenced To 60 Days In Jail For Putting Up Anti-Bush Posters (http://www.arcticbeacon.com/3-June-2006.html)
Greg Szymanski, Arctic Beacon, June 3, 2006

More on Carol Fisher's ordeal here (http://worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1635&Itemid=61).

Now, my two cents about the facts of the case. I do not know what happened there and am not inclined to unquestioningly trust Ms Fisher or her supporters. For one thing, it must be noted that it feels very strange to read about an aging and sick woman being treated so harshly for putting up inconsequential resistance to numerous male police officers while in the same country a man convicted of raping a minor only gets probation (http://pyramid.blog-city.com/residents_protest_judge_after_sentence.htm). While the two cases are not related in any direct way, this still provides a powerful background to how severe the sentence handed to Ms Fisher is.

Here is a description (http://blog.magicpants.net/?p=885) of what the assault on police officers allegedly consisted of, courtesy Voodoo Knickers:
... I found this testimonial from someone who claims to be an eye witness. It was posted online by someone calling themselves “Mark B”, I have not found conclusively if this witness testified at the trial.

… The officer attempted to stop her by stepping in her way, Carol Fisher began to swing her arms wildly. The officer then called for another officer that was standing across the street. Carol Fisher began clawing at the officer’s face, and kicking him. Both officers then held her against the building. Both officers were telling Carol Fisher to stop resisting and just settle down. This woman was out of her mind, kicking, punching, and spitting. The woman then fell to the ground on her own, the officers actually tried to soften her fall by grabbing her coat.

Carol Fisher laid face down with her hands interlocked so the police could not handcuff her. As one officer knelt on the ground, Carol Fisher tried to bite him in the face several times, and did get ahold of his shirt with her teeth. The police officer then told me to call 911 and tell police dispatch they needed help….

via Heightsmom” (http://heightsmom.blogspot.com/2006/02/witness-in-carolyn-fisher-ch-police.html)

By contacting the lawyer in the trial, Terry Gilbert, I got his statement as follows:

The case is replete with factual disputes. In addition to the two police officers who arrested Carol, there were 4 civilian witnesses who testified as to various observations regarding segments of the incident. Three of them said she was out of control and fighting with the police. There were all kinds of inconsistencies but the tone of the witnesses was that she was definitely in the wrong and resisting. Apparently, the jury believed the prosecution. I am not in a position to spend time going over the details of the case with you at this point. As to the initial contact, the cop who went over to her admitted he grabbed her sleave first. This was an important part of my argument that it was an unlawful arrest. Terry Gilbert

So maybe this really is about a woman assaulting a police officer who was doing his job, and a police officers who had to be more rough than necessary when dealing with athoroughly irrational woman. Most non-violent protestors know to comply with police at all times, and go limp if being grabbed.Maybe so. However, I must say that police threatening a citizen with an on-the-spot execution is a situation not completely unfamiliar (http://pyramid.blog-city.com/katrina_trip_short_timeline.htm) to this author, and that at times the police can be aggressive for no good reason at all.

However, let us assume Carol Fisher is indeed a dangerous, violent female who assaulted two male officers reported to be about half her age and of heavy muscular build. Let us say she is a real threat. Then why the talk of having her apologize and thus avoid jail time? Isn't that way too lenient for a hardened criminal ready to strike with little provocation and posing immediate danger to law enforcement officers on the job?

Also notable by its absense is any mention of the case in the mainstream media, including right-wing outlets such as FOX News (http://www.foxnews.com/) - at least none that this author could locate. While this in and of itself does not necessarily mean anything it would seem that, were the case against Ms Fisher strong, some Bush supporters would not miss a chance to use her case to portray their political opponents, at least some of them, as irrational or even violent. Based on some reports (http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/10/2006/1950), however, exactly the opposite seems to be the case - namely, that the whole Fisher case was manufactured out of a whole cloth and is indeed a case of political persecution.

This is it for now. Just one last thing - the way this case looks is highly reminiscent of how the Soviet authorities sometimes persecuted political dissidents. It is not as brutal as it sometimes was in the former Soviet Union, but the general modus operandi appears remarkably similar - especially the part where authorities attempt to present a protester as a 'crazy', a mental case.

06-04-2006, 02:44 PM
Man that's fucked up.