Wien/Vienna - 15 Feb 2003
Wien / Vienna (Austria) - 15 Feb 2003:

eu aso Wednesday, March 05, 2003 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer was arrested late Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Give Peace A Chance" that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany.

"I was in the food court with my son when I was confronted by two security guards and ordered to either take off the T-shirt or leave the mall," said Downs.

When Downs refused the security officers' orders, police from the town of Guilderland were called and he was arrested and taken away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing "in that he knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises," the complaint read.

Downs said police tried to convince him he was wrong in his actions by refusing to remove the T-shirt because the mall "was like a private house and that I was acting poorly."

"I told them the analogy was not good and I was then hauled off to night court where I was arraigned after pleading not guilty and released on my own recognizance," Downs told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Downs is the director of the Albany Office of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates complaints of misconduct against judges and can admonish, censure or remove judges found to have engaged in misconduct.

Calls to the Guilderland police and district attorney, Anthony Cardona and to officials at the mall were not returned for comment. Downs is due back in court for a hearing on March 17. He could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

Give Peace a Chance

US-Anwalt wegen "Friedens"-T-Shirt verhaftet

 Keine Chance für Frieden 

Washington - Weil er ein T-Shirt mit der Aufschrift "Give Peace a Chance" in einem Einkaufszentrum getragen hatte, war am Montag ein Anwalt verhaftet worden. Aus Protest waren daraufhin am Mittwoch rund hundert Friedensaktivisten mit ähnlichen T-Shirts durch die Mall im Bundesstaat New York gezogen und hatten den inkriminierten Slogan skandiert. Die Manager des Einkaufszentrums "Crossgates Mall" in Guilderland zogen danach die Anzeige gegen den Anwalt zurück.

Der 61-jährige Stephen Downs hatte Montag Abend mit seinem 31-jährigen Sohn Roger die extra angefertigten T-Shirts in einem Geschäft der Shoppingmall abgeholt und für die Fortsetzung des Einkaufsbummels gleich angezogen. Als die Sicherheitskräfte des Einkaufszentrums die beiden aufforderten, die Leiberln auszuziehen folgte nur der jüngere Mann der Aufforderung und trennte sich von seinem T-Shirt. Der Anwalt beharrte hingegen auf sein Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit und behielt das Leibchen mit dem Aufdruck "Give Peace a Chance" an. Daraufhin wurde er von der Polizei in Handschellen abgeführt. Manager der Shopping Mall erklärten gegenüber CNN, in der Hausordnung des Einkaufszentrums sei die "Belästigung" anderer Kunden verboten.

Quelle:  Wiener Zeitung, 7.3.2003 Seite 2 

"Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."

 Hermann Göring, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II

Music: Give Peace A Chance
The Plastic Ono Band - Written by John Lennon - Produced by John & Ono 1969

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