Lone protester arrested for anti-Bush placard

PETER'S NEW YORK, March 21, 2008--In what constitutes a direct challenge to citizens' rights to free speech, police arrested a man in Glens Falls, New York, yesterday for holding an anti-Bush sign in public. According to a report in the Post-Star, a daily newspaper serving the local community, Chris Schmidt, 21, of nearby Queensbury, was arrested for disorderly conduct for carrying a sign that displayed a famous four-letter expletive followed by "Bush." The sign he was carrying, as he stood on Centennial Circle, a heavily trafficked roundabout, had two sides, the other of which said, "Down with the fascist." It was unclear from the report which side of the sign Schmidt was displaying at the time of his arrest. A Post-Star photographer, T.J. Hooker, caught an image of police putting him into a squad car in handcuffs. The same photographer caught a shot of Schmidt holding his sign, which displayed the "fascist" comment. The police confiscated the sign, an argument ensued, and Schmidt was handcuffed and placed in the police car, according to the report.

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. March 21, 2008--Police lead Chris Schmidt to a police vehicle yesterday after handcuffing him.
Schmidt displayed a sign showing his disapproval of U.S. President George W. Bush. The above is a detail of a photo that
appeared in the Post-Star of Glens Falls.

When questioned by reporter Nick Reisman, officer C.J. Gordon said Schmidt was being arrested for displaying a sign with an expletive. However, Schmidt's attorney, Tucker Stanclift, said Schmidt should not have been arrested. "It's offensive that he was charged with a crime," the report quoted Stanclift as saying.

Schmidt had been arrested a number of weeks ago for disorderly conduct for displaying the same or a similar sign sign at Centennial Circle, according to the report.