State prosecuting wrong person in water-dousing incident

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2003

In attending the first two days of Jeff Webster's "water throwing" trial in Kenai, I have noticed a common thread among some of the so called "victims" of his "crime." These street corner peace activists would like to have us all believe that they are harmless little folks who were just practicing their constitutional rights by protesting military action in Iraq.

Indeed, on the surface, that is what they appear to be.

A closer look at some of them indicates something just a little more sinister than would appear normally. Some of these protesters carried signs with the picture of the earth; others wear small pins or badges with the same picture of the globe upon it. The display of this globe is significant, for it is the officially adopted symbol of an anti-war group called Not In Our Name.

Not In Our Name advocates the display of this symbol in as many places as possible so peace advocates can demonstrate and proclaim solidarity with Not In Our Name's message and methods.

Unfortunately, this group is a little more than your run-of-the-mill peace group. This group openly and proudly advocates and encourages soldiers currently serving in the United States Armed Forces to lay down their arms and refuse to obey lawful orders. It encourages soldiers to go AWOL and to desert their units. It offers to assist soldiers to file for conscientious objector status as a way to evade combat duty. These people offer to support United States troops while they commit these criminal acts.

Now, what does that make these people standing so innocently on the street corner? It makes them something very different than what they would have us all believe. Can these people honestly claim the protection of constitutionally protected free speech and the right to assemble peaceably when they are in truth engaging in criminal activity?

Of course, they will not admit to this; doing so would result in self-incrimination. They want us to believe that they are the innocent. These folks deserve more than water thrown upon them. They deserve a jail sentence.

While they stand outside of the courtroom and giggle like schoolchildren about all the fuss, Assistant District Attorney June Stein proceeds to prosecute the wrong person. I know who the real patriot is. God bless Mr. Webster for defending and protecting his son.

Doug Ruzicka, Anchor Point

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