Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Stifling dissent

RNC protestor goes on trial

Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the trial of a protester arrested after unfurling an anti-Bush banner at last summer's Republican National Convention.

On the evening of Sept. 2, during President George W. Bush's acceptance speech, June Brashares, 41, stood on top of a chair in the California delegation and held up a banner that read, "Bush Lies, People Die."

In response she was escorted out of Madison Square Garden by security to a chorus of "Four more years," forcing Bush to stop his speech.

She is charged with kicking one of the guards, Shawn Flannigan, while she was dragged out, causing a cut to his shin. "It's a fabrication," said Brashares' lawyer, Robert Gottlieb. "It's a made up lie. They grabbed her and removed her."

He described the men who removed her as Republican "security goons" wearing yellow baseball caps emblazoned with a black "W", a nickname for the president.

She was charged with assault, attempted assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, and faces a year in jail if convicted.

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