Pull Out, Dick

Protesters and reporters were banned from standing in front of CityBeat during Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit today. I was threatened with arrest by a man who said he was a federal agent but refused to identify himself.

Officer Robert Nelson of the Cincinnati Police Intelligence Unit asked me to step inside the CityBeat building. When I declined, he ordered me to vacate the sidewalk.

“This is now an order,” Nelson said. “If you don’t comply, I will lock you up.”

A mounted Cincinnati Police officer used his horse to block the entrance to CityBeat, barring anyone from entering or leaving through the front door.

CityBeat provided sanctuary to two protesters — Melodie and Kelly, who asked that only their first names be used. Barred by police from standing on the sidewalk, the pair held their anti-war signs against the glass door facing across Race Street to The Phoenix restaurant, where Cheney was speaking to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Under this administration, there have been no protest rights,” Kelly said.

“If this administration had their way, they’d want it to be a fascist dictatorship,” Melodie said.

A massive police cordon shut down the area around Ninth and Race streets, forcing a handful of protesters to stand a block away out of view of Cheney and the Chamber members.

CityBeat unfurled a large banner, covering two stories of our building, saying, “War is Costly; Peace is Priceless!! Give Peace a Chance.”

Around the corner, members of the Cincinnati Building Trades Council shouted insults in Cheney’s direction.

“We were threatened with arrest if we used megaphones,” said union organizer Bill Froehle. “Bush and Cheney are anti-worker. We support our troops. We don’t support the war they’re in.”

— Gregory Flannery

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10 Comments on “Pull Out, Dick”

  1. Natasha Says:

    I’m not surprised. Who could be after all that’s transpired under this administration?

  2. Anonomous Says:

    I was also marooned in the CityBeat lobby this morning. Since a lively protest was prevented by the authorities clearing the streets around the Phoenix, I passed the time talking about cameras with a CityBeat photographer.

    I want to point out that while Officer Nelson was pushy and arrogant toward Greg Flannery, every other uniformed Cincinnati officer I encountered was polite and as accommodating as they could be under the circumstances. I wish the feds would pick up the tab for the extra service they provided, but I won’t hold my breath.

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Mr. Vice President.

  3. Pathetic Says:

    Well I appreciate the City Beat Crews efforts but tht was the most pathetic protest I have ever been to. As Arlo said, “Ya gotta sing loud if you want to end war and stuff”, Ya got to show up first.

    I was harrassed trying to even get near the area from the north. Myself and one guy holding a Cheney Lies sign were the only two vocal protester on Race north the City Beat building that I could see. I tried to walk around the building to the south thinking there may be protesters in the parking lot or park but saw little action. Including the banner on the City Beat building I saw a total of three signs. Pathetic and sad.

  4. WTF saw the banner, and notes that the banner was completely ineffective. It was too big, and required one to really crane his neck to see it. It was also noted to be a dumb stunt.

  5. Maybe the reason the protest was “pathetic and sad” is that there really aren’t that many folks who think “Cheney Lies”?

  6. Pathetic Response Says:

    NBR if thats the case then it would explain why the mass exodus from Cincinnati.

  7. Pathetic Response Says:

    Sorry was suppose to be NBS, too late at night

  8. The King Says:

    I find it interesting that liberals always have time to protest/rally. Most of us have trouble prying away from these things called jobs. Anyway, it sure looks like there is revolution in the streets. It is like Chicago, maaaaan. Someone cue “Street Fighting Man.”

  9. Anne Mitchell Says:

    Thanks for the banner – I’m proud to be a part of CityBeat and the free press.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I wonder what CityBeat staffers would do if they couldn’t proceed into their business entrance each day, because protesters who don’t like what is printed in CityBeat, would choose to protest with signs and block the sidewalk,effectively blocking the staffers way? What would CityBeat staffers do, if after asking the protesters to move so they could go to work/go about their business, the staffers refused to move and therefore effectively refusing to allow City Beat Staffers inside their place of employment? Go back home? Call the Police? Set up shop outside on the sidewalk?
    Gee, it works both ways, doesn’t it? Also, just wondering if all the government expense in blocking off streets, manning overpasses and bridges, for all of Clinton’s and Gore’s visits to Cincinnati over the past 14years was reimbursed by the feds to local governments who paid millions of $$ in overtime and other costs…Just wondering how that works when the Democrats are in power and use Air Force 1 and 2 to make visits all over the country at taxpayer expense?

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