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Pre-2008 Posts

Free Carol Fisher! Judge Orders Peace Activist to Jail Psych Unit

Carol Fisher

According to World Can’t Wait, Judge Timothy McGinty has forcibly incarcerated Carol Fisher in the psych unit of the Cuyahoga County Jail in downtown Cleveland, for an undetermined period of time.  McGinty is forcing Fisher to undergo a state psychological exam as part of  her pre-sentencing investigation.  During yesterday’s hearing, McGinty stated that Fisher’s opposition to the Bush regime indicates to him that she is “delusional.”

At the hearing held yesterday, McGinty wore a t-shirt which read:  “Wanted for Illegally Crossing Borders: The Bush Regime ‘If you are going to insist that crossing borders illegally is a crime which cannot be tolerated, how about George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice (and yes, Colin Powell) and the rest of that gang, with their highly illegal, and violent, “crossing of the border” — into Iraq, among other places?!'” McGinty stated that Fisher’s t-shirt evidenced her delusion.  When Fisher began to explain her opposition to psychological testing, McGinty stated:   “I do not negotiate with felons.”  World Can’t Wait reports that in a telephone conversation with Fisher yesterday, she stated she had inexplicably been put on “suicide watch” and her eyeglasses had been taken from her.  If she  continues to refuse the psych exam, she will be forcibly sent to North Coast Mental Institute for a 20-day evaluation.

By way of background,  Fisher, 53, 5 foot 4 and weighing 130 pounds, a long-time peace activist and volunteer at Revolution Books in Cleveland was found guilty of “felonious assault” of two Cleveland Heights police officers on June 2.  She was hanging “World Can’t Wait, Bush Step Down” posters (pictured above) on telephone poles in Cleveland in January, when officers approached and told her posting the signs was against city ordinances.  Cleveland Indymedia reported the incident as follows:

Fisher turned and walked toward the poster, in compliance with the officer’s warning.  But instead of allowing her to take it down or just issuing a citation, Downey and Frinzl were on top of her “grinding his knee into back and face into the sidewalk.”

Fisher said she told the officers she could not breathe. That didn’t matter. Two more officers showed up, and they dragged her to a bench,
shackled her legs, and handcuffed her tight enough to cause serious bruising.

Fisher objected to her arrest, telling the officers that “as citizens we have the responsibility to stop the crimes of the Bush regime.”

According to her statements, this inflamed the officers. One told her, “I am sick of this anti-Bush shit,” and they threatened to kill her. “You are definitely going to the psych ward,” said another. And that’s where she ended up, incommunicado, even to her Power of Attorney for health care. University Hospitals personnel were forbidden by the police to allow visitors or for Fisher to make a phone call.

The Indymedia report states that Fisher was indicted by a Grand Jury eight days after her original arrest, a process which normally takes two months.

This could have happened to me.  How many times have I been out on the streets, protesting in exactly this way.  This could have been any of us.

To learn how what you can do to help, go here.   Thanks to Jeyoani of Women’s Space.

Heart

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Free Carol Fisher! Judge Orders Peace Activist to Jail Psych Unit

  1. Thanks for the info. I’ll spread this around to my friends and family.

    Posted by haikushoe | May 11, 2006, 8:04 pm
  2. I googled the Plain Dealer and didn’t find a reference to C. Fisher. What can we do in Dallas, TX to expose this travesty? I will write to newspaper and TV, radio stations but what else? Is Air America saying anything about her case? Thanks….and will stay tuned.

    Posted by Rita Clarke | May 16, 2006, 7:39 pm
  3. Rita, according to World Can’t Wait, Carol Fisher was released May 11, so last Thursday. There’s a statement from her about what happened on the site. It sounds like she was refusing to meet with psychiatrists there at the jail, and in response to that, they threatened to send her to a mental hospital for a 20-day evaluation. Various people there pled with her not to allow that because the other place was really bad. So she met with the pyschiatrists anyway, though she didn’t want to, and then was released. Her sentencing is set for June 2. From the site, pretty horrifying:

    5/13/06, A message from Terry Gilbert, one of Carol Fisher’s lawyers

    To Carol’s supporters:

    I received a copy of the transcript from the May 10th hearing where [Judge] McGinty sent Carol to jail. Here are some quotes. I don’t know whether to laugh or vomit:

    “The fact that she’s still wearing these protest shirts to her trials tells me that she’s not focusing on the issues.”

    “But I haven’t seen anybody in the exact circumstances of Miss Fisher has in her resisting, continuing to resist, hysterical behavior, accusations, ranting and raving about fascism. And this political, somehow aligning her arrest with Bush, and the political ramifications, as if this is part of the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld response to her, you know. I mean, it’s borderline delusional, and I want to find out if her behavior is delusional or not. I don’ t think Bush or his group that she has on the shirt here, had much to do with the Cleveland Heights incident.”

    “I want to find out if there were other hysterical behaviors, martyrdom-type acts, where she’s purposely getting arrested, or going through these type of things for attention, or whatever the issues are. Maybe she thinks, in her mind, that going to jail will help the cause, and she wants to sacrifice her freedom for the cause.”

    “If that be the case, and she’s so emotionally charged about the war, W.M.D.’s, or the death toll, or the continuing escalation over there, that has nothing to do with her sentencing. I’m concerned about that.”

    “I don’t want somebody going to prison because they think it’s going to help a political issue.”

    WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    *Donate to Carol’s legal defense. It costs a lot of money to get transcripts, file appeals, etc. Make checks payable to “Carol Fisher Defense Fund” and mail to “NION/WCW PO Box 609034 Cleveland, OH 44109.

    *Call Judge Timothy McGinty and express your outrage: 216-443-8758

    *Join us at a “Speak Out!” for Carol Fisher – Saturday, May 13 at 7pm at the corner of Coventry and Euclid Heights Blvd in Cleveland Heights.

    *Get your legal organization to be part of Carol’s defense: make statements, file friend of the court briefs, etc.

    *Have your church group, school group, organization or club join this battle by sending statements of support, donating funds, etc.

    *Put this poster up to show public support and spread the word.

    *Request radio stations play any of the following songs, dedicate it to Carol Fisher and explain what is going on with her case:
    Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down”
    Pearl Jam’s “World Wide Suicide”
    Pink’s “Dear Mr President”
    Neil Young’s “Let’s Impeach the President”

    *Write letters to the editor of:
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Go to website: http://www.cleveland.com\plaindealer\lettertoeditor
    The Cleveland Free Times. Email: editor@freetimes.com
    The Sun Press. Email: sun@sunnews.com

    *Send this article to your list serves and post to blogs.

    *Join the World Can’t Wait- Drive Out the Bush Regime!
    Contact: World Cant Wait, Cleveland 216-633-6200
    PO Box 609034 Cleveland OH 44109
    Cleveland@worldcantwait.org
    http://www.worldcantwait.org

    More info is here.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | May 16, 2006, 8:01 pm
  4. Heart,
    I am planning on writing about how the mental health system is part of the repressive state aparatus, can I link to this post?

    also Im updating my side bar, I will add you to my blogroll but also can i have a seperate link to your “What radical feminsim is and isnt post”?

    Posted by nectarine | June 5, 2006, 9:58 pm
  5. Hey, nectarine, link away, to whatever you like. 🙂

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | June 5, 2006, 10:15 pm
  6. We NEED a Revolution people!!!

    Get Off your a s s e s and couches !!!

    Our government no longer fears us !!!

    Replace the government NOW !!!

    Posted by Joe Shmoe - American Born | May 13, 2008, 9:12 am

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