On August 31, 2004. The Hollywood Liberal got arrested along with 200 others, for obeying the Police.
The ride to central booking did not take too long, again there were people who were camped out along the route that the bus took who applauded us, as the bus drove by. There were also more people waiting outside the entrance of C.B. to add there support as the bus pulled inside. After we were inside we again had to wait a while until we were led off the bus and upstairs to the holding cell area. We again had to be frisked, and ran through a metal detector. They made us do that every time we entered or left any new destination. The group I was with was put in a holding cell, which was a lot cleaner then the cages at Guantanamo. They again gave us some crappy sandwiches which many people just threw on the ground. They had been feeding us every few hours. They must have ordered too much food (if you can call that shit food), because they were practically force feeding us every few hours. I was in for a total of 19 hours and they must have fed us 5 times. Luckily I had a nice Chicken cutlet sandwich for lunch a couple of hours before I got arrested, so all I ate while I was in there was one cheese sandwich. There were three different sandwiches which different people got at different times, Cheese, baloney, and Peanut butter. The Baloney was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen in my life. Actually the best thing the sandwiches, which came in ziplock bags, could be used for was as a pillow by the people who were trying to sleep on the floor, or on the shiny steel benches of CB,
The cell we were in was not too crowded, and I actually had enough room to lay down on the bench and try to get some sleep. There was no way I was getting on that floor. About 20 minutes later, I was called along with 4 other people, and we were shackled together by a long chain with 5 sets of handcuffs attached to it. They handcuffed one hand of each of us to the chain, for a minute there I thought they were going to take us outside and make us cut weeds on the side of the highway. We slowly marched down about 3 flights of stairs to the picture room. I hadn't had my picture taken so much since the time I had to go to a photographer for acting head shots. They then marched us up to a different, and much more crowded cell. No room to lay down this time, I tried to sit on the bench, but my wool pants made me keep sliding up to the edge as if I was about to fall off. I kept pushing my ass to the back of the bench, and it would just slide forward again.
The people at CB were many of the same ones from earlier in the evening, they were still cheering every time someone came in or out. And still sticking together trying to keep each others spirits up. A little while later my name was called, and we again had to be shackled, and marched down to another part of the building for finger prints. Then marched up to still another holding cell. This was the end of the booking process I learned, and now it was just a matter of waiting to either go see a judge, or get a desk appearance ticket. I arrived at my final cell probably about 3 AM. This cell was the about the size of an average bedroom, there were 31 people inside. Every hour or so, some cop would come in and count how many people were in the cell. Apparently there is a rule as to how many people were allowed to be in each cell, and the cops made sure we had the exact maximum that could be stuffed in there. Each time the cop would come in and start counting someone would say, Its 31, just like the last 4 times you came in here and counted. The cops also did not know who was in what cell, they would come in and call out a name of a person who was not there, and the people would yell out "He escaped" whenever they could not find who they were looking for.
By 5 AM most of the people were trying to get some sleep, The entire floor of the cell was covered with bodies of people trying to kill some time by dozing off for a while. Just to walk from the bench to the pay phone (which was the first time all night that we were able to make any phone calls.) you had to climb over bodies with every step. There was enough room on the benches for only one or two people to lay down. Everyone else had to sit up because there was no more room left to go anywhere. When they called us to go get still some more sandwiches a little later, I stayed inside while everyone else went out to get the food, they told us everyone had to go, but they didn't make me when I stayed. I layed down on the bench, and did not get up again. Since the only way I can sleep is by laying flat on my stomach, this was my only chance to get some sleep. I think I may have slept for about an hour total, I was kind of in and out of a half sleep state for a while.
Slowly the hours crawled by. By 8 AM everyone was up, and the mood was starting to turn a little sour. People were getting ever more belligerent to the cops. One group of names was called, and the people thought they were being let go. Turns out the cops screwed up their fingerprints, and they had to go down and do it again. One guy yelled out "Hey why don't you call my name so you can jerk me around one more fucking time." Other people were saying. "Come on let me out already so I can go out tonight and get arrested again." I laughed at this but these people were serious. I talked to several people who fully intended on going out that night, (if they were out by then) and getting arrested again. Now that is some hard core shit right there. After all the hell we were put through these guys were not about to fold. They were sticking to what they believed in no matter what. I can't praise these people enough, they are what America is all about. True Patriots, and the exact opposite of every whore republican who thinks that patriotism means having a United we stand sticker with a picture of an American flag on their car.
People were starting to be released now, but slowly, ever so slowly. About once an hour a cop would come to the door and call out a couple of names, of people who were getting let out. Each time the crowd would roar with applause. At that pace I figured the last of us would not be out until about 6 P.M. if that. At around 10:00 a group of names were called some of which were people who were in my group to go get printed. I thought I may be one of the next ones called but I did not want to get my hopes up too high. By this point only about 3 people in out cell had been let out. by this time I was so tired I might as well have been in there trying to sleep then out on the street in the middle of the day time anyway. I was just about to pass out from exhaustion when the cop came in and called out some names. I was half unconscious while they called out the names and didn't even care if mine was on the list because I just wanted to sleep. The last name they called out was mine. That woke me up quick. I jumped up with a "Yeeaahhh" and headed for the door. I was lucky in that I was among the first to be let out. It may be that Stolzer, my arresting officer helped me out by shuffling my paper work to the front of the pile, but I'm not sure about that. As I stood outside the cell waiting I could see all the other cells, and everyone was standing and applauding like we just scored a touchdown in the super bowl. It was a great feeling to know that these people cared about each other so much. I raised my arms in victory, and pumped my fist to get the crowd going even more. We were again shackled together and led downstairs, where we received our desk appearance ticket. They then led the chain gang down stairs toward the exit.. "Jesus I said to the others they even have to chain us up to bring us to the door to let us go, what do think we are going to do, try to escape?" The door opened and we stepped out into the sunshine to even more applause. There were people across the street who were waiting for us with decent food, fresh water, and juice and even some medicine to put on our wrists for the handcuff bruises. They offered me some food, but I said "That's OK I got money, save it for the people who really need it." Thanks guys that was really cool. Also to everyone inside with me, You guys are true Americans, and give me some hope for the future of this country.
I had to go to the police property trailer to pick up my belongings which took a while longer. Once that was done I put on my jacket, tie, and sunglasses, and headed for the subway. I now may have to go all the way back to NY on September 24, for my hearing in which I hear the charges will almost certainly be dismissed due to the illegal nature of how we got arrested. If I don't show up for the hearing though, you know I will have a warrant for my arrest. I have to call the National Lawyers Guild they may be able to represent me so I don't have to go back. These guys are awesome, using there free time to help out the people whom they know are fighting for the rights guaranteed in the Constitution, so to them another big Thank You. POWER TO THE PEOPLE.