NYPD Unplugs Cindy Sheehan


They can’t stop the antiwar movement, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. On Monday Sept. 19, Cindy Sheehan spoke in New York City’s Union Square to a group of supporters and onlookers when police rushed in to break up her speech as it was winding down.

“I was speaking and someone grabbed my backpack and pulled me back pretty roughly,” Sheehan told the Associated Press. “I was shoved around.”

Police arrested organizer Paul Zulkowitz, who was charged with disorderly conduct as well as for using an unauthorized sound device. For anybody who has been through Union Square in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen Zulkowitz (AKA Zool), who heads up “Camp Casey NYC,” a small group of local activists who set up an encampment over a month ago to show their solidarity with Sheehan’s quest to end the Iraq war. Zool’s arrest was most likely a coordinated effort meant to disrupt the ongoing antiwar vigil.

“Since when can’t you talk out here in Union Square?” an Upper West Side social worker told the Village Voice following the incident. “I’ve seen everyone and their mother come out and speak nonsense out here in this park, and for them to shut down Cindy Sheehan is just not right.”

There is no question that the New York Police Department overreacted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve personally shuffled through Union Square where musicians and others were plugged into (unauthorized, I am sure) amplifiers ­ singing their tunes or spewing their political propaganda. And never once I have I seen a police officer run in and pull the Bob Dylan or Abbie Hoffman wannabe from his microphone. No, there’s a reason why they targeted Cindy Sheehan and not these fellows.

Quashing Cindy is a different issue altogether, and it carries a lot more weight. For starters, Sheehan is actually being heard and getting her fair share of media coverage. She is proof that the antiwar movement is gaining speed. And that’s a dangerous predicament for those who support Bush’s dubious war, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is clearly plotting his own trajectory within the Republican establishment. Unplugging Sheehan undoubtedly scored Bloomberg a few brownie points with the Bush cartel ­ as if jailing 1,800 protesters during the Republican National Convention wasn’t enough.

Silencing Cindy Sheehan in Union Square should show us all what we are really up against. Over 1,900 U.S. troops have died thus far in Iraq, not to mention countless civilians. And for what? The NYPD and government officials don’t want us to ask that important question, which means we have to be even more vigilant in our efforts to expose Bush’s war for the fraud that it is.

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the brand new book, Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, published by Common Courage Press.










We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005


JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His latest book, edited with Jeffrey St. Clair is  Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @brickburner

Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai Park: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
James Anderson
Reframing Black Friday: an Imperative for Déclassé Intellectuals
Simon Bowring
UN Climate Talks 2009: a Merger of Interest and Indifference
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxemburg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
Aidan O'Brien
Same-Sex Sellout in Ireland
David Stocker
Report from the Frontline of Resistance in America
Patrick Bond
China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink Fast
Majd Isreb
America’s Spirit, Syrian Connection
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
Charles R. Larson
Chronicle of Sex Reassignment Surgery: Juliet Jacques’s “Trans: a Memoir”
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
CounterPunch’s Favorite Films
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving