About 25 protesters joined hands on the steps of the state Capitol in Hartford on Thursday and talked about the Bush administration’s attack on the U.S. Constitution and their civil rights.The peaceful protest by the small group of activists from all walks of life was just one of hundreds across the nation organized by the New York group, The World Can’t Wait.
Without the benefit of megaphones or microphones, the protesters stood in a circle, held hands, and talked about solutions. They encouraged each other to stand up to the Bush administration, the Patriot Act, the illegal spying program, the recent passage of the Military Commissions Act—legislation that allows the president to define what an enemy combatant is while holding them indefinitely without a hearing—and several other issues. Capitol Police that at one point outnumbered the protesters were there too. One police officer stood from a balcony and took pictures of the group. When asked if the pictures were going to be turned over to the federal government, Capitol Police Chief Bill Morgan said that’s not why they take pictures. He said the police take pictures during events like this in case any property is damaged. “It’s a liability. We just want to document what’s going on,” he said. “We do it at most big events” Morgan said citing the University of Connecticut basketball championship parade as another event police documented.Dazjde, who understandably didn’t want to give her last name, said she thinks it’s probably safer to protest publicly because it makes it harder for the government to take you. She said after last week’s legislation that says the military may detain enemy combatants indefinitely, “They can take anybody.“One woman asked the group how they spread awareness of “this erosion of democracy.” Another woman suggested they do it with their votes. Jersey Cynic, who blogs at http://blondesense.blogspot.com , said she’s going to start at the local level by talking to her mayor and from there she’ll work her way up the political foodchain. Several of the protesters seemed interested in joining the Green Party’s protest of Monday’s gubernatorial debates in New London at the Garde Arts Center. Some of the groups represented by the protesters included members of Food Not Bombs and at least one member of Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice a group of religious leaders and people of faith.