I spoke with a board member of the ACLU last week after Holy Cross and the Worcester Police Department violated my civil rights. The lawyer was funny, smart, funny, experienced, funny, very clear and funny…. A joy to talk to, unexpectedly, on such a bad day. Everything I shared about police behavior, every example of what happened, the ACLU lawyer said the college and the police broke the law. I was told I had to keep moving — false. Only crowds have to keep moving. I was told I could have only one sign, and any sign I was not holding was abandoned and police could take. False. I can have as many signs as I want to have — I just can’t obstruct passage on the sidewalk. I probably don’t need a permit for one person, but the lawyer said to get one anyway even if I don’t need it, for protection. When they mess with me again, if I have a permit I will always win.
“You made my day!!” I exclaimed, when I learned my signs are okay. Signs are everything. Signs are the protest.
Holy Cross thinks it is above the United States Constitution and some Worcester police think protesting is a criminal act. I had no idea that my little Vigil for Justice would be a stand for civil rights and a stand against abuse of power. It is such a privilege to be on this journey and meeting interesting people. I wish it could be easier, but it’s the most meaningful work I’ve done in a long time.