In order to welcome Vice President Joe Biden to the University of Toledo campus on the morning of October 23, 2012, for a campaign stop, I placed numerous sets of small label stickers saying, “STOP DRONE KILLINGS”, STOP WAR”, “DRONE KILLINGS PERPETUATE TERRORISM” on poles, and several [STOP] WAR stickers on STOP signs in the vicinity of the UT student union where he will be speaking. An alert UT student, complaining of such grievous offenses, called the authorities. No, he did not call President Obama or the Defense Department, to complain about drone killings; but rather, he called the campus police. I was greeted by not one, not two, but three patrol cars. I could see a certain eagerness in the UT policemen’s eyes; however, I misjudged this at first, as them largely wanting to thank me as a job creator, as I had clearly created so much work for them. After about a half hour typing stuff into their computer, consulting with their supervisor, and writing stuff down, I was awarded a citation for trespass. Now, this is the first citation I have received from a prestigious university, so I thought that it may merit going on my resume. Unfortunately, it is actually only a warning, banning me from all UT campuses, including their medical center. Apparently, this ban is for life, either of me, the University of Toledo, or the time-space continuum [editor’s note: this may actually be better termed “banned for anti-death”]. Further, upon closer inspection, if and when I violate their campus, I will be guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor. So, in the end, I failed to even trigger the third degree from the campus cops. I asked the UT officer if they had any particular protocol or details related to the vice president’s visit. The answer was “No” — but, hey, the Secret Service sure are sticklers for details, not so much details for sticklers. Fortunately, the UT campus police did serve up a diet high in irony; which brings us to the question of the day:
Is violating the sovereignty of an ally nation, such as Pakistan, who has specifically instructed us not to trespass on their territory with unmanned killer drones, a case of criminal trespass? Many believe it is! Nonetheless, what legal actions have United States of America been subject to for such a case of criminal trespass? That remains fuzzy. However, what is now entirely clear, is that a citizen of the United States of America who protests the launching of these killer drones by placing small paper stickers on light poles and stop signs constitutes criminal trespass. Hopefully, someday the rule of law will cover the big-ticket items as well. Perhaps the real question for the day is: how many everyday people will need to be arrested before the big crooks of this world see justice? I, for one, intend to find out.
P.S. In case you are keeping score — International War Crimes Tribunal: 0; Littering: 1.
If you are interesting in doing your own stickering, here is a great place to get inexpensive, bulk stickers.