Trespassing on Public Property

This morning the Orange County Recruitment Awareness Project (more formally known as the Bill Smith Military Resistance Project) distributed pamphlets outside Century High School in Santa Ana. Everything was going well until a dour woman in a golf cart rolled up to volunteer Al White. She asked what he was doing; he explained he was distributing leaflets to teach students the truth about military recruitment and the broken promises inherent therein. And that's when the Constitution went out the window.

"You can't be outside the school," said the security guard. But Al White, no stranger to resisting authority, stood his ground. "This is public property and we have every right to be here," he responded. A reporter snapped a picture; this did not impress the security guard.

"Did you just take a photo?" she asked.

Yes, I did.

"You'll have to delete that from your camera."

This is public property and I can take a picture of anything I want.

"Not of me you can't."

This is a public sidewalk. You're on the public sidewalk. I can take your picture.

"We'll see about that." She golf-carted off, and within minutes a motorcycle cop showed up. The school had called the police, he said, as they were unsure what the pamphleteers were up to. Which is odd, as Mr. White had clearly explained the morning's work to the security guard. He even gave her a pamphlet.

Still, the cop knew the OC-RAP crew was within its rights provided they stay off school property. "Other than that, you can hand out whatever you want," he told volunteer Thu-Trang Tran shortly before driving off.

Aside from the school calling the cops, this morning's visit to Century was the Project's best effort so far. Five volunteers handed out at least 300 pamphlets and hardly any were littered on the ground. The school paper even interviewed a volunteer or two. And the only police action was when a cop ticketed a student for not wearing a bicycle helmet. About six more kids without helmets rode by as the cop wrote out the ticket If you'd like to show up at OC-RAP's next pamphletting on Jan. 25, contact The Slightest Shred of Authority


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