This afternoon, drinking a cup of coffee while sitting in the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center on Chicago's south side, a Veterans Administration cop walked up to me and said, "OK, you've had your 15 minutes, it's time to go."
"Huh?", I asked intelligently, not quite sure what he was talking about.
"You can't be in here protesting," officer Adkins said, pointing to my Veterans For Peace shirt.
"Well, I'm not protesting, I'm having a cup of coffee," I returned, thinking that logic would convince Adkins to go back to his earlier duties of guarding against serious terrorists.
Flipping his badge open, he said, "No, not with that shirt. You're protesting and you have to go."
Personally, I'd have showed the cop a protest he'd never forget. Look, ladies and gentlemen, this shit didn't go on before Bush took office. This is still the United States and as long as you're not disturbing the peace, you can wear whatever the fuck you want to. Note to gung-ho cops who think this 'liberals-are-traitors' mindset that seems to be in fashion lately gives them license to harass innocent citizens: There are some of us out here who aren't cowed by your badge and gun. Fuck around with me like this and you'll get them both shoved up your ass.