In line with the old adage that you can’t fight city hall, a judge dismissed my lawsuit against Hartford’s police chief. I had sued him for corralling me and a group of protesters in an area a block away from the public street where George Bush passed by about two years ago. The Connecticut constitution gives me an explicit right to “apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance,.” The judge said I suffered no injury when this right was denied me. The judge recpgnized that I was chilled but found that chiliing is not injury.
In a curious twist, the judge ruled that the establishment of the free-speech zone was reasonable and that I was unreasonable in expecting to get close enough to George Bush to remonstrate with him. She didn’t need a second legal justification for dismissing my case–sound jurisprudence discourages judges from making rules unnecessarily–but she felt compelled to rule that the protection of the president preempts the duties of citizenship.
I could appeal this case, but I’m chilled, more by the judge than I was by the police chief. Chilled to the point of utter conviction that I’m on a fool’s errand. Constitution, indeed. These are lawless times, and government, not to exclude the wheels of official justice, is a racket. I’ve spent enough of myself on futility and failure. I’ve been writing incessantly and without remuneration, stuff that gives my readers a stomach ache, to no discernible effect. I involve myself in electoral politics, and the returns are an embarrassment to me and my party. I inflict myself on public access TV viewers, who probably see me as living proof that it’s still a free country and things are not as bad as they seem. I’ve managed to delude myself that this enterprise is worthwhile in some way and that I’m not just a crank, as the judge judged me. In fact, I was just about to begin a regular radio program when my reverie was interrupted.
In this case, as in my other activities as a gadfly, I’ve done more harm than good. We now have a Connecticut judge on record legalizing free-speech zones. I’d appeal if I thought I had an outside chance of winning, but I don’t and so I’m quitting. All of it. I’ve been writing and ranting and politicking by way of apology to my grandchildren. Over my strenuous objections–the last of which have now finally been uttered–we’ll be leaving their generation a degraded earth and a corrupt and bankrupt USA. I’m betting that I’ve finally accumulated sufficient dissenting opinion to spur somebody to say, on Grave Defilement Day 2060, “Don’t water Grandpa. He tried.”