FIJA REPORT OF DECEMBER 12, 2010

    On Monday through Friday, December 6–10, James Cox and I distributed Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) literature  in five southern Florida cities.  Mostly we distributed the American Jury Institute pamphlet entitled “Your Jury Rights: True or False.”

Monday, December 6, 2010
    James and I appeared at the county courthouse in Orlando at about 9:45 am.  It was a cold and sunny day.  We were joined by other activists who helped distribute literature.  There was heavy pedestrian traffic at the courthouse.  We stopped at 11:00 am for a lunch break, but returned at 12:25 to distribute pamphlets well into the afternoon.

    Altogether 10 other activists joined James and me to pass out literature and take photographs and videos.  There were no confrontational interactions with enforcement personnel. We distributed about 1100 pamphlets.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
    James and I arrived at the federal district courthouse in Tampa at about 11:00 am.  The weather was cool and sunny.  Immediately two federal marshals informed us that we could not photograph a federal courthouse and demanded that we move from the public sidewalk in front of the courthouse.  We refused.  They returned to the courthouse to confer with their superiors, but did not return.

    There was almost no traffic at the federal courthouse, so we went to the nearby county courthouse at 11:16 am.  At about noon we broke for lunch, but returned to the county courthouse at 12:25 pm.  There was heavy pedestrian traffic at the county courthouse, so we distributed literature until 4:00 pm.  Three other activists and a service dog participated in the distributions. There were no confrontational interactions with security personnel.  We distributed about 1000 pamphlets altogether that day, mainly at the county courthouse.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
    James and I arrived at the main federal district courthouse in Miami at 9:08 am.  Again it was cool and sunny.  Immediately guards approached us and wanted to know what I was writing.  I was writing the arrival time.  James was taking pictures.  The guards tried to drive us off the federal property, but we refused to leave.  We insisted that we had the right to be there, so they backed off, but remained near us. 

    There was not much pedestrian traffic at the federal court, so at 10:00 am we went to Miami-Dade College, which was just down the street.  Here there were a lot of students, many of whom were interested.  By 11:00 am, we had distributed about 400 pamphlets, so we went to lunch.  After lunch, we continued to distribute flyers.  During the day two students were particularly interested in our activities, talked to us and were interested in starting some activity with groups of which they were members.

    After lucnch we continued the distribution.  at 1:05 pm, officers P. Djeda and S. D. Ovalee insisted that I leave the the universsity property.  Of course, I would not comply with this and was preparing for an arrest.  However, I did not want my notes, flyers and JURY INFO sign to be seized.  (We still had two more days of planned distributions.)  I called James on my cell phone to come immediately to take my tote bag with my precious goodies. Thepolcie called the Dean of Administration who tole them to drive me off or arrest me  Then James appeared and started arguing with the police officers.  They stated that the Dean of Administration approved of my removal.  James demanded the telephone number of the dean, whom he called.  The Dean was not there, but he talked with the assistant dean, Judy Schmelzer.  After some argument, she agreed thatr we coduld stay and do whatever we wanted.  Jamesd relayed this information to the police who doubete its vsdracity.  they moved off a bit and called the dean’s office and were notified that we could do anything that we wanted.  they returned and told us this and then left us alone.  We had just blown our second chance to be arrested.

    At this time we were joined by Carlos Miller, a prominant activist in the Miami area, who also has a propensity for being arrested.  We continued to distribute literature, while Carlos videotaped us.  After awhile, Carlos wanted to return to the federal courthouse, so we returned.  the federal courthouse in Miami is extensive and includes several buildings.  On the way over, Carlos took pictures and I distributed literature at a distance from each other.  the federal police started bugging both Carlos and me and wanted us to leave federal property.  Finally after more arguments, they reluctantly backed down when James and I were arguing with them and explaining the recent action by the U. S. attorney in the bile case to dismiss charges for photographing on federal property.

    Meanwhile, Carlos had run into the net block onto the main courtyard of the federal district court and was taking close up pictures of the guards.  as they backed away, Carlos would chase them.  they were about to place Carlos under arrest when James appeared and mentioned the bile case where the U. S. attorney had agreed that we could photograph on federal property and had distributed a notice to all federal court just a few weeks earlier.  Then the guards called headquarters.  almost immediately two police cars roared onto the scene and three officers emerged.  the boss officer shooed the court guards away.  He had seen the memo and agreed that we had the right to photograph on federal property.

    That day James and Carlos each had an opportunity to be arrested, and I had two opportunities for an arrest.  All four times, James talked them out of it.  Very disappointing. I guess that I will have to return to Manhattan, NY, to get arrested.

    Wednesday evening, James and I attended a meeting of the Libertarian Party of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale.  Both James and I spoke.  James spoke about our days activity in Miami.  I spoke about the general collapse of our country and my many experiences with the federal police at federal district courthouses. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010
    James and I arrived at the federal district courthouse in Fort Lauderdale at 9:15 am.  It was and overcast and slightly rainy day. We distributed FIJA pamphlets.  We were not hassled by the court guards, unlike my previous visit to this courthouse. 

    At 11:15 am, we went to lunch.  After lunch we went to Florida Atlantic and Broward County colleges to distribute literature to the students.  Then we proceeded to the county courthouse which was extremely busy.  Fortunately two other FIJA activists joined us.  During the day we distributed about 1000 pamphlets before we quit at 2:15 pm, because of the weather.

Friday, December 10, 2010
    James and I arrived at the federal district courthouse at 9:10 am. It was a sunny day.  There was not much traffic.  Officer Martinez tried unsuccessfully to stop James from photographing, but she gave up and left us alone. We left for lunch at 10:43 am.  At 11:05 we started distributing pamphlets at the county court house.  There was not much traffic, and we were tired from the week’s activities, so we quit at 12:34 pm.

Summary
    As of the end of the week, I have distributed FIJA pamphlets at 23 federal district courthouses and 4 county courthouses.  I have been arrested 13 times at 3 of the federal courthouses, but not at all at the other courthouses.  We are making progress, but my batting average is slipping.