This citation was given to health care activist AJ Marin for engaging in an action that according to police served no legitimate purpose in that he wrote a derogatory remark about the governor on the sidewalk. Now if that had went down the way the officer tells it, I may not have that much sympathy for AJ Marin, but here’s what Marin wrote on the sidewalk – in chalk, mind you – that the police officer felt was so derogatory regarding the governor that Marin deserved to be arrested. The message AJ Marin was arrested for writing in chalk on the sidewalk outside the governor’s mansion was “Corbett has health care, we should too.”
Where is the derogatory statement there? Is it derogatory for someone to note that the governor has health care? That is a logical stretch of absurd proportions. And as bad as it is to arrest someone for writing that in chalk on the sidewalk, the officer compounds his or her own idiocy by describing the action as having no legitimate purpose. Has this police officer never read the Constitution of the United States? The human rights protected in the very first of the ten amendments that make up the Bill of Rights include the freedom of speech and the right of the people peaceably to assemble.
AJ Marin was simply engaging in this most sacred tradition in our country, which was largely honed and defined right here in Pennsylvania, to make his voice heard on an issue important to him and peacefully protest what he feels his government is doing wrong. No legitimate purpose? This kind of action is the very definition of having legitimate purpose in accordance with the human rights our government has historically guaranteed. I think this police officer, who we can probably assume has a pretty nice health care plan courtesy of Pennsylvania tax-payers like the governor, could use a little more brains and a lot more empathy.