September 19, 1984
I'd like to tell the story of a man named Cass
(Cassimer Urban Junior) (UJC)
who dared to speak out about The System.
Because he lay on a blanket in front of a sign
"Welcome to Reaganville 1984
where sleep is considered a crime."
He was arrested as a criminal
Denied his rights
Shot full of chemicals
And stuck in the criminal ward
Of notorious "Saint Elizabeth's John Howard Pavilion
For the criminally insane."
Ain't it a shame.
Too bad nobody does nothin' to rectify the situation.
Unlike his counterpart, Andre Sakharov,
Nobody pays attention to his plight.
But this is AMERICA! He MUST be insane
To tell us we're losing our Constitutional Rights.
Brought before the magistrate (Dwyer is her name),
Told he couldn't speak for himself, lest he have a "fool for a client.."
Interviewed for three or four minutes by court-appointed
fool for an attorney
Cass was shuffled gently into a straitjacket of collusion
because of his illusion
that self-defense was his right.
"Thirty days observation," and he has observed
desperation banging heads against walls,
judiciary steppingstones of silence.
He files motions no one ever sees,
speaks words of protest no one ever hears:
"I wish to vacate my lawyer, I give in, I concede you have the power,
please appoint another."
The marshals step close.
"I'm being medicated against my will and against court order."
A gloved hand touches his shoulder.
"I'm being denied my constitutional rights!!"
"That's enough, Mr. Urban. I'm talking to your counsel."
Cass bows his head, silent.
A brilliant mathematician, like Mozart gifted young,
he claims he knows the unified field theory.
Cast out of The System because he refused
to program or sanction its Bomb,
cast out of his home in winter Iowa,
all his belongings impounded,
he walked across a continent and sat himself down
right in front of the White House
His forum to attract attention
running for presidential selection
was greeted with ridicule
because he hadn't
White House Antinuclear Vigil
P.O. Box 27217, Washington, D.C. 20038
(202) 462-0757 or 462-3542
December 19, 1984
CASIMER URBAN JUNIOR FACT SHEET:
In the winter of 1984 Casimer Urban Junior (Cass or U.J.C.) lost his job as a mathematician for protesting when he learned he had been creating computer programs for nuclear weapons. He was evicted from his apartment, boycotted by all businesses in town except a fast food chain, and had his possessions impounded. He walked from Iowa to Washington, D.C. to sit on the sidewalk in front of the White House to communicate his message that our constitutional rights are being taken away. As a vehicle for this message he chose to run for president, claiming that he deserved equal media coverage because he had fulfilled all of the requirements to run for president mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Age 35 and a United States-born citizen.
No one paid attention. No one listened to his platform, examined the validity of his ideas. He was labeled a crackpot. To top it all off he claimed he understood the unified field theory, which even Einstein hadn't exposed. He petitioned the Supreme Court for a hearing on the constitutionality of being fired for his moral beliefs and evicted in the middle of winter because he had been blacklisted. The Supreme Court rejected his petitions.
After observing the repeated arrests for "camping" of antinuclear vigilers who had been demonstrating continuously for three years, Cass decided that the way to get his case heard by the Supreme Court was to get arrested for "camping" himself. Having since March scrupulously avoided any appearance of camping, on July 14 he decided to perform an act of civil disobedience in protest against the Supreme Court CCNV decision which had found that homeless sleeping in tents in Lafayette Park as a demonstration for the homeless could be construed as camping. Cass lay for four days on a blanket on the sidewalk in front of a sign which read "Welcome to Reaganville 1984, where sleep is considered a crime." On July 17, 1984 he was finally arrested.
Brought before Magistrate Jean Dwyer' Cass requested self-representation. M. Dwyer said he would "have a fool for a cilent," and ordered Charles Chisholm to be his attorney. After a three or four minute conversation M. Chisholm suggested to M. Dwyer that Cass undergo, psychiatric examination "because he disagrees with everything having to do with The System -- which will just make his life miserable." (Undoubtedly a paternalistic concern for the misguided guided M. Chisholm's actions, but in the process of playing god he seems to have taken Cass's human and constitutional rights to speak away.)
Having been charged with the "crime" of "camping," Cass was put into St. Elizabeth's Hospital John Howard Pavilion for the criminally insane for 30 days' evaluation. On August 22 he appeared again before Magistrate Dwyer. During the interim between July 17 and August 22, Cass had continued to quietly assert that the "authorities" had no authority to keep him in a mental institution' that he had a right to be heard by the Supreme Court, that he should not and refused to be medicated against his will, that he had the right to represent himself, and that he did not want M. Chisholm serving as his attorney. The psychiatrists found that Cass therefore was uncooperative, paranoid schizophrenic, and incompetent to stand trial. A temporary order-against medications without his written consent; reevaluation' and removal to a Federal Court Judge for hearing on the charges-was signed by M. Dwyer as a result of the August 22 hearing and verbal order. Nevertheless, on August 27 Cass was held down by four "orderlies" and injected with heavy tranqulilzers against his will. When he produced a copy of M. Dwyer's order they desisted.
On September 4, 1984, Cass was brought before Judge Norma Johnson of the U.S. District Court. M. Chisholm was over two hours late for the hearing. Several of Cass's fellow demonstrators for peace were present: Ellen and William Thomas, Dana Hay, Paul Spratlin, Robert Dorrough, Winnie Gallant. Three times Cuss tried to speak during the proceedings, first to say "I want to vacate my attorney and request a new attorney," then to say "I'm being medicated against my will," and "My constitutional rights are being violated." Each time he was shushed by the judge and threatened or touched by the marshals. J. Johnson chatted with M. Chisholm about the impossibility of arraignment until Cass's competency to stand trial had been determined and a competency hearing was set for September 10 for further testimony by the psychiatrist! Ellen Thomas stood up and said, "Your Honor, what about the defendent, what about his friends and coworkers who know him well, will we be allowed to testify as to his competency?" She was removed from the courtroom forcibly by the marshals, handcuffed and roughly held until determination could be made as to her fate. She was escorted from the building.
On September 10 Ellen Thomas was physically carried out of the U.S. District Court Building by U.S. marshals and driven from its vicinity by metropolitan police and not allowed to attend the competency hearing. Again Cass was not allowed to speak or to call any witnesses of his own. He had the previous week filed a motion with J. Johnson to vacate his attorney and substitute Nina Kraut, who had agreed to represent him if the court appointed her. The motion was never mentioned. M. Chiisholm had been handed a copy of a letter to J. Johnson informing her of that motion. He never raised the question.
At the competency hearing on September 10 Doctor Robert K. Madsen Clinical Psychologist for St. Elizabeth's Hospital testified that Cass was in kits opinion incompetent to stand trial because he lacked a factual understanding of the proceedings pending against him and was unable to consult with his counsel in a reasonable manner. (M. Chisholm had not been responding to Cass's calls or letters.) D. Madsen also said that Cass's behavior for which he was arrested (performing an act of civil disobedience) was the result of his mental disorder, that he was suffering the delusion that he understood the unified field theory (which didn't make sense to D. Madsen, who of course is not a mathematician but a clinical psychologist), and that since Cass "wouldn't cooperate" the only treatment that would have any effect would be chemical therapy.
Cass was committed to St. Elizabeth's indefinitely, denied the right to speedy trial, denied the right to self-representation, and at a hearing several days later, forced to be injected with Prolixin, a powerful mind-altering chemical.
Cass's friends have contacted dozens of attorneys. Nina Kraut says she'll take it if she's paid. The ACLU doesn't think it can win the case and is afraid of getting burned again after CCNV. The rest have been less honest, simply said they "don't have the time." His friends can't afford to pay an attorney or an outside psychiatrist. His "attorney" seems bent on saving his own skin against massive lawsuit. Cass is being lost in the cracks of the judicial system.
If you can help, or know someone who can, please contact
WHITE HOUSE ANTINUCLEAR VIGIL, P.O. Box 27217, Washington DC 20038 (202) 462-3542 or (202) 462-0757.