T.G.I.F. 9 April 99

Around noon i arrived at the signs for another wonderful day in the park.. The park was busy with the lunch crowd, the spring influx of student groups and the ever diligent catholic workers doing their weekly vigil on the White House sidewalk. About 12:45 pm while giving Concepcion a break the police were checking out a small back-pack that had been abandoned or forgotten in the grassy area directly behind the signs. After checking it out a decision to clear the park was made, while waiting for reinforcements Secret Service officer Dillon was standing near me watching the bag, i presume.

All of a sudden a young child walking with his mom ran over to the bag and started to grab it and shake it before she was able to stop him. The youngster was quickly collected by mom and they proceeded on their way. i then asked officer Dillon why, if they are preparing to close the park, he allowed the child to approach and grab the bag. Officer Dillon then asked me (with attitude) if i was trying to tell him how to do his job. When I replied that i wasn't, he then said that i should do my job and he would do his. He then told me to stay close to the signs and i informed him that i was well within the 3ft limit. Shortly thereafter another officer told me i had to cross the street and by 1pm the entire park had been secured.

Everybody was routed around the park while special x-ray equipment was brought in to check the bag. After it was determined that the back-pack was just a back-pack the park was reopened and we were back to business as usual. The whole operation took a little over an hour and a half. Just remember if you see a bright flash of light out of your window, Duck and Cover.

The fear displayed in the officers in the performance of their duties is i think somewhat relevant to the absurdity of the leadership they and most of the rest of the world are used to. The manipulation of power is an illusion of the human fantasy. All the attempts of suppression of the human spirit have eventually been overcome, our situation today is no different. Enforcement of petty rules, harassment of vulnerable individuals and insufferable arrogance cannot be tolerated from those whose primary function is to protect and serve. To someone who witnesses' this bullying on a daily basis it's real hard in these days of hi-tech realism to think that we have not evolved very far from our knuckle-dragging predecessors.