Scene 2

(Daylight, Lafayette Park. All previous signs are gone. UJC is lying wrapped in a blanket on the sidewalk beside JONAH and FEY's new 4' x 8' signs:




HESTER stands at UJC's feet, pushing an empty wheelchair full of her bags. JONAH sits beside UJC. FEY is busy painting a new sign under the sycamore tree.)

JONAH: "It seems to me we're in a pretty good position. They've lost or destroyed the camera, destroyed our signs, and violated our constitutional rights. Payne blatantly perjured himself in court, said WE assaulted HIM, but the Grand Jury threw the assault charge right out. Of course, they're feeling pretty smug right now over the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the camping regulations...."

UJC: "Clearly unconstitutional, written by a couple of low-level wage slaves to justify their existence..."

JONAH: "...and just following orders."

UJC: "Two of the Justices agree with us."

HESTER: "Maybe so. But they're just two justices against seven injustices -- and they probably see a gaggle of 'kooks' agreein' with 'em on the sidewalk as doin' 'em more harm than good."

JONAH: "It's all a matter of perspective."

UJC: "I wonder what's cooking now." (Grins.) "I can hardly wait to find out!"

HESTER: "Four days you been lyin' here, and nobody's arrested you. Don't push your luck, or mark my words, somethin' terrible will happen!"

UJC: "I appreciate your concern, Hester. It may be a little hard to understand, but I'm just doing my job."

HESTER: "Yeah? Whadda you get paid for it? A trip to jail?"

UJC: "Maybe. But my biggest payment is self-respect. How's AC?"

HESTER: "He's supposed to come out today. I'm awful glad. Hate to tell him this, but I don't think much of life without AC any more. Most of the time I go with him to the hospital -- he's been in more than he's out this past year -- and I tell you, I hate the hospital. I'm tired. Last night I went down to the grates, it felt strange ... they're covering over the grates with big iron cages. It's not right, not right at all. An' there's some rough types, I almost got raped again, had to come up to the Park. This is the only safe place for a woman to sleep, out here by the signs. AC's a cussed old goat, but he's all I got, an' he appreciates me. Yeah, I'll be glad to see him."

(FEY carries over the new sign, "WELCOME TO PRESIDENT'S PARK, WHERE SLEEP IS CONSIDERED A CRIME," and positions it behind UJC.)

FEY: "There you go, now your physical demonstration is backed up by some explanatory words. Don't want anyone to mistake what you're doing as camping!"

(Enter Officer SPOOFNER.)

UJC: (To JONAH, aside) "Ah, our favorite flunky. Looks like maybe my ship's finally come in. About time." (UJC pretends to be asleep.)

JONAH: "Hello, Officer Spoofner."

SPOOFNER: (Ignores JONAH.) "Wake up." (Uses his night stick to poke UJC, who refuses to open his eyes.) "You're going to have to move, sir. I have my orders. They're not going to allow you to continue your defiance of the regulations. You are CLEARLY lying on BEDDING. I have no choice, if you won't move. One last time, will you cooperate?"

JONAH: "Officer Spoofner -- I trust and hope you have your radio on and this is being recorded in the station? -- it's perfectly obvious that this man is not camping, but is protesting, and that the regulation he is protesting and you're threatening him with is in blatant defiance of his constitutional rights as guaranteed by the First Amendment."

UJC: (Opens one eye.) "That's right. Congress is the only body empowered to pass laws. Congress did NOT pass a law making harmless sleep a crime. It was a pair of lawyers paid by the President. As the Declaration of Independence orders, I MUST as a CITIZEN question the president's police state regulations and must, therefore, do MY job. You DO have a choice, though. You can allow me to continue doing my job unmolested. Or you can follow orders which are unconstitutional. In which case you are in about the same boat morally as the Nuremberg defendants. Who, by the way, were found guilty even though they declared they were 'following orders'."

JONAH: "Which will it be, Spoofner? Suit yourself."

(SPOOFNER pulls the handcuffs and walkie-talkie off his belt, calls for a patrol car, and cuffs UJC.)

SPOOFNER: "You're under arrest for violation of 36 CFR 50.27, 'camping.'"

FEY: "What you're doing is wrong, Officer Spoofner. Are you prepared to face the consequences? Do you understand karma? Do you know the Golden Rule?"

SPOOFNER: "That's enough. Get back or you're under arrest." (Threatens them both.)

JONAH & FEY: "What for?"

SPOOFNER: "Obstruction of justice."

JONAH: "Are you implying that you are justice?"

SPOOFNER: "No. The Supreme Court is justice."

FEY: "Well, dear, congratulations. Have a nice rest in jail. No doubt we'll see you tomorrow."

(UJC walks quietly offstage IN SPOOFNER's grip, hands cuffed behind his back. A car door slams. SPOOFNER comes back and picks up the blanket, stuffs it into a plastic bag marked "EVIDENCE.")

JONAH: "How do you sleep at night, Spoofner?"

(SPOOFNER tries to ignore him, and exits quickly.)

HESTER: (Ominously) "You guys just never learn. Listen to Mother. Go hide away someplace. You're all of you doomed."


Peace Park Page | Proposition One