Archive for February 4, 2009

First U.S. Case of Civil Disobedience

February 4, 2009 Comments off : First Open Civil Disobedience by Sex Offender.

A petitioner to a Georgia court, broke, evicted from his home, shamed and dispossessed, is taking a stand and challenging the draconian American Sex Offender residency laws. On his first attempt on Wednesday January 21 2009, his case was accepted by the court for filing.

The purpose of the case is to challenge amended provisions of Georgia’s ‘sex offender statutes’ relating to internet identifiers (e-mail addresses, passwords, etc.). Due to the fact that he has petitioned the court to proceed under pseudonym, neither the case docket number, nor the style (name) of the case can be published for now. The reason why he has requested anonymity in regard to this case is that publication of his name with regard to this case would destroy the very anonymity and privacy he is trying to get the court to protect. Hence, publication of his name with specific regard to this case would undermine his very argument itself.

However, a very important development to report is that the judge and the officials he dealt with treated him with courtesy and care and the judge in particular was very attentive to his application. This is the first good news from America concerning the draconian Sex Offender legislation.

Remember as you read he is doing everything himself – some feat for a homeless man.

The original story

On January 2 2009, Petitioner (surname now removed as case is proceeding), a registered sex offender in Georgia USA decided that he would take a stand and resist the current legislation which has driven him and thousands of others into internal exile.

Petitioner was already evicted from his home and facing shaming, shunning and further displacement from the draconian residency restrictions being placed on Americans who are on the sex offenders register. The event which triggered his decision to resist the law in an act of civil disobedience was when it was broadcast that Georgia had now joined the State of Utah in requiring all registered sex offenders to tender their internet and email user names and passwords to their local Sheriffs Departments. The penalty for this new law, which went into effect in Georgia on 1st January, 2009, is a felony, which means landing all those on the SOR who do not comply back in prison.

Let us be clear about this. this Georgia petitioner is the first American to take a stand and say that he will no longer comply with the sex offender residency restriction laws. If you are in a position to influence the situation he now places himself and thousands of other Americans in, your life may be defined by what you now do or do not do. You can condemn him (and you will not be alone in that cowardly act), you can ignore him (as millions of Germans ignored the ever advancing fascism of the 1930s), or you can stand beside or behind him and support him, and have your life defined as one of value to humanity.

This is what he wrote to Inquisition21 on the day he made his decision:

“The thought that has been repeatedly running through my mind these last two days has been in the form of the famous quote from Patrick Henry:

’Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?’

“I, for one, would rather fight this in court (even if it means temporarily giving up my physical freedom) in order that I not live the rest of my entire life as a slave and in chains, deprived by the state of all my freedoms. I cannot of course speak for everyone – only for myself – but, for me, the time has come to stand up and make a bold statement, and truly fight this battle once and for all. I think we are now at the point where public opinion (on average) is favourable enough for reform of these laws, so that it will not take much to tip public opinion in our favour. (Minus, of course, the opinions of those hate-filled, emotion-led fear-mongers whose opinions will probably never be changed.)