On Saturday, March 22, 2008, at a pro-troop rally in West Chester Pennsylvania, a member Chester County Peace Movement (CCPM) was arrested after slapping a Citizen Journalist twice in the face.
This information came to me via email, from Melanie Morgan, who is the chairman of Move America Forward, which is one of the biggest pro-troop organizations in the US, and who forwarded me (with permission) a set of emails between her and the Citizen Journalist that was slapped at the rally in West Chester, PA.
The name in the email will be redacted and be replaced with her online blogging name of "Skye" for privacy purposes.
Citizen Journalism has much in common with the main stream media, CJ's now actively report news, especially local news where they can physically go bear witness to events to write about them, they take photos and video and they provide reportage of situations as they transpire.
Skye was doing exactly that on Saturday at a pro-troop rally in West Chester.
(Pro-Troop rally held in West Chester, PA.--Photo courtesy of Skye)
A little after noon, Skye was video taping and exchange between the rally members and members of the Chester County Peace Movement (CCPM), when a member of the peace group approached her and slapped her in the face, twice.
The police were called and arrived within 5 minutes and announced to the crowd that they were conducting an investigation. Witnesses pointed out the man that had slapped the Citizen Journalist and when the police told him to come forward, the man became belligerent and uncooperative and refused.
The police approached him and the man, then, physically pushed the officer which resulted in the officer's partner tackling him to the ground to be handcuffed, where the man continue to struggle. Members of CCPM surrounded the police officers while this was happening.
(Peace protester being handcuffed after shoving and officer during the investigation- Photo courtesy of Skye)
Skye's reaction is stated in one of the original emails, where she says, "I've prided myself in my professional conduct at this rally and to be struck twice by a 'peace' protester who has been present since the time I began covering this rally is truly disturbing."
Skye also runs a blog called MidnightBlue, where she says, "Snarky retorts, name calling and mis characterizations by the CCPM are common place events in my 7 month documentary of this rally. Yesterday crossed the line, when I was struck twice by a peace protester. I can deal with all the above, but will NOT tolerate any form of violence against my person. I am consulting legal advice on this matter."
Saturday was not the only incident during the Easter holiday weekend, six protesters from a group called Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War were also arrested on Easter day, in a Chicago church after standing up and screaming about Iraq while squirting fake blood all over themselves and other parishioners until security guards and ushers removed them, then the police arrested them.
They were taken away while the crowd in the churched booed them, some following, one of which was a Mass attendee, Mike Wainscott of Chicago, who yelled at the anti-war protesters, "Are you happy with yourselves. There were kids in there. You scared little kids with your selfish act. Are you happy now?"
Video of that arrest can be found here.
[Update] Emails are still coming in, video expected soon but here is a picture of the man that hit Skye.
(Man known as John M., member of CCPM that struck Skye, the Citizen Journalist- Photo courtesy of Skye and Melanie Morgan)