"V" Meets The Secret Service
We The People Foundation
2458 Ridge Road
Queensbury, NY 12804
On Monday, November 6, 2006, "V" visited security check points at the White House, the main Treasury, IRS and Justice Department Buildings and the Capitol. "V's" purpose was to deliver the People's Petitions for Redress of Grievances relating to the Government's violations of the war powers, tax, privacy and money clauses of the Constitution, and to inform key Government officials that at least 100 more "Vs" would be at their doorstep on November 14th expecting a response to the Petitions.
At the White House about a dozen Secret Service agents appeared on foot, bicycles and car to meet "V." While virtuously assuring the security of the state, they were curious about the image of "V" and asked many questions. Most, when asked if they had seen the movie "V for Vendetta", smiled their approval.
When an agent asked if "V" would remove his mask for identification purposes, "V" explained that would defeat the very purpose of the mask, which was to give expression to the fact that the nation was becoming a police state, that too many people were becoming afraid to be identified as dissenters or protestors, and that this was not in the long term interest of a free people. The agents accepted the veracity of "V's" message and refrained from veering "V" from his vanguard visit as the vox populi.
Many law enforcement agents dutifully responded to the first impression security concerns caused by "V's" dramatic and startling presence at the seat of governmental power. All but one who confronted "V" were generally pleasant, professional and ultimately respectful of the voraciously valued Rights of peaceful protest, dissent and Petition that "V" was claiming and exercising.
Unfortunately, there was one agent who, either out of vanity, vice, or emotional instability, believed his vows of service and badge would vindicate his use of violence where clearly none was justified.
One Secret Service agent near the White House, even after he and all the other agents had recognized that the toy daggers in "V"'s belt were plastic and part of the costume, and despite the clearly peaceful and non-threatening behavior of "V," the officer forcefully seized the plastic daggers from "V's" belt.
After a bit of mental gymnastics between the agent and "V", amid the growing public spectacle and peer pressure from his fellow officers (who voiced their agreement with "V's" logic and assertion of his Rights), "V" eventually prevailed over the vexed officer and succeeded in securing the return of the toy daggers.
The crowd by the White House gates also included activist Cindy Sheehan and her supporters who were demonstrating nearby and had gathered to observe the incident between "V" and the Secret Service. They let out a cheer as the SS agent stood down and returned the plastic knives.
At "V's" request, a Secret Service agent called up to the White House to ask if someone would come to the gate to accept service of the papers. After 20 minutes or so, word came to the gate house that the papers should be mailed to the President. This was done the next day.
After departing from the White House, "V" walked around the White House compound to the security checkpoint at the Treasury Department. Treasury accepted service of the papers from "V" without incident. Other than the agent at the security check point who instructed "V" to use his phone to call the mail room, the only other person to speak with "V" was Mr. Lynch from the mail room.
The IRS building is apparently still closed due to the flooding experienced last summer. The agents at the security check point informed "V" that the papers would have to be delivered to IRS at 500 North Capitol Street. Rather than do that, the papers were mailed to the IRS Commissioner the next day.
At the Department of Justice several armed agents with "Homeland Security" patches on their arms, as well as DOJ security personnel met "V". They too were very curious. There ensued another prolonged face-to-mask exchange of news, information, affirmations and assurances. Eventually, the officers determined that "V" and the camera person were not violating the DC code dealing with the wearing of masks on the streets of the city, or their refusal to produce identification, and that they were not a security threat. The protective security forces and agents from the DOJ arranged for a Mr. Burroughs to accept service of the Petitions for Redress for the agency.
Note: The most disturbing part of "V's" interaction with the law enforcement authorities at DOJ occurred when the Homeland Security agent in charge asked "V" what was the purpose behind "V's" presence at DOJ. "V" began to explain the First Amendment freedoms and the Right to Petition. Almost immediately the agent said, in effect, "You're pulling my leg. You are trying to pull a fast one. I'm not falling for the garbage. I don't want to hear it." At that point the agent phoned the DC police and learned that "V" was not violating any municipal laws. After asking "V" where he was going next, he told "V" he was free to go.
At the Cannon House Office Building, the agents of the Capitol Police who were manning the security check point told "V" they were instructed not to let him into the building. They said the papers would have to be delivered to a "Pitney Bowes" facility at 119 D Street. The papers were mailed the next day.
At the Hart Senate Office Building, the agents of the Capitol Police said someone from Majority Leader Frist's office would have to come to the security check point to accept service of the papers. "V" was given the phone number of Senator Frist's office. The young man who answered the phone said he was the only person there and could not possibly leave the office. The papers were mailed the next day.
As "V" and the videographer walked from one location to the next, he met and conversed with many people. About half of the people smiled; some said they had seen the movie. About half clearly did not know what to make of "V" and avoided eye contact.
Some people were interested in conversing with "V," including a group of 6-10 college age young people who were waiting in a line to tour the Capitol. During the conversation, "V" said he wanted to quiz them on their knowledge of the Rights covered by the First Amendment. "V" asked if they could name the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Two or three immediately said "Speech." After a moment or two one said, "Worship God." "V" restated that freedom for the young man. Then another said "Guns." "V" corrected him.
That was as far as the young people could go in answering the question. "V" then engaged the young people in a discussion of all five of the freedoms and the four outstanding Petitions for Redress. The young people stayed with the conversation, expressing an interest in learning more, until they had to move along in the line.
All in all, Monday's "dry run" was beneficial. All local and federal law enforcement agencies in DC have now been introduced to "V." They now know that on November 14th there will be more than 100 "Vs" rallying at Lafayette Park and the Reflecting Pool and marching from one rally to the other along the streets of DC, stopping at various federal buildings to await a response to certain Petitions for Redress.
All local and federal law enforcement agencies in DC now know the purpose of these events is to show peaceful support for the First Amendment Right to Petition Government for Redress of Grievances and to give expression to the fact that too many Americans are beginning to fear the Government and that that is unhealthy to the longevity of a free people and our Republic.
All participants are asked to arrive at Lafayette Park between 11 and 11:30 am on the 14th. The event starts at NOON. The group will wait up to 1 hour for a representative of President Bush to appear and to tell the group when they might expect to receive a response to the Petitions for Redress of Grievances.
If no such representative appears, the participants will move to the front entrance of the Treasury Department where they will wait up to ½ hour for a representative of Secretary Paulson to appear. If no such representative appears, the group will move to the Justice Department where they will wait up to ½ hour for a representative of Attorney General Gonzales to appear. If no such representative appears, the group will move to the Reflecting Pool by the Capitol where they will wait up to 1 hour for a representative of Speaker Hastert or Majority Leader Frist to appear..
We have reserved 8 rooms for 16 people at an Extended Stay Inn for the night of November 13, 2006. The Inn is located at 205 North Breckinridge Place, Alexandria, VA 22312. The cost is $50 per person per night, double occupancy, i.e., $100 per room per night. The WTP team will be staying at the Inn.
Please send an email to [email protected] if you want to reserve one of the rooms.