TWO PEOPLE ARRESTED DISTRIBUTING DEPLETED URANIUM EDUCATIONAL LEAFLETS AT DAVIS MONTHAN AFB AIR SHOW
As part of the continuing effort to educate Tucson citizens and
military personnel about depleted uranium weapons at Davis Monthan AFB, two
Tucson men were arrested today, March 21, while exercising their First
Amendment rights at the Aerospace and Arizona Days Air show at Davis
Social worker Brad Czerny, 48, and journalist Jack Cohen-Joppa, 41,
were taken into custody Saturday afternoon as they handed out flyers
quoting U.S. government documents and international relief agencies
concerning the health hazards of depleted uranium munitions. The
educational leaflets advocated no political position, and also included
statistical information from international agencies about the effect of
current UN sanctions on the people of Iraq.
Both men were given the opportunity to cease their educational
effort and leave the base voluntarily, and both refused to abandon their
free speech rights while numerous other political and commercial vendors
engaged in political advocacy and commercial solicitations during what was
billed to the public as an "open house" at the Air Force Base.
After being detained for over two hours, the men were cited by
Tucson police for criminal trespass and released at the base gate on a
promise to appear in city court. Arraignment is set for March 31. Czerny
and Cohen-Joppa will plead not guilty, according to their understanding
that a public forum cannot legally permit some political expressions while
prohibiting others on the basis of content. Cohen-Joppa has twice
previously been acquitted of trespass at D-M due to similar circumstances
surrounding his arrest at air shows in 1988 and 1990.
More educational efforts are planned, including a late April speech
in Tucson by Dan Fahey, author of a recently released study on depleted
uranium weapons and their effect on U.S. troops serving in Desert Storm.
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