Monday, June 11, 2007

Kutztown University Cracks Down on Robot Supporters

Brian
A student at Pennsylvania's Kutztown University claims to have been arrested in April by campus police for carrying an "Equal Rights for Robots" sign:
I decided to try to liven the mood after the Life and Liberty Ministries began to upset students. They came on campus with signs that featured aborted fetuses, lists of people who will be going to hell, and catchy phrases such as “JESUS OR HELL”. . . . .

I decided not to simply let them upset people, so I went to the bookstore and purchased a posterboard and sharpie marker and made my own sign. It said “Equal Rights for Robots”, a saying I thought no one would be able to take the wrong way. The protesters had been on campus for about two hours at this time, and the whole time the police were protecting them from the students. . . . .

[W]ithin about two or three minutes a police officer came over to me and told me to come with him. I was dropped off at the police area, searched and taken to the local precinct where I was held for an hour and a half. One of the protesters was held there with me, but I do not know why he was arrested.

I was charged with Disorderly Conduct with intent to “alarm or annoy” and in the citation it says I was “warned repeatedly” to stop. Neither is true, and when I pointed this out to the officer who wrote it out for me he said something along the lines of I don’t care and made a comment along the lines of tell it to the judge. I plead not guilty and face a three hundred dollar fine or up to 90 days in jail if found guilty.

. . . .

[A]ccording to one student who spoke to school officials right after my arrest, the school had me arrested because “We didn’t want any jokers.”
Link (via Rocketboom). This strikes me as a pretty clear case of content-based discrimination. Don't arrest the Jesus-hates-abortions-and-homosexuals protesters, but do arrest the equal-rights-for-robots protester across the way? Clearly the antirobot lobby has gotten to the Kutztown campus police department.

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