Curly tales of the city


Jun 7, 2001 at 2:06 pm

No Talking, No Laughing
The name on the badge of the police officer who threatened to arrest an Independent Media Center (IMC) reporter June 2 — for taking notes while walking in Mount Adams — was T. Bley. The IMC journalist was beating a path down St. Gregory Street on command from a squad of police officers determined to break up a group of people protesting police brutality.

"Keep moving," Bley said. "If you stop, you're going to get arrested."

"I'm moving," the IMC reporter said.

"No, you're not," Bley said. "You're writing."

Cincinnati Police Division after-action reports often take a long time to complete, so we might not know for many months whether the Indy Media Center reporter was using a high-caliber pen at the time of the offense.

We can state with authority, however, that Cincinnati Police officers do not like to answer questions. Asking questions got at least one protester arrested in Mount Adams (see "¡Viva Cincinnatistas!," page 13).

The female cops can be just as snotty as their male counterparts. After the arrests started, a bystander asked a female officer, "Why don't you answer their questions?" She didn't answer.

Wouldn't the late Buddy Gray be all puffed up with pride at the political goings-on at the Drop Inn Center he founded? Last week the center gave cover to the anti-authoritarian bloc as it met to plot the overthrow of Mount Adams.

Before anyone goes too far promoting 14-year-old Derrick Blasingame as a poster-boy for some vanilla version of racial harmony, pay attention to what he told the crowd on Fountain Square. Yes, he invokes God a lot — but it's the rest of his message that some might find disquieting.

"We were not rioting," Blasingame said. "We were rebelling."

As the March for Justice ended, a young girl walking past Cincinnati Police District 1 stopped, crouched and wrote this message in chalk on the sidewalk in front of police headquarters: "Protect and serve?"

Focus on the Fanatics
Your born-again types aren't always so friendly either. Is it ignorance or deliberate meanness that made them schedule an anti-gay workshop during Pride Month?

Presented by the anti-gay group Focus on the Family, the conference this Saturday at a church — no, we're not going to tell you where or when — has the theme "Homosexuality Is Curable and Treatable." So-called "reparative therapy" is a technique that supposedly turns gays and lesbians upside down and inside out, making the naughty bits all line up just so and saving their souls from eternal damnation to boot.

Focus on the Family has chosen the same day as the 2001 Gay Pride Interfaith Spiritual Service and the day before the 2001 GLBT Pride Parade as the date for its conference. Stonewall Cincinnati will team up with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in a demonstration at the workshop.

If you want to join the demonstration, call 513-651-2500 or e-mail dtcswc@

Yes, that was former Judge Leslie Isaiah Gaines on Fountain Square when radio station WLW (700 AM) was criticized for referring to civil-rights protests as "minutiae." Gaines — an African American and a former talk-show host for the station — didn't want to comment.

The Role of License Plates in Rebellion
What tricky fellows officers of the law are. When the anti-authoritarian bloc met at Seasongood Pavilion on June 2, a police officer strolled through the parking lot, recording all of the license-plate numbers. A CityBeat photographer caught him.

Oh, and the off-duty officer who parked within spitting distance of the protesters' Justice Center encampment late on June 2, just watching with his parking lights on — yeah, you were noticed. So was your cute vanity license plate, with the reference to police dogs. Sorry, but if you were there to intimidate the young radicals, it didn't work. No justice, no fleas!

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