Julian Heicklen’s 2010-05-14 Progress Report
FIJA DISTRIBUTIONS MAY 10–14, 2010
1. FIJA Demonstration in Trenton, NJ, 5/10/10
Jim Babb, George Donnelly, and I arrived at the U. S. District Courthouse at 402 E. State Street in Trenton, NJ, at 11:40 am on Monday, May 10, 2010. It was a sunny, but chilly and mildly windy day. We started to pass out the American Jury Institute pamphlet entitled “A Primer for Prospective Jurors” and supporting literature. At 11:50 am, a federal marshal approached us and asked for our names and what the pamphlets said. We refused to identify ourselves or answer questions. The marshal became unruly. George took his picture, and he left.
A few minutes later four federal marshals appeared and wanted to know our identities. We refused, but I insisted that they identify themselves as required by law. One marshal gave us his name (Soferet) and number (16). The other marshals refused to identify themselves. They left, but returned at 1:05 and took pictures of each of us. Then they left. We did not receive citations.
They did not return. We continued to pass out 200 pamphlets on both city and federal property. We were not bothered again by the marshals or any other law enforcement personnel. We left at 1:05 pm, because we had distributed all of our pamphlets.
2. FIJA Demonstration in Reading, PA, 5/11/10
I arrived at the U. S. District Courthouse, which was situated in the Madison Building, at 400 Washington Street in Reading, PA, at 8:11 am on Tuesday, May 11, 2010. It was a cool and overcast day. No law enforcement personnel appeared. There was very little pedestrian traffic. I passed out 5 pamphlets and left after 25 minutes.
3. FIJA Demonstration in Allentown, PA, 5/11/10
I arrived at the U. S. District Courthouse at 504 West Hamilton Street in Allentown, PA, at 11:40 am onTuesday, May 11, 2010. It was a cool and overcast day. I started to pass out the American Jury Institute pamphlet entitled “A Primer for Prospective Jurors.” I was joined at 11:50 am by Jim Babb, who passed out flyers, and George Donnelly, who took pictures.
At 12:10 pm, six federal marshals approached us in a confrontational manner and said we could not pass out literature nor take pictures. They stood right in front of each of us, no more than 6 inches away, so that we could not communicate with passersby. These were 6 of the most obnoxious people I have ever met.
We asked the marshals to identify themselves, but they refused. We would not identify ourselves.
George attempted to take a picture, but they seized George’s camera. He attempted to retrieve it, but they they threw George to the ground. Then they decided to arrest him for assault. They were joined by a 7th marshal.
The 7 marshals handcuffed George and led him into the courthouse. During the tussle with George which occurred at about 12:20 pm , Jim called the city police and reported an assault by the marshals on a pedestrian. Then the marshals turned on Jim and me and said that we could not distribute literature without a permit. I replied that I had a permit and showed them my pocket U. S. Constitution. They said that was not satisfactory.
About 6 city police officers appeared after George was already in the courthouse. They said that they had no jurisdiction on federal property and left. Jim and I tried to enter the courthouse at 12:35 pm to assist our friend, but we were refused entry by the federal marshals. We were told to wait outside, and that someone would come out and tell us George’s status.
I waited outside while Jim went to the sheriff’s office across the street in the county courthouse. The sheriff’s office refused to intervene, even though a sheriff does have jurisdiction anywhere in the county.
At 1:20 pm, a marshall came outside and told me that George would not see a magistrate until tomorrow and would be held overnight. Jim and I left the area at this time.
George was held in prison for two days, one of which was in solitary confinement. The magistrate released him under $50,000 bail. Since he could not raise this money, they said George could be held under house arrest, if he would deposit his guns and passport with the court, which Jim did for him. George was released with a electronic bracelet and is not allowed to leave his home.
This is the punishment you get before the trial for a crime in which you were the victim, not the perpetrator. My friends, this the real America. Is this the country you want?
4. FIJA Demonstration in Johnstown, PA, 5/12/10
I arrived at the federal building, which houses the U. S. District Court, at 319 Washington Street in Johnstown, PA, at 8:12 am on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. The weather was overcast and gloomy. There was little pedestrian traffic. I passed out a few pamphlets. At 8:27 am a guard came out and took a pamphlet. He asked who I represented. I told him “The American Jury Institute.” He asked me not to stand in front of the doorway and then left.
At 9:00 am, I talked to a man serving on the grand jury. He serves one day a month for 2 years. He works an average of 6 hours a day plus travel time and receives payment of $40/day plus travel expenses. The federal minimum wage is $6.55/hour. Since the juror has to commit the whole day to jury duty, he should be getting 8 hours pay of $52.40 to meet the legal minimum. Apparently the federal government does not feel obliged to obey the laws with its own employees. This is the real America. Is this the country you want?
5. FIJA Demonstration in Pittsburgh, PA, 5/12/10
I arrived at the U. S. District Courthouse and Post Office at 700 Grant Street in Pittsburgh, PA, at 11:40 am. It was an overcast and gloomy day. It had rained heavily the night before.
Almost immediately two federal marshals approached me and told me to move across the street. I refused. They accused me of provoking an argument. I responded that they approached me and that they provoked the argument. They left.
Shortly thereafter, Dan Sullivan (whom I knew), with his camera, appeared and found me distributing pamphlets. At 12:05, the two marshals appeared with two officers from the Federal Protection Service. The two officers informed all of us that we could distribute literature in front of the courthouse as long as we did not block pedestrian traffic. They also told us that we could take pictures of each other and the building, but not of the security devices.
I told the officers that they were the first law enforcement officer that I had met that explained the law correctly, and I thanked them for doing the right thing. Then they and the marshals left, and did not appear again.
After they left, Drew Freeman appeared and helped Dan and me distribute pamphlets. At 12:10 pm, Dan took a picture of me holding the JURY INFO sign in front of the plaque of the Bill of rights attached on the Courthouse wall.
At 12:45 pm a lawyer approached us and said that there was no such thing as jury nullification. I mentioned several supreme Court justices who said that it was legal and appropriate. He did not believe me, so I referred him to my web page at http://www.personal.psu.edu/jph13/JuryNullification.html.
We quit at 12:52 pm, because we ran out of pamphlets. We had distributed about 70 pamphlets.
6. FIJA Demonstration in Harrisburg, PA, 5/13/10
I arrived at the U. S. courthouse at 228 Walnut Street in Harrisburg, PA, at 11:35 am on Thursday, May 13, 2010. It was a cool and overcast day.I was joined by Barry Dively at 11:43 am.
Before we even starting passing out literature, a man approached me and asked if I was Julian Heicklen. I answered yes and asked if he was a federal marshal. He said yes. I asked him to identify himself. He showed me his papers and gave his name as Fedeka. This is the first time at any of these events that a federal officer identified himself properly. He asked me how many people would be joining me. I said that I did not know. He asked how long I would be there. I said until 1:15 pm. He informed me that we could distribute literature if we did not block traffic. He even offered that there was another entrance at the rear of the building.
I informed him that he was the first federal marshal that had properly identified himself. I thanked him for performing his duties properly. I also stated that as a citizen I appreciated that he came out promptly and did not wait until I blew up the building before doing something. I commended him on his behavior and stated that he should be instructing the other federal marshals on how to behave.
There was not much pedestrian traffic if front of the courthouse. Barry took some pictures of me and offered to organize Harrisburg to distribute FIJA literature in front of the county courthouse. He left at 12:25 pm. I passed out about 40 pamphlets and left at 1:10 pm.
7. FIJA Distribution in Philadelphia, PA, 5/14/10
I arrived at the U. S. District Courthouse at 601 Market Street in Philadelphia, PA, at 7:48 am on Friday, May 14, 2010. The weather was cold, windy, and overcast. Within two minutes a police car arrived and parked in front of me. Two Federal Protection Police officers disembarked and stood by the car for the whole time that I was there. They were soon joined by two other officers. They recognized me from an earlier appearance and welcomed me back to exercise my First Amendment rights. They asked how long I would be there and I told them until 9:30 am. They were very friendly during our whole stay.
From about 8:08 to 8:27 am 4 young adults, whom I did not know, approached me and joined me in distributing pamphlets both in front of the Courthouse and in the courtyard starting at 8:19 am. At about 8:30 am, Michael Salvi, Jim Babb, and Jim Allen showed up to help distribute literature and photograph the event. No federal marshal ever appeared, though there may have been one in the courtyard far from us.
At 8:55 am a pedestrian approached me and asked for a pamphlet. he said that he was strong supporter of Jury nullification.
We distributed 225 pamphlets and left at 9:30 am. Then I had a video interview with Jim Allen, who has a TV segment on a news program, and left for Wilmington, DE.
8. FIJA Demonstration in Wilmington, DE, 5/14/10
I arrived at the U. S. District Courthouse at 844 King Street in Wilmington, DE, at 11:45 am on Friday, May 14, 2010. The weather was warm and sunny. There were three federal officers standing in front of the courthouse. I stood directly in front of them about 20 feet closer to the street.
At about 12:34 pm one officer approached me and asked for a flyer, which I gladly gave him. He then returned to the other officers. That was the only time that I was approached by the officers. There was not much pedestrian traffic, but I distributed about 40 pamphlets before I left at 1:05 pm.