A look at how one delegate went to the Fleet Center to attend the last night of the convention and ended up in jail after being denied entry. [includes rush transcript]
Democracy Now! was inside the FleetCenter to cover Kerry’s speech but the halls of the convention filled up quickly and security personel shut off access to the floor a full three hours before Kerry’s address. Fire marshalls and police special forces barred spectators, journalists and even elected delegates with the proper passes from getting up the escalators to get to the convention floor. Police forces then formed a line and forced people out of the building and onto the street. One delegate from Oklahoma standing at the foot of the escalator quietly refused to leave.
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: I’m a delegate from the state of Oklahoma and I have a rightful seat up there. Trust me. I’ll go to jail.
AMY GOODMAN: One officer told the delegate he would, quote, deal with him and forced everyone outside the building. Minutes later, several police officers forced the elected Oklahoma delegate to the ground face down, handcuffed him behind his back. We caught up with him as he was being taken out of the convention center area. A police officer on each arm.
AMY GOODMAN: You said you were a delegate?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: I’m a delegate.
AMY GOODMAN: What’s happening? Are you being arrested?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: I couldn’t get in. They wouldn’t let me in.
AMY GOODMAN: Why not?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: I am being arrested for trying to fulfill my state and i am a delegate.
AMY GOODMAN: Where are you a delegate from?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: I’m a delegate from the state of Oklahoma.
AMY GOODMAN: And were you elected?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: I was elected and I couldn’t go up because there were too many special people, they had special privileges other than I.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean by that?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: Well, guests of congressmen, special VIPs that didn’t have, that weren’t elected. And I couldn’t go up. These guys arrested me for staying there.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think it’s worth being arrested?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: I think it is.
AMY GOODMAN: Why?
OKLAHOMA DELEGATE: It’s too late now. They got cuffs on me and they won’t let me go. So, I’ll do what I got to do. And we will go from there.
AMY GOODMAN: Oklahoma delegate being arrested as he tried to go up the stairs to perform what he said was his elected duty to nominate the president from the Democratic Party, the Democratic presidential candidate. That scene from outside as he was arrested for refusing to leave the FleetCenter when fire marshals cleared the building after they say it got too crowded.