CNN covers this week's Yes Men Survivaball protest, "Balls Across America," during which Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum was arrested. But fret not: In a press release on Thursday he said he was released after 26 hours.
"The judge just laughed," said Bichlbaum. "The police had a less well-developed sense of humor - and, it turned out, much less regard for the law. But all in all, I'm ecstatic that they arrested me."
The event, coinciding with a UN meeting on climate change, was a "scenic and mediagenic way to call attention to what our leaders need to do in the run-up to Copenhagen," said Bichlbaum. (Learn more at BeyondTalk.net.)
But that's not the end of it. Bichlbaum says the arresting officer last Tuesday lied, saying that he tried to jump a fence and escape, something his lawyer says is impossible since "the police arrived after the Survivaballs had all entered the beach." The cop also said the beach was clearly marked as not public, which Bichlbaum denies. He'll file a complaint against the officer with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
"My case doesn't matter in itself," said Bichlbaum. "In fact, I'm really happy it turned out as it did. But I hope we can help expose the systemic and nefarious culture of lying within the NYPD, that has had the effect of criminalizing protest in New York City."
"The police have to be told very clearly that they can't lie and expect to get away with it," Bichlbaum added. "The stakes are far too high."
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