Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Men Buy Shirts in Mall

Wear them. And get arrested for it.

ALBANY, N.Y., March 4 - An Selkirk man says he was arrested Monday for expressing his objection to possible war with Iraq at Crossgates Mall. He says all he did was wear a T-shirt bearing a message of peace, which he actually purchased in the mall.

STEPHEN DOWNS AND his son, Roger, Downs, each had a pro-peace shirt made Monday night. One shirt simply said "Let Inspections Work" on one side and "No War With Iraq" on the other. The other shirt said "Give Peace A Chance" on the front and "Peace On Earth" on the back. The men each paid $23 for their shirts and then wore them in the mall.

"We were just shopping. We were wearing these T-shirts. We weren't handing out leaflets, we weren't saying anything," Roger Downs recalled.
They may not have been saying anything, but they were creating enough of a disturbance to one employee, who called security.

Security asked Downs and his son to remove their shirts. Roger Downs complied, but when Stephen Downs wouldn't, he told to leave the mall. When he refused, he was arrested.