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US Rep Allen says OK to protest - as long as it's in private

Attention local peace activists:

We think it is perfectly safe to attend the "virtual rally" US Representative Tom Allen is hosting tomorrow against the Iraq war. I know, I know - you wouldn't really think so, given Allen's general practice of having protestors arrested.

But we here at the Portland Phoenix have a sneaking suspicion that people who attend the rally will not be arrested (at least not at Allen's request). You can mark the fifth anniversary of the Congressional vote to authorize using force in Iraq with Tom, without fear.

And even though the rally starts at 5 pm, those who stay past regular working hours will not be arrested, either, we think.

Nor will people who continue protesting after the rally's scheduled end time, of 5 pm on Friday, October 12.

Well, not unless you're at Allen's congressional offices, in which case you're on your own and should write the phone number of a good lawyer on your arm with a Sharpie.

We feel especially certain about giving you these pieces of information because the rally is, as noted earlier, virtual - that is, online. So you will not actually be protesting in a public place at all - rather, you can protest from your couch, or futon, or your front porch.

So, if you want to register your protest against the Iraq war in an online forum only viewable to people who go looking for it, visit www.tomallen.org/rally. If you want to tell the world that you oppose the war, go stand outside somewhere.

But protesting online is much better, in the eyes of the man who wants your vote for Senate. And it's better for you, too. Because as we all know, if you protested in a public place, he'd have you arrested.

PS - This isn't legal advice, so if you get arrested, don't look at us. But do look at Tom Allen - he has ordered the arrest of dozens of his constituents just this year!

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