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Vet & Wife Removed from Library for Objecting to Military Recruiters Presence There

Tim and Yvette Coil were at the Stow-Munroe Falls (OH)Public Library a few days ago while Yvette was studying for a test. Tim, a Gulf War vet, now suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, saw two military recruiters and the couple began sending messages on index cards to the person they were trying to recruit. Police were called and the Coils were ejected from the library; he was later arrested for causing a disturbance. More on this story from Infoshop News.

Here's Yvette Coil's version of the events of that day and contact information should you wish to make your opinion known to library personnel.


As we all know the interior of a public library is a limited public forum. As such rules may be set regarding conduct including rules that seemingly curtail First Amendment Rights. While on their face this may not seem to pass muster, however insofar as a public library has a public purpose specific to scholarship, study, reading, and other quiet enjoyment persons may be constrained from disturbing other patrons through their speech or actions. Insofar as the two patrons were warned that they were disturbing other patrons, and continued to do so despite that warning they were properly ejected to enjoin them from further disruption Insofar as they failed to follow a lawful command of the library director, as well as repeated lawful requests of sworn law enforcement officers one of the two was arrested for a public order offense, a time tested method of assuring the peace for the vast majority of the public.

Put less formally, they were being arseholes, they were told to stop, they didn't they got kicked out, they yelled rude things after the cops told them to leave and one went to jail.

He will lose. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no one has the right to force it on others.

Just because one thinks their cause is noble, does not allow them to be complete dickheads.

I posted a dictionary definition and an example. You haven't seen me go to extremes.

I also agree that they will lose.

It's nothing to do with free speech, the reason they got arrested was because he swore. Simple as that.

The rights and wrongs of having military recruiters in the library is another matter entirely. If they had wanted to stand outside the room (or in another adjacent room if there was one)with signs and information they should have been allowed to do that. Maybe someone will think of doing that now?
If they weren't allowed to do that then it becomes a free speech issue.

Mind you another amazing thing is that people are still actually going to sign up in the military these days.

Sure you have: your persistent denial of the facts in the face of anon's common-sense reading of the dictionary terms. Pretending that 2+2 = 5 when it doesn't is extreme.

That is wonderful, you communicated your point using forceful language in both a learned fashion as well as languaged suited to the hoi polloi thus stirring up everyone possible.

You've tangentially linked it to the topic at hand, and presented your own opinion without worrying if others will make disparaging remarks or think less of you for having an opinion that differs from theirs.

I don't agree with you at all, and that is what makes this forum (and all fora of this type) so useful. The unfettered sharing of ideas and substantive discussion.

Oh, and I think they should have protested outside the library, placards and megaphones if they wish. After all the outside of the library is indeed a public forum at which one's right to freely express themselves is guaranteed.

Odd that you would choose Mordor as Tolkien volunteered for service in the British Army and served during the WW I.

mcdoneil, you write: "That is wonderful, you communicated your point using forceful language in both a learned fashion as well as languaged suited to the hoi polloi thus stirring up everyone possible. You've tangentially linked it to the topic at hand, and presented your own opinion without worrying if others will make disparaging remarks or think less of you for having an opinion that differs from theirs."I don't get your point here (perhaps end-of-work-week fatique?), except perhaps you are attempting to smuggle in a small dig with the phrase, "thus stirring up everyone possible," in connection to my "language." Not the first time you put the spotlight on my language, and I guess what you said earlier, "Try to stay on topic here and avoid discussing my rhetoric", is not to apply to you, only me. So when I do explicitly focus on topic, the most you can do is credit me with is a "tangential" connection to the topic hand, and ignoring any effort to discuss "the substance of the matter" in connection to my way of advancing the discussion."Oh, and I think they should have protested outside the library, placards and megaphones if they wish. After all the outside of the library is indeed a public forum at which one's right to freely express themselves is guaranteed."I guess the outside of libraries are still assumed to be "free speech zones", unlike most of NYC during the Republican presidential election in NYC a few years ago, where they had to scoop up protesters and put them in cages - which were free speech zones - for a long while. It remains to be seen how long it will take before the outside of libraries are no longer free speech zones when the Patriot Acts you favor are more fully implemented."Odd that you would choose Mordor as Tolkien volunteered for service in the British Army and served during the WW I."Don't know what your point is here either, but my choice of it was quite precise and to the point, as you might see from the etymology of it in Wiki:"Mordor actually has two meanings: "Black Land" in Sindarin, and "Land of Shadow" in Quenya. The root mor ("dark", "black") also appears in Moria. Dor ("land") also appears in Gondor ("stone-land"), Eriador, and Doriath ("fenced land"). The Quenya word for Shadow is "mordo". A proposed etymology out of the context of Middle-earth is Old English morðor, which means "mortal sin" or "murder". (The latter meaning is descended from the former.) It is not uncommon for names in Tolkien's fiction to have relevant meanings in several languages, both languages invented by Tolkien, and actual historical languages. Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon, so his word roots tend to be Anglo-Saxon/Nordic/Germanic. Mordor is also a name cited in some Nordic mythologies referring to a land where its citizens practise evil without knowing it, imposed on themselves by the society long created for that purpose. This quite fits with Tolkien's Mordor. It is interesting to note that the Chinese translation of Mordor used in the book and the Jackson movies is (mo duo), which means "place where demons are many". Tolkien, like many Brits of his generation, did not know what he was getting into when he went into the military. All historians I have read on it see WW1 is the first war of its type, conducted on a gigantic, horrific mass-murderous scale that involved not only soldiers but civilians in very large numbers.Critics of Tolkien's Ring have pointed out the similarity between the hellish war landscapes saw in battle and those he describes in the Ring:"Yet those searching for an intrusion of Tolkien's life and times into Lord of The Rings should look to World War I, where the 24-year-old Tolkien spent six months in the battle of the Somme before being invalided home. Along with the background noise of World War II, his experiences on the front line may explain why there are so many battles and gory deaths in Lord of the Rings. The carnage of Passchendaele certainly lay behind Frodo and Sam's chilling passage across the Dead Marshes at the start of The Two Towers, where the hobbits, guided by Gollum, glimpse the faces of the dead below the water: 'grim faces and evil, and noble faces and sad. Many faces proud and fair, and weeds in their silver hair. But all foul, all rotting, all dead.' Its hellishness is another reason why Tolkien's book is a great one. He knew hell intimately, he'd visited it, wading waist-deep through trenches filled with mud and effluent. The blighted, barren landscape of northern France in 1916 became Mordor.",,61565 1,00.htmlIn the light of this, the darkness of the United States as Mordor (and its Sauron, Bush) becomes clearer in light of this brilliant observation from a blogger - which even you might find soberingly thought-provoking - talking about Rick Santorum's past lame attempt to use symbols from the the Ring on the Iraq conflict, "But if we're mapping the Lord of the Rings onto Iraq, the books pitted weak hobbits relying on stealth and guerrilla warfare against a mighty superpower that had a huge army and amazing surveillance capabilities. They defeated Lord Sauron by drawing him into a military conflict as a distraction while the hobbits snuck into Sauron's homeland and destroyed him with the medieval equivalent of a suitcase nuke." rum-protecting-us-lord

Aside from the issues of rights and freedoms, the role Director Dotterer played, or failed to play, is an issue here. Where in the world was he when this situation developed? Why did he appear on the scene so late? Why had he not trained his staff and volunteers to alert him to potentially volatile situations? Why, upon his intervention, did the situation blow up as it did? Were I a member of his board, I'd be interested in exploring these issues, and quite likely suggesting Mr. Dotterer explore other career options. This incident is simply a cornucopia of poor management and poor judgement coming to fore.

Yeah he must be a poor manager because he is not at the reference desk, cric desk, front door, back door, and covering books at the same time.

You want poor management look at the Jackson County Oregon library system.

The people were breaking library rules, they were asked to leave the cops were called, and it was handled. Seems like it was handled well. No shootings, no blood spattered walls, no melee. The only problem was the elderly volunteer who told them they could do what they did- but did ask them to ask a staff member. If you have never worked in a library with elderly volunteers you really should it is quite an experience.

OK I'll try to address these as you wrote them:

There is no c in mdoneil.
I have no idea if you have end of week fatigue, you may want to get more rest. As to the stirring up everyone possible, that is not a dig. Perhaps I should have said- inviting discussion from many readers. The topic at hand is a couple kicked out of a library for disturbing others. Your response was tangentially related because it was about the subject with which the couple was upset. I try to keep my posts at least tangentially related to the topic at hand as well as libraries and librarianship. Sometimes things are directly related, sometimes tangentially but I feel as long as there is a de minimis connection it is certainly an acceptable part of the discussion.

Yes indeed, the outside of libraries are public fora (See Haque v. CIO - the labor group not Chief Info Officer) as is the town square. I was in NYC this week and the news was filled with the release of the report of the infiltration of the protest groups planning legal protests at the Republican Convention. Of course this is abhorent insofar as there is no need to prevent legal protest and the gathering of intelligence through devious tactics to achieve that means disgusts me.

The USA PATRIOT Act does not constrain your right to speak your mind in front of the library. I've read it, so live it up.

I'm not a big fan of Wikipedia (or any wiki) as an authoratative source so I really didn't read that part. I'll have to take your word on that. I associate Mordor with JRRT, who was a soldier, and who got a bit odd in his old age, but he was a good Catholic.

Yes. I am the anonymous who posted the compare/contrast post. I still hold that I am correct.

Presumably the recruiters could not be heard in the area the protesters were using. Presumably the recruiters had permission to use the glassed in room.Had the recruiters been using an open area I would have objection to their activity. Patrons from time to time will run their tutoring business in an open area. Sadly no one voices objection.

Hey Anonymous Patron: you must be newbie at dealing with mdoneil. Going to extremes to prove he's right when he's way wrong is standard operating procedure for him.

You can't cut the guy a little slack? Wrong? Yes. Dickhead? No.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's glans.

mdoneil would have called Thoreau a dickhead (or worse)for refusing to pay taxes to the state so it could conduct genocidal wars or protect the rights of the slaveholders to whip their darkies and call them worse. When you virtually *worship* statist conservative authority, everybody who protests it is a dickhead, right mdoneil?

Why don't you let me decide who I will call what. Of course I will certainly use use pejorative language to describe people who feel they can speak for me.

Try to stay on topic here and avoid discussing my rhetoric, but the substance of the matter, viz the inappropriate, unacceptable and illegal conduct of the Mennonite couple -one of whom is oddly a self described veteran.

Do one's beliefs absolve them of responsibility for civil disorder? If so is this the same as anti-abortion protesters praying on the sidewalk in front of abortion clinic - an acknowledged public forum.

As one of my instructors in Library School was wont to ask of us, compare and contrast (which annoyed me because it is redundant).

"Compare" means to find that which is similar; "contrast", that which is dissimilar. Not redundant.

From Mr. Webster we find that compare means [T]o examine the character or qualities of especially in order to discover resemblances or differences; to view in relation to.

Thus compare not only includes similarities, but differences. If you were to compare a Hyundai with a Mercedes you would find they both are indeed passenger cars, but they also have different appointments and prices.

As if *your* use of "pejorative language" is "on topic." Balderdash. In any case, if you want to stay on topic and call somebody a dickhead in the topic's context, then call the liars who got us into the war (Bush, Cheney, etc.) dickheads, whose actions are at the root of anti-war actions and protests provoking what you call "civil disorder", as if this is far worse than the bloody war that has provoked them.A government that causes a war (on a third-rate country who never attacked us) with excrementally devious, illegal, and immoral subterfuges, burns a half a trillion (so far) in taxpayer money resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, not to mentions thousands of US service people, over the course of years, with no discernible improvement in the lives of the people whose country the US attacks and occupies and which the US poisoned and polluted with depleted uranium exposure, and finally, a country that imposes draconian quasi-dictatorial phony "patriot laws" on its own population is evil, not merely stupid. In the light of this, somebody's slightly obnoxious effort at protesting a microscopically tiny manifestation of that Evil, of the Federal Mordor, in the form of military recruiters in a library, is not worth getting upset or concerned about.You want to get upset about something worthwhile? Get upset at the ones who made and make a war happen that will increasingly provoke many more acts of "civil disorder" if it doesn't end.

Oh good god. What some people will do to prove that they are correct. Even when it's not so.

He was not arrested because he swore, he was arrested for saying: don't allow military recruiting in the library. He was threatened with arrest for using a pejorative, but what that was we don't know thanks to prissy journalism.

I will also note that Ms. Coil's exercise in free speech took place outside the room, and it was not intrusive. It was the recruiters that initiated the confrontation and did so unconstitutionally if not downrigth illegally; even a law enforcement officer cannot compel a private citizen to identify themselves in some jurisdictions, and the recruiter was out of line in asking Ms. Coil to do so. And if that big, bad, recruiting officer had half the brains God gave a grasshopper's ass he would have just leaned up against the inside of the window to obscure his victim's view of the cards.

Once again, an ineffably stupid attempt to suppress free speech is going to cost hard-earned tax dollars from a system that is almost certainly chronically underfunded if the Coils sue the library. Not to mention that self-styled defenders of the constitution have once again perjured themselves and gone forsworn by failing to defend and uphold the constitution against their very selves.