Pacifist Arrested For "Threatening" Action

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[Mean People]
Here's a word to the wise: If you're in Connecticut and you heckle a gubernatorial candidate during their campaign, and they ultimately get elected, don't be surprised if they put you on some sort of "threat list" at which point, doing something as innocuous as taking a photograph or dismounting a bicycle may land you in jail. And being a pacifist apparently doesn't help.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell's security detail only watched when a woman left the sidewalk and quickly walked toward Rell during the inaugural parade Wednesday. The woman shook Rell's hand and melted into the crowd.

But a slightly built man who jumped off a mountain bike and ran into the parade route ahead of Rell was intercepted by a state trooper and arrested by a Hartford police officer.

A Hartford police report released Friday by Krayeske says that state police had given them photographs of activists who might be "possible threats" to Rell, including Krayeske, a free-lance journalist and anti-war protester who managed the Green Party's gubernatorial campaign.

One difference in the way the two incursions were handled: A state police intelligence unit had previously identified the man, Ken Krayeske, as a political activist and potential threat.

But one witness to the arrest, Eliot Streim, contradicted the police account.

Streim, a Hartford lawyer who was watching the parade with a colleague, said police did not intercept Krayeske as he ran into the parade route. On the contrary, Krayeske photographed the governor without incident and was detained by police only after Rell had passed by, Streim said.

Krayeske, 34, of Hartford was charged with breach of peace and interfering with a police officer. He said he has a record of three previous arrests involving acts of civil disobedience protesting the war in Iraq and the launching of a nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter.

"I'm a pacifist. I see violence as the problem," Krayeske said. "I decry violence, and I never would hurt anybody."

Krayeske acknowledged, however, he also is passionate about his beliefs.

During the gubernatorial campaign, he confronted Rell's campaign staff at her headquarters and heatedly complained about her refusal to debate Thornton. He also questioned Rell at a campaign stop in Windsor about the debates, though reporters who were present recalled nothing threatening about his demeanor.

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