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Vendor Arrested For "Impeach Him" Buttons

KEYEtv.com (CBS): (h/t JazzTrombone) A 74-year-old retired mathematician who sells anti-Bush buttons at a Maryland farmers' market has become a symbo

KEYEtv.com (CBS): (h/t JazzTrombone)

A 74-year-old retired mathematician who sells anti-Bush buttons at a Maryland farmers' market has become a symbol of free speech to some people. Others say Alan McConnell is a nuisance.

McConnell was at the market in Kensington as usual yesterday, selling buttons that say "Impeach Him" He has sold the $1 buttons for months; he told The Washington Post he uses the money earned to pay for "Impeach Them Both" yard signs.

Town officials had previously warned McConnell about peddling his political wares at the market (he is accused of being "aggressive" in his pitch), and had cited him for selling merchandise without a proper permit.

McConnell was also warned that he would be arrested if he returned to the market, even though it is public property.

McConnell showed up this weekend, when police arrested him and forcibly carried him to a squad car. A crowd of about 40 McConnell supporters booed the arrest, chanting "Free speech!"

McConnell was charged with trespassing; he faces 90 days in jail and a $500 fine

Officials said kicking him out has nothing to do with politics but with fears that the atmosphere fostered by McConnell and his supporters would create a safety hazard. (Mayor Peter Fosselman even cancelled last Saturday's market.)

It's getting harder and harder to recognize this country some days...

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