July 5, 2012

Protester Al Neal of Fight For a Fair Economy in Ohio got some unusual silencing treatment today during a speech by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at Kentown Plaza in Parma, Ohio.

via Brandon Blackwell of Cleveland.com.

At one point, one of the protesters, Al Neal of Canton, 25, who said he was a union worker and a member of Fight for Fair Economy Ohio, was confronted by Richard Brysac, 77, of Parma.

Brysac attempted to quiet the protester by emptying a bottle of water in Neal's mouth.

"He seemed thirsty, so I tried to shove the bottle in his mouth," Brysac said. "I thought it was wrong to interfere with [Pawlenty's] freedom of speech.

"I acted out of character and I apologize if I offended anyone."

When the bottle didn't work, Brysac pulled out his handkerchief and gagged Neal.

Neal removed the handkerchief and continued chanting with the other protesters until the group was escorted from the rally.

The old chestnut "I apologize if I offended anyone" is now being used to literally gag protesters.

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