March 2010 Featured Activist Catherine Bleish

The following is taken from the website, Bob McCarty Writes:

An Arresting Tale: From Podium to Pokey in 10 Days

“On Oct. 2, 2009 Catherine Bleish was one of a handful of speakers who revved up a crowd of 2,000 at the St. Charles (Mo.) Tea Party. Ten days later, she found herself in jail in the South St. Louis city of Maplewood.

Catherine Bleish of the Liberty Restoration Project

Catherine Bleish of the Liberty Restoration Project

“I was standing in line outside,” the 25-year-old told me Monday afternoon during an interview on the porch of her South St. Louis home where she lives with her two Rottweilers, Harley Davidson and Ed Norton.

In this case, “outside” is the area just outside the Maplewood (Mo.) Police Station/Traffic Court where approximately 45 to 50 people — most of whom had been summoned as a result of traffic citations — waited to make appearances.

Why was Bleish, a 2005 communications graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia in that line in the first place?”  Go here to learn more.

What is a Fusion Center?

John Bush and Catherine Bleish of Operation DeFuse

John Bush and Catherine Bleish

Join John Bush, Executive Director of Texans for Accountable Government, and Catherine Bleish, Executive Director of The Liberty Restoration Project, as they talk about the use of fusion centers and information sharing. Originally set up to keep information on terrorists these information centers are now being used to track criminal activity as well as private citizens and peaceful dissenters who might be considered a risk.

A Fusion Center is a terrorism prevention and response center that was started as a joint project between the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justices Office of Justice Programs between 2003 and 2007.

The fusion centers gather information not only from government sources, but also from their partners in the private sector.  You can find out more at Operation Defuse.

Visit the Activists Arsenal at;

http://activistsarsenal.ning.com/

Who is Catherine Elizabeth Bleish?

From her Bio: Catherine Bleish is Executive Director of the Liberty Restoration Project (LRP). She began to focus her research and activism on fusion centers after the Missouri Information Analysis Center profiled her and others in her state as potentially dangerous radical militia members based on their political ideologies and activities.

Catherine Bleish and Gary Franchi Protesting at Federal Reserve

Catherine Bleish and Gary Franchi Protesting at Federal Reserve

The report has since been retracted and four legislative hearings were held on the issue. Since December 17th of 2009 she has been on the road traveling from state to state meeting with fusion center staff, conducting activists trainings, interviewing those adversely and positively affected by fusion centers, and working to gain a better understanding of these institutions in an effort to find a solution that defuses the tension between our law enforcement communities and the general public. Her primary concerns with fusion centers can be summed up in four words, “state sovereignty” and ” personal privacy”.

What is LRP?

As a result of her concerns re: fusion centers, Catherine Bleish formed The Liberty Restoration Project, which is composed of a politically diverse group of concerned citizens who have decided to throw down the arbitrary barriers (such as political parties) that divide us and work together as American Citizens to improve our country, starting as locally as possible.

What issues does LRP tackle?
Click here to learn more about the issues that keep us fighting.

What are LRP’s core projects?
To educate and activate the constituents of our community, we are working on the following projects (for details, see our 2009 Action Plan):

  • Project Participation Calendars
  • LRP Distributing
  • The Sustainable Activism Project
  • Educational rallies/workshops/activities
  • Lobbying the State Legislature

What Issues Are Important to LRP?

Food Sovereignty

Food Sovereignty is the idea that all people should have access to a dependable and nutritious supply of nourishment close to where they live. This is the foundation on which a healthy and productive society is formed. Today we suffer from a corporate controlled food industry with ties to the military-industrial complex. Small family farms cannot compete with the government-subsidized mega-corporations who have industrialized the very things which give us life. The struggle for Food Sovereignty is the struggle to return to community self-reliance and cooperation.

Catherine Started the Liberty Restoration Project

Catherine Started the Liberty Restoration Project

Real I.D.

We believe that the Real I.D. act of 2005 violates the sovereignty of the states by imposing mandatory national identification. We believe that a National I.D. violates the Fourth Amendment by infringing on Americans’ right to privacy, and Americans’ property rights. We believe State Legislatures should reject any connection with the Real I.D. Act. State Legislatures should reject this invasion of state sovereignty by the Department of Homeland Security, an unelected executive department. We believe individual states have adequate power to identify and credential their own citizens.

Smart Port/NAFTA Superhighway

The citizens of Kansas City and Western Missouri have not been provided information about the KC Smartport plans and the North American Super Corridor Coalition (NASCO: also known as NAFTA Superhighway), nor have our representatives been a part of the process. We believe that the taking of land for the advantage of US and foreign corporations is a direct attack on our liberties and sovereignty. We believe that this large highway, rail and pipeline system will not only be a scar on our land in appearance and pollution, but will increase crime, drug trafficking, and illegal immigration to our city. All land, currently leased to Mexico and considered Mexican soil in Missouri, should immediately be returned to the people. All plans for the NASCO Superhighway, and the plans to make Kansas City the entrance into the United States for freight, need to be produced for the public and be open to discussion and debate.

U.S. War Policy

Only Congress has the Constitutional legal power to declare war. We agree with our first President, George Washington, that our foreign policy should seek peaceful commerce with all nations and entangling alliances with none. As such, we advocate bringing home the men and women serving in the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts as rapidly as safely possible. The presence of troops in 120 Countries around the globe is unsustainable and should be reevaluated in light of realistic security concerns. We also call upon our fellow citizens to join us in helping our veterans by strongly encouraging State Representatives to provide much needed medical help and assistance. If anyone deserves taxpayer money and government assistance, it is our veterans who come home to their families and friends bearing the scars and injuries of world conflict. We believe that attention must be brought to the growing numbers of homeless veterans, and that it is our duty as citizens to pay attention to their needs. We believe that unauthorized and unjust occupation of and use of force in foreign nations is one of the causes of terrorism and we must educate the public to this foreign policy issue.

Intrusive Legislation

(Patriot Acts, Military Commissions Act, Homegrown Terrorism Act, New Born Children Save Lives Act, Real ID Act, NAIS, etc…)

ANY legislation that violates the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is an assault against the civil liberties of Americans and cannot be tolerated in a nation that purports to uphold the Natural Rights of its citizens. For example, the Patriot Act 1 & 2 violate the First Amendment by allowing government agencies to demand that Librarians turn over the booklists and internet records of their patrons without a warrant, and then making it illegal for those library personnel to inform their patrons of the illegal searches.

These acts violate the Fourth Amendment by allowing government agencies to conduct secret illegal searches of homes and property without probable cause and collecting computer files and reading lists, video and magazine collections.

Some of these acts also violate the Constitution by allowing indefinite imprisonment of persons without a lawyer. The accused also may not have the right to face their accuser. This denial of individuals’ access to courts leaves them in a condition where all due process rights are suspended.

Presidential Executive Orders

We oppose the power of the President to issue executive orders that have the force of law. We see this as a violation of the separation of powers that potentially allows the Executive to unilaterally “legislate” to the detriment of and without regard to the wishes of the citizenry. Under the Constitution, only Congress may make law, and any Congress that allows these executive orders to go forward unchallenged is unlawfully abdicating their authority, directly in contrast to the important checks and balances put in place by the founders.

Right to Keep & Bear Arms – Second Amendment

We believe that the Second Amendment should be strictly enforced, and that all laws that are in conflict with the Second Amendment should be repealed immediately and all persons held, charged, convicted, and incarcerated under these unjust laws should be freed. To be punished for injuring or menacing someone is one thing, but to be jailed or incarcerated based on merely owning or possessing the wrong type of firearm promotes a hostility towards gun ownership that erodes this vital guarantee of personal liberty and security.

No longer should any free American citizen be restricted in any way from keeping arms and ammunition of their choosing. We advocate full enforcement of laws that hold violent criminals accountable for their actions.

No federal entity, including FEMA, has the authority to confiscate guns even in a “state of emergency”. In fact, a state of emergency is precisely the time when personal firearms are most important.

Federalism

The United States was conceived as a unified group of independent political “laboratories.” Various states were free to attempt varying and innovative solutions to social and economic problems. This fosters and accelerates growth, and made the Republic one of the most dynamic and competitive political bodies in history. The expansion of federal power has crippled this machine for innovation to the detriment of our great nation.

War on Drugs

We believe the “War on Drugs” is an unnecessary intervention by the Federal Government, the same as any other ill-conceived and undeclared war.  We believe that drug addiction is a medical issue and should be treated as such.  Whereas the Constitution delegates to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting, piracies, and offenses against the laws of nations and treaties, we resolve that all Federal laws concerning drugs are void and any regulation or criminal law in regards to drugs are delegated to the several States.  Since the power to regulate, legalize or criminalize drugs falls to the States, the Drug Enforcement Agency of the Federal Government should be disbanded.  The prisons are full of nonviolent people convicted of Federal drug crimes.  Nonviolent drug users and sellers should be released and, if needed, obtain treatment for their addictions.  Furthermore, all aid to foreign governments of weapons, aircraft, military vehicles, intelligence resources, and millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars used in the ineffective and decades old “War on Drugs” need to be halted and, if possible, returned to the people of the United States.