Today I had a very exhilarating experience, my first overpass sign-wave with the patriotic group, Overpasses For America. Overpasses For America is a grassroots organization that states on their website, “Overpasses is a non-partisan grassroots movement made up of everyday Americans who understand the value of the U.S. Constitution.” Fred Schneider is the organizer in my area and I was thrilled to join him, my friend Christina, and a friendly a group of patriots at an overpass for a local highway in Illinois today.
Things started off great, a cool, damp and windy day in the west suburbs of Chicago, with the beautiful sight of the old stars and stripes fluttering in the air right next to it was the yellow Gadsden “Don’t Tread On Me” snapping in the breeze. A wall of signs and banners were temporary secured to the safety fencing, and then there were those of us waving signs as well as myself waving a personal favorite that stated, Impeach Obama. We received a lot of horn honks, waves and thumbs ups from the traffic below, and of course a great number of those that expressed their freedom of speech with the middle finger and yelling obscenities. My personal favorite, not, was the guy that drastically slowed down approaching the overpass, while holding his arm high out the window giving the universal sign of displeasure while yelling “you wanna f*** with me, to which I replied, “your government has already done that!” Now mind you, I knew he meant that as a challenge perhaps to get physical for us daring to express our displeasure with his chosen President. We refuse to go along with such crass behavior, and demonstrated patriotic class while making a point, we don’t reciprocate with the “bird” nor does anyone yell back obscenities, but hey to borrow a phrase, “ain’t that America for you and me” and I’ll add we don’t have to agree all the time but we have the right to freely express our views.
About an hour into my participation with the group, we had an Illinois Highway vehicle pull up on the south side of the overpass and park off to the side, which then the employee exited the vehicle and begin to snap pictures of our group, so I returned the favor. I thought then and there, this was trouble and expressed my concerns to a few others, they told me not to worry he was probably there to close a lane, especially since he had those orange traffic cones on the back of his truck. Alas, soon thereafter, I would guess about 1/2 an hour, the state police showed up, cue the theme song for the show Cops …bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do?
We actually had two nice officers, and they weren’t playing good cop bad cop. These officers were gentlemen from the beginning. They approached with a sense of humor, about the long walk up to the overpass, but we knew this was not just a friendly, “well-being” check and we soon found out the nature of the visit. According to the officers, they had received, calls complaining about us slowing down traffic and to show their sincerity in being nice guys, they brought a law manual with them. This manual was to show us where it states in print that if public property, in this instance the highways is being impeded, or hindered….blah blah blah..how they have to then enforce the law, this is a photo I took from the manual, and below a copy of the law via Illinois compiled statues online.
(625 ILCS 5/11-1416)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1416)
Obstructing person in highways.
No person shall wilfully and unnecessarily hinder, obstruct or delay, or wilfully and unnecessarily attempt to delay, hinder or obstruct any other person in lawfully driving or traveling along or upon any highway within this State or offer for barter or sale merchandise on said highway so as to interfere with the effective movement of traffic.
(Source: P.A. 80-911.)
According to Fred Schneider, they stated they had to do their job in response to the “many, many, many calls, they had received”, but they did not ask the group to leave, prior to the resolution of Fred’s conversation with the officers I had to leave for another engagement, and followed-up with Fred later. Frankly I figured we were not breaking any laws per se, because we were on the overpass, one that does not allow vehicles other than bicycles to use and Fred had already checked with the authorities on rules and codes of conduct. I will have to say overall the experience was an enjoyable one, and an easy way to be involved with fellow constitutional, patriotic, America loving friends. Some highlights from the day:
- Drivers giving the thumbs up, or honking enthusiastically.
- People waving and smiling
- The amazing number of passengers taking pictures
- The traffic news helicopter that circled twice
- The laughter, conversation and contentment of being in the company of active patriots
Grassroots works, and those that give up any amount of their precious time during the day to get involved and show by action what they speak about have my utmost respect and admiration. Get involved, and give the Overpass For America folks some of your time, trust me it’s easy, fun and you leave feeling satisfied from doing something that not only delivers statements via signs and banners, but shows hundred, if not thousands of other Americans that there are others that feel and think just like them. Overpass For America’s website for further information and locations: http://overpassesforamerica.com/.