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Grandpa Woodstock arrested for spreading message of peace!

Discussion in 'General' started by TooSicKs, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Last month a friend of mine was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. Grandpa Woodstock was not protestign anything, but merely living his life. This unique individual's life's work is spread his message of peace.

    The other day I was in the park talking to Grandpa and he showed me a small article in USA Today edition 14th of this month.

    His act of "disturbing the peace" consists of walking the streets and gesturing a peace sign to everyone who passes. He has a cane walking stick with a toy bicycle horn which serves as his Peace Horn. So basically they arrested this guy because he honked a bicycle horn and waved a peace sign gesture above his head.

    While we were talking I asked him what i can help him do to help with his court date, he told me he wants to spread his story.

    He has a court date on April 1st to decide whether he should be charged with disturbing the peace. Quite a few of us are going to get together and show up on the day of his court date in support of him.

    Help me help him get access to a wide audience by circulating his story. Here is the lowdown from the Arizona Star.

    Tucson, Arizona Wednesday, 12 March 2003

    Rhubarb in Bisbee
    It's Grandpa Woodstock, courtesy of Father Time

    Photos by Aaron J. Latham / Staff
    Allyn Richardson, also known as Grandpa Woodstock, is facing charges of disturbing the peace. The case has set off a debate among the townspeople of Bisbee about freedom of speech and police harassment.

    Aaron J. Latham / Staff
    City Magistrate Adam Ambrose refused Grandpa Woodstock a public defender because he is unlikely to face jail time. Grandpa was cited Feb. 9 after ignoring repeated warnings about making noise and obstructing Main Street sidewalks.

    He has set up housekeeping in a cave outside of town. Many in Bisbee say Grandpa Woodstock is being harassed by police.

    '60s flower child sets off dispute in 2003 Arizona
    By Ignacio Ibarra

    BISBEE - He walks the streets like a benevolent wizard, raising his hands in a gesture of pacifism and honking an old bicycle horn he calls the horn of peace.

    Now Grandpa Woodstock is set to face charges of disturbing that peace.

    The case of Allyn Richardson, a flower-power refugee who turns 60 this month and calls a cave outside of Bisbee home, has ignited a debate among the townspeople about freedom of speech, police harassment and just what constitutes "normal" in a town where locals joke about life in the state's largest open-air insane asylum.

    "We need 50 more Grandpa Woodstocks in Bisbee. It takes the heat off the rest of us," said Alberto Lucero, a former professional rodeo rider and Old West street performer whose cowboy ensemble and easy manner with tourists has also made him a town attraction.

    Like many here, Lucero is convinced that Grandpa Woodstock is being subjected to harassment by an overzealous Police Department responding to the complaints of a handful of downtown merchants who don't like his appearance or message.

    "It's not just an attack on him, it's an attack on all of us … you today and me tomorrow," Lucero said.

    On Tuesday, with a handful of friends in support, Grandpa Woodstock was granted a three-week continuance of his pretrial hearing to April 1, to allow him time to obtain an attorney and provide city prosecutors with a witness list and information on his planned defense.

    Grandpa Woodstock, who says he lives in Woodstock, N.Y., but lists his official address as "homeless" in court records, is spending the winter in a cave not far from downtown Bisbee.

    He was refused a public defender by City Magistrate Adam Ambrose Tuesday because he is unlikely to face jail time.

    According to Bisbee police reports, Grandpa Woodstock was cited Feb. 9 after ignoring repeated warnings about making noise and obstructing Main Street sidewalks. Police records show at least five other complaints from downtown businesses and the public library staff.

    On the day of of his arrest, the complaint came from Susan Blackford, of the Long Realty office on Main Street, who said Grandpa Woodstock was "disrupting my clients and walk-in business," and making it hard to conduct business on the phone or in person.

    In her written statement to police, Blackford said she first complained about the man dressed in orange robes when he arrived in Bisbee the year before and started "walking around the downtown area and making noise with this horn."

    Blackford said Tuesday that she is concerned that unless something is done to control this type of behavior the city may lose businesses, as Tucson's Fourth Avenue did after so many homeless people moved in.

    At the Johnson Gallery, owner Les Johnson has a similar assessment of Grandpa Woodstock's impact on the town.

    "It's bad for business - it's as simple as that," Johnson said. "Of course, when he's across the street it's wonderful, because then the tourists walk on my side to avoid him."

    But Johnson doesn't know that there is ultimately anything the city can do to stop the problem because people like Grandpa Woodstock "have as much right to be out there as we do. Unfortunately, the tourists don't like it. It's just part of the reality of Bisbee."

    Longtime Bisbee businessman Stan Dupuy doesn't see it that way.

    "I really think its ridiculous to pick on someone like him, because he adds so much color to the town," said Dupuy, who owns an RV park on the edge of the Lavender Pit, above old Bisbee.

    "As a long-term businessman here, I'd hate to see us lose that funkiness, that side of what the town is. Without that, we lose so much of our heart and soul," Dupuy said. "I think there are a lot of us who are businesspeople that really appreciate the color Bisbee has to offer."

    At the Country Store on Main Street, owner Renata Gribble said the city's "harassment" of Grandpa Woodstock is a shameful waste of time and money.

    "He belongs to Bisbee, he fits here, the tourists stop and take pictures of him," she said. "I told him he could stand on this part of the sidewalk outside my window. It's mine; they can't do anything to him there."

    Grandpa Woodstock said he turned down a plea offer from Assistant City Attorney Adele Drumlevitch because he's not guilty of disturbing the peace or loitering, as alleged in the police report.

    "I was spreading peace and love. I've been doing that all my life," he said. "I've done that all the way out here from New York twice. I've been doing it ever since the '60s."

    Offering the peace sign is newer.

    "The peace-sign thing began after they bombed the World Trade Center. There was a memorial, and everyone was really down," he said of an event in Woodstock, N.Y., where he said he lives when not wintering in Bisbee. "I just stood up on this tree stump and did the peace sign, and it made everyone happy.

    "I've been doing it ever since, seven days a week."

    * Contact Ignacio Ibarra at (520) 432-2766 or at

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  2. just read all that..
    I think its bs..the cops take any reason they can get to arrest anyone for anything.
    its just how they are
    ill help out in anyway I can
  3. Just send the article link to everyone you know. we're trying to get his story out to everyone.

  4. A trial date on april 1st.... hmmm anyone else smell a fool or two?

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