Shrewsbury man defends action against anti-Obama protestors
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Northborough – When Carl Lund saw a table set up on Main Street in Northborough on Friday, Dec. 7, he was “disgusted” he said, to see a poster of President Barack Obama, depicted as Adolf Hitler, prominently displayed.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Lund, a resident of Shrewsbury and a Vietnam veteran, said.
Lund then got into a verbal confrontation with the two men manning the table, who Northborough police identified as Ian Brinkley and Jared Caskill.
“[Brinkley and Caskill] claimed it was a peaceful, political display with literature,” Lund said. “I disagreed. I thought it was a despicable, disrespectful display.”
Lund admits that he became angry and kicked the table over.
“They said they would call the police,” he recalled. “I told them to go ahead.”
When the police arrived, he gave them his information and left. Lund, who owns a business he runs out of his home, Heritage Home Carpentry, said he never imagined that the story would then go viral, attracting attention from several Boston TV stations and local media outlets.
“But I have also gotten calls from former and current customers supporting me. Friends have called with offers of support, too,” he said.
Lund stresses that he is “not political.”
“I did not do this as a political statement or even a ‘veteran’s’ statement,” he said. “I was not trying to represent anyone other than myself. It was a personal statement.”
Now, several days after the incident, Lund is pragmatic about what happens next. As of Thursday morning, Dec. 12, he had not received any official notification that he would be charged with any offenses.
“I’ve been told I will receive a summons but I haven’t gotten that yet,” he said. “But whatever happens, I am ready. You need to take responsibility for your actions good or bad and I do.”
“It did not matter who was depicted in that picture,” he said. “What matters is that it was the president of the United States, our chief executive officer, depicted as one of the most villainous people of modern times. It showed absolutely no respect for the office of the presidency.”
Adding to the insult, Lund said, was that the incident happened on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
“I had been thinking about that earlier in the day and about the people who died that day in the service of our country,” he added.
Lund acknowledges that some have asked him if the two men should have been allowed to freely display their information under the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and the right to peacefully assemble.
“I think the bigger conversation is why can you not deface the American flag, currency or coinage but you can deface the image of the president?” he asked. “We have laws to respect other rights but not this?”
“We also have to remember that in this country, the majority rules,” he added. “Even if you don’t agree with the outcome of an election, the majority rules. And I believe it doesn’t matter who is in office, you need to respect the office.”
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