Notes

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Peace advocate, actor and musician Rod Webber. Twitter/Photo

Affidavit from Oct. 12 arrest of peace activist Rod Webber

OCT. 22 – An affidavit e-mailed to me by the Manchester, NH Police Department details the situation leading to charges against peace activist Rod Webber at an Oct. 12 Donald Trump speech during the No Labels Conference and states a request for help in dealing with Webber came from a member of Trump’s security staff.

According to Lt. Brian O’Keefe of Manchester PD the alleged events took place based on the reports/affidavit he reviewed. Webber was charged with RSA 644:2 (M) Disorderly Conduct and RSA 642:2 Resisting Arrest or Detention.

Manchester PD has informed me that publication of the full affidavit will be permitted after Webber’s Nov. 18 court date.

Peace activist says he’s pressing charges against Trump security staff member and police after Oct. 12 arrest

OCT. 21 – Peace activist Rod Webber, who has become well known on the New Hampshire presidential primary campaign trail for handing out flowers and praying with candidates for peace believes his recent arrest at a Donald Trump rally is the result of orders from a member of the Trump campaign who apparently may also have claimed to be an active Secret Service agent, as RT is reporting.

This speculation has not been confirmed by the Trump campaign or police.

“I was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Totally fabricated. there is video of my very quiet arrest,” Webber told me on Twitter following the Oct. 12 arrest.

In terms of background information, Webber had caused some considerable consternation at a Trump rally in September when he vociferously challenged and somewhat embarrassed Trump with a Bible verse. He was then  pushed around by several Trump supporters following that campaign stop as he walked out in the hallway.

It seems to me that from the Trump campaign’s point of view Webber is seen as a nuisance who is trying to provoke a response or scene specifically with them and that they believe this justifies and necessitates his expulsion from Trump’s events. The question of what exactly took place, much of which is on video, instead shows what appears to be more of an instinctive reaction from Trump’s crowd against Webber for challenging the character of the man they support followed, in Manchester, by the decision at some level to up the ante and get rid of him.

It would be unlikely that Trump has been assigned a Secret Service detail this early in the campaign, although it is possible. Barack Obama was assigned a Secret Service detail early on in the primary process due to credible threats. In any case it is unclear why someone on Trump’s staff may have claimed to be such when conferring with police and exactly what the rationale was for ejecting Webber.

A simple solution earlier on, probably would have been for Trump to pray with Webber or try to make friends with him at least a bit. Instead the situation as it now stands is headed to court.

At this point the reasons for his Oct. 12 arrest and the details of the chain of command leading to the arrest are still unclear. Webber, who seems to hail more from the left and alternative junctures of the political spectrum, is nonetheless polite and earnest in engaging with those on the right who he differs with, particularly on matters of foreign policy. What he calls his “calmly asked question” in which he wanted Trump ostensibly to apologize or denounce those who had pushed him around in Rochester instead led to him being tricked into leaving his seat to ask a question and subsequently arrested and charged.

Before moving on to the next speaker Trump joked “You look healthy to me,” which drew some audible laughs from the crowd.

Webber was then told to go repeat any question he had at a microphone by Trump staff, who then informed him there was a roving mic and then told him he wouldn’t get to ask a question and that he would be leaving the premises, which was followed by his arrest.

Now, Webber tells me he is charging various officers and the Trump staffer with assault.

“As it stands, they (Manchester Police Department) won’t tell me a thing, since I am pressing assault charges against three of their officers and one of the Trump guys who may or may not be secret service,” Webber told me via Twitter direct message from a bus bound for Washington D.C. where he will be speaking to more news organizations about his arrest.

Certainly this story has developed in unexpected ways since Ben Terris of the Washington Post wrote about Webber.

I met Webber while covering a Trump  rally in mid-August in Hampton, New Hampshire when I noticed a decidedly out of place Chaplinesque, bearded man trying to hand Trump flowers in support. Trump didn’t really go for it so the man shouted “World peace, Donald, world hair peace!” in a reference to John Lennon’s bed-ins and then threw the flowers in Trump’s general direction as the real estate magnate walked to his waiting motorcade.

I was intrigued but I put the interesting individual temporarily out of mind as I went to write a recap of the Trump rally for The Federalist at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts, which was surprisingly uncrowded for a location so proximate to what had been a massive rally attended by thousands. Only moments later who should walk in but the flower man himself, actor, musician, peace activist and all-around engaged citizen Rod Webber. We got to talking and had an interesting chat in which, among other things, Webber told me about his desire to help homeless and hungry veterans with HR 644 and his mission to pray for peace and spread a good message of loving each other to people of all political views.

It turned out he was becoming something of a centerpiece on the campaign trail, whether it’s been debating Scripture with Mike Huckabee and Chris Christie, having his flowers confiscated as a security threat by Hillary people, praying with Jeb Bush for world peace and singing to him at his patrician New Hampshire talks or getting vacation advice from John McCain. Not to mention Webber is all the while working on a new film apparently based on his flower campaign experiences. It has no release date as of yet, in part because “things are developing too fast and in unexpected ways.”

Webber has a court date of Nov. 18 and I will be keeping in contact and keeping readers up to date on what happens.

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