Small acts of defiance have sometimes sparked political infernos. December 1955: Seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to sit in the back of the bus and touches off the Montgomery bus boycott. August 1980: Electrician Lech Walesa hops a fence at the Gdansk shipyards and goes on to lead a strike that opens a crack that spreads until the Soviet empire collapses. July 2013: Marijuana legalization activist John Tracey defies a deputy sheriff's order to cease petitioning at Cruzan Amphitheatre and...
"The future is unwritten," said St. Joseph, and at this point it's a stretch to compare Tracey's arrest to Parks' and Walesa's historic precedents. But as he awaits the disposition of charges of trespass, the ponytailed activist says he has been urged by observers all across the political spectrum to throw his hat into the ring -- whatever ring is handy -- and run for office.
Tracey told New Times he refused an order to leave the Cruzan parking lot on the evening of his arrest because he believed the First Amendment ensures his right to petition on public land. Cruzan is owned by the South Florida Fair and, by state law, is considered public property. (In an email shortly after the arrest, Tracey wrote us, "The fuck can I trespass on public property?")
Nothing in the police report of the incident indicates that Tracey was disruptive or that any concertgoers complained of his activity. (According to the report, Cruzan employee Raymond Church, who told Tracey to buy a ticket or leave, then blew the whistle on him, stands six-foot-four and weighs 295 pounds. Tracey is listed at five-foot-nine and 187 pounds. Tracey's religion is listed as "all.") No trial date has yet been set.