Classifying dissidents as mentally ill is a timeless art. In the Soviet Union, millions were condemned to “psikhushkas,” or psychiatric prisons, in order to isolate, discredit and destroy dissent and activism. Even in the land of the free, President Wilson sought to silence suffragette Alice Paul through legal declarations of insanity, though thankfully the doctor refused.
With the current political climate increasingly hostile to constitutionally protected activism, activists worry that without public outrage, pliable psychological professionals and unethical federal authorities could resurrect this trend.
While some are concerned with ending Raub's detention unless charges are filed, the government’s justification and processing of Raub’s arrest concern the American Civil Liberties Union and legal professionals.
Officials insist the seizure was not an arrest because there are no criminal charges, but an ACLU investigator disagrees, “I have reviewed the video of Mr. Raub's arrest. According to federal statute, when the police restrained the subject with handcuffs and stopped him from moving about under his own free will, at that point the subject was, in fact, under arrest. The fact that he was not read his Miranda Rights is another violation."
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