Activist Convicted of Pelting School Board Members With Grapes

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Agnes Hitchcock says she has made her point and will no longer disrupt school-board meetings, now that her act of civil disobedience on April 4 has served its purpose of allowing her to talk about mismanagement of the Detroit-area school district.  Hitchcock was prosecuted, convicted, and fined for pelting school board members with grapes during a meeting at which the board voted (6-5) to close 34 city schools.

Hitchcock was lucky not to have been charged with assault and battery, given that she successfully beaned at least one board member with one of the fruity missiles.  She was also lucky not to have been charged under the PATRIOT Act, given that there is not very much you can’t be charged with under the PATRIOT Act.

The report did not say whether Hitchcock had assaulted the board with relatively benign green table grapes (probably Thompson Seedless) or a more threatening variety such as Bastardo or Canadian Moonseed.  Much more serious penalties would probably have been imposed had she used one of the harsh German varietals such as Blaufrankisch or even Gewurztraminer, let alone something like Black Monukka or the notorious Preto de Mortagua, normally spoken of only in hushed voices.  Few know that the Croatian autochthonous varietal Crljenak Kastelanski was involved in the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, sparking World War I.  Speaking of sparking, some research suggests that even common seedless grapes can be made to "combust spectacularly" if properly prepared, something that likely brings the PATRIOT Act back into the picture.

Whatever Hitchcock used, board president Jimmy Womack took the traumatic assault quite seriously.  He told reporters that he was glad Hitchcock had been punished.  "This shows there are consequences to the actions we take," he said. "It’s just regrettable [Hitchcock] has no remorse for attacking school board members [with grapes]."

Hitchcock remained defiant.  "It was worth the risk in order to be able to talk about these things in court," she told the Detroit Free Press, although it was unclear how many people were there to listen.  The judge imposed a $250 fine and Hitchcock must serve six months unsupervised probation.

Link: CBS News
Link: Learn about grapes at Wikipedia and
        The Super Gigantic Winegrape Glossary