In the Dark

Stop It

Produced by Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, and MTV Films
Directed by Kimberly Peirce
Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce and Mark Richard
Distributed by Paramount Pictures


On March 29, 2008, Suffolk County police officers vigorously fulfilled their sworn duty at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, New York.  Alerted by the mall’s security professionals, they swooped down on a fearsome 80-year-old criminal, one Don Zirkel, former editor of the Tablet, a Catholic weekly published by the Diocese of Brooklyn.  They charged Mr. Zirkel with the crime of protesting America’s occupation of Iraq, clapped him in a wheelchair, and whisked him out of the mall.  They then took this perp to their precinct and duly booked him—protecting shoppers from the unconscionable distraction he had been causing.  Once this criminal had been removed from the mall’s premises, the shoppers were free to return to their primary patriotic duty: consuming goods imported from China.

Zirkel was one of 250 demonstrators marching outside the mall.  When he came inside for a cup of coffee, he was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned “4000 Soldiers, 1 Million Iraqis Dead, Enough.”  Two security guards swiftly accosted him.  They could not allow such a message to offend the mall’s customers, they explained. ...

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