A passionate man at the wheel of a truck in Pittsburgh, PA drapes Moroccan flag out window and cites American-Moroccan Peace Treaty of 1787 as a reason to resist ticket.
Rabat – A video of a man at the wheel of a truck showing the Moroccan flag is circulating on Facebook. The man is making a spectacle on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by not only draping the flag outside his truck window but also holding a copy of the American-Moroccan Peace Treaty of 1787. The video shows at least four local police vehicles attending.
The man, who appears to be an African-American speaks perfect colloquial American English. In the video, the man claims to be a moor (Amazigh or Berber). At one point in the video he yells to police, “this is my land…I’m a moor.” Considering that the Amazigh people do not own public streets in Penn., it is unclear what the man meant.
His ethnicity is not confirmed, but the conviction with which he calls himself a moor is convincing enough to halt the police in action.
While the police presence is enough backup to handle to the man’s public outburst, the officers appear to be hesitant and confused as the man yells, “I ain’t in none of y’all’s jurisdiction…[you’re] getting ready to get sued!” In other words, the man threatens a lawsuit and claims that the police do not have the power to disturb him. Why the police’s approached the individual in the first place is unclear.
The three police officers simply huddle around the man’s white truck, tapping their feet, occasionally offering a pad with a citation for the man to sign. The man refuses, incoherently shouting what seems to be conspiracy ideas, “We don’t play their [obscene] games with these fake cops, fictitious entities, corporations. That’s what it’s there for. That’s why their women love us.”
Behind the cellphone camera, a spectator comments on events with profanity, “My man is going [off]…This ain’t no [lie]..my man threw the flag out the [obsecenity] whip.” Though his comments are spirited, the person filming demonstrates no clear signs of understanding that the flag represents Morocco, nor any understanding of the intentions behind the man with the Moroccan flag.
The cameraman seems to support the driver’s resistance against the police, as he cheers, “[this is] stuff you need to know, fellas, ladies…you see they ain’t touch him.” Even when the driver shouts, “Article six!” the person filming provides no insight, only enthusiasm for the rebellion.
Article six of The Treaty of Peace and Friendship states:
“If any Moor shall bring Citizens of the United States or their Effects to His Majesty, the Citizens shall immediately be set at Liberty and the Effects restored, and in like Manner, if any Moor not a Subject of these Dominions shall make Prize of any of the Citizens of America or their Effects and bring them into any of the Ports of His Majesty, they shall be immediately released, as they will then be considered as under His Majesty’s Protection.”
One must then assume that the reason for the anonymous self-identified moor’s refusal to comply with the police is that he believes himself “protected” by the king of Morocco. There are several problems with this interpretation, though. The clause is about protecting American citizens should they appear before the king of Morocco. This man, however, is claiming to be a moor. Secondly, it is uncertain whether he has been in the presence of King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
Another mystery is in the treaty itself: If one were set free by the king, does this entail the right to resist the American police? If not, what does the document actually mean by the word “Liberty.”
In simplest terms, this video is of a man who believes he has legal immunity, all due to his misinterpretation of the Moroccan-American peace treaty, signed over two centuries ago. The bystander filming likely doesn’t understand what the man is saying but supports that his rhetoric does, indeed, protect him from the American police.