Occupy Wall Street, the NYC-based protest against (to oversimplify) banks and income inequality, has attracted the attention, or at least the attendance, of writers, thinkers and–for a few seconds at a time–musicians like Katy Perry. Check in with splinter movements outside New York, though, and the Q score goes down. Way down. Down to the point where it’s just protesters and–wait, what’s Justin Jeffre from 98 Degrees doing in the headlines?
Activism, that’s what. Jeffre was charged Sunday, along with 10 other protesters, with criminal trespassing and prohibitive use of Fountain Square in Cincinnati. Jeffre ended up going to jail–a “not fun” experience, he said, although he did add that “it was the place to be if you are standing up for free speech” and, later, that “nothing,” he said, “is more important that standing up for what you believe in.” Since then, his attorney Jennifer Kinsley entered a not-guilty plea for him.
This is altogether too earnest to be snarky about, although the excellent quotes from the Cincinnati Enquirer are worth checking out, if only to learn how Jeffre’s jail time went (and, y’know, more about the protest itself): was he recognized? Did he get to eat? What career implications could it possibly have? Oh, fine, we’ll tell you that part:
Going to jail could be a good career move for Jeffre. Spending time behind bars inspired many blues and country artists to write some of their best material.
Jeffre wasn’t sure.
“I didn’t feel like singing in there,” he said.