Search This Blog


Monday, November 14, 2011

Peaceful Civil Disobedience is Supposed to be a Federally Protected Right

Protestors Have the Right to Protest

UPDATE: But Do They?  See

General Colin Powell and Supreme Court Support Right to Protest

by Washington's Blog 

In response to comments from those supporting the police crackdowns on peaceful protesters exercising their constitutional rights but violating local ordinances, reader Purplemuse writes:
The Constitution supersedes LOCAL ordinances that are being used to OBSTRUCT 1st Amendment Rights. The camping ITSELF is in order to Make a Statement of Free Speech – a First Amendment Right. Protesters are not camping because it is fun to expose yourself to the elements and hardship and you want to roast wienies and marshmallows and drink beer while swapping ghost stories.
Would you listen to Colin Powell, retired four-star general in the United States Army, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (1987–1989), as Commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command (1989) and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993) when he says, “It isn’t enough just to scream at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. We need our political system to start reflecting this anger back into, ‘How do we fix it? How do we get the economy going again?’” He also states that the Occupy Wall Street Protests are “As American as Apple Pie.”
Does he go on to qualify his statement by saying, “as long as they obey local (misdemeanor) ordinances. No, he does not. He actually goes on to say that he “gets” it.
If a man, well above your rank, that you’d likely drop everything to stand up in a room to honor, “gets” that peaceful protests, by design (that’s why they are referred to as ‘civil disobedience’) infringe on ordinances and make the public uncomfortable in order to be heard, are as American as Apple Pie; do you think you could set your fear of disobedience aside long enough to defend those protesters against physical harm for exercising those American as Apple Pie Rights? If you can’t than I think you need to join the ranks of officers who simply “do as they are told” and jab petite women in the spleen with billy clubs (as in Berkeley) in order to incite a riot. (BTW: They did not succeed, Berkeley stood firm in determined peace).

Watch Gen. Powell's statement here 

Here is a brief historical legal reminder to us all of our federally protected First Amendment rights. (from WIKI)
 'The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.'   
 'Assembly' has no limits as to time or space, and must enable safety of those Assembled, from the elements (tarps, tents, food, sanitation). 
 Petitioning includes others citizens opinions, not just govt. e.g. Freedom to use SIGNs, posters, marches, shouted slogans etc.    
TENT citation here notes that the tents themselves are deemed Free Speech
 (This is 1982 SPOKANE paper archive, see right page, lefthand column. )
Now, originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress. However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, 268 US 652 (1925), in a series of cases,  the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the First Amendment to each state, including any local government.  The city, county or state CAN MAKE NO LAW, policy or code  that can supersede our Federal Right to Assemble and Petition for Redress of Grievances.     
But does the First Amendment still hold? Why are our nations Police forces being given advice from the FBI and DHS about how to suppress our RIGHTS? Why,
President Obama, Why?

Note: To all 'Occupiers'
in order to maintain your First Amendment Status you must not let your group 'vote' to break any other federal laws, such as trespass in buildings or becoming a sanctuary. That would invalidate your protected status. In fact, allowing in illegal drugs etc can too, so you must be able to POLICE yourselves! Not easy. Find out from OccupyWallStreet and OccupyDC how that is done.

1 comment:

  1. Do note all Occupiers. Voting to break other federal laws, such as trespass or sanctuary invalidates your Peaceful Protest status!