Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

You don’t need to commit violence to conduct a large, effective public protest of perceived injustice. The many Tea Party demonstrations against our federal government’s latest socialist excesses prove that.

But what if violent and nonviolent protests are equated in the minds of peace keepers?

In Reason magazine, journalist Radly Balko reports on several disturbing examples of crackdowns of persons assembled in a public place. In one incident, motivated by the occasionally violent protests of last fall’s G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, police ordered students gathered in public to disperse forthwith, though they had broken no laws. Anyone who moved too slowly was subject to arrest. Apparently, a few violent protesters hit town for the summit, but they were a distinct minority.

Balko isn’t impressed by a university official’s claim that the gatherings had to be busted up because of the “potential” for trouble. That’s a dangerous standard to apply to peaceful assembly that is not only constitutionally protected but also an important bulwark against tyranny.

Police can make honest mistakes like anybody else, especially when in charged and confusing situations. No doubt there’s sometimes a fuzzy line between a peaceful if rowdy protest and one that’s turning violent. But Balko suggests that police are increasingly harassing and handcuffing people only because they are peacefully dissenting.

Not only is that not right, it demands protest.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

1 Comment

  1. Rubicon says:

    Its not just telling kids or ‘rowdy’ protesters to “move along.” In fact, there is much more at work & many suspect we face some very trying times in the days, weeks, & months ahead.
    When the Missouri equivalent of the federal Department of Homeland Security issued its law enforcement advisory warning police about such people as returning Iraq & Afghanistan war vets, 2nd Amendment supporters, small government believers, low tax proponents, pro-life or anti abortion adherents, free speech supporters, while also commingling these folks w/ white supremacist groups, Aryan nation types, Timothy McVeigh, abortion clinic bombers, & other extremist radical elements, the howls of protest that ensued forced them to withdraw their advisory & issue a public apology since the report was based on vacuous information supplied to them by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), & their assertions had no basis in fact, no evidence, no documentation, nothing.
    Ironically, weeks – perhaps a few months later, Janet Napolitano, federal Department of Homeland Security Secretary, issued exactly the same type of bulletin warning law enforcement about these folks & implying they were dangerous “RIGHT-WING” extremists & their ‘Tea Party’ movement may be a cover for their nefarious activities. Subsequently, Napolitano admitted their report was based on data collected by her staff while surfing the internet & was based on interpretation of activities, not actual evidence of violent extremist plans or activities. In short, some liberal federal employees looked for the most outrageous stuff they could find on the internet & did their best to associate that content with the Tea Party movement (which was going strong at the moment & the mainstream media & lefties were doing their best to ignore & discredit the participants at the time. Media commentator types were openly mocking Tea Partiers, using vulgar sexual innuendo to discredit & mark the protesters as perverts, & anti American.
    Suddenly, the left wanted Americans to believe protest was no longer patriotic. Suddenly, the proponents of socialism wanted us to accept the notion ‘they’ were the real believers in democracy & civil rights, while they sought to marginalize any & all who actually expressed an opinion. Seems the left buy into the idea that they believe in dissent & alternative opinions. Yet they were shocked, shocked I say, to discover there actually were alternative opinions & those opinions did not agree with those of the extremist liberal left who were fast pushing America into becoming a socialist state.
    So the freedom to assemble may be under assault by supposed legal types who assert they only want to protect us, but, when you look at ALL of the events & activities of our liberal president & his administration, you will discover there is much more ground to cover as they impose & implement all sorts of less than civil actions to block speech, block protest, & establish circumstances which they could easily turn into situations they would imply are violent activities by those extremist right-wingers, who carry guns & are violent.

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