9.04.2008

reminder { 1st Amendment


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

(emphasis mine)
U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1
http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am1

A reminder to the police of St. Paul and the RNC.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are such a rebel.

Actually, that little bit of revolutionary text you quoted talks about making laws. The actions of the St. Paul police has nothing to do with them making laws, so it probably doesn't apply.

Knight of Nothing said...

The RNC isn't the government. In fact, the RNC is a lot like the protesters - a group assembling to influence the government. I think protesters could do a much better job keeping that in mind.

Police are scary and violent. I tend to avoid them when they gather in large groups, sort of like how I avoid bands of chimpanzees or young males.

GeistX said...

You miss the intent. No laws should have been passed that resulted in the mass arrests. People have been picked up en mass and charged with 'Conspiracy to Riot' and some will be charged under the MN version of the Patriot Act and will be charged with crimes based on the actions of others (they were preemptively arrested before having gone to the protests).

No the RNC isn't the gov't, though their members are in the gov't. The people in the RNC should be reminded of some of the tenets of our Constitution.

Knight of Nothing said...

I don't disagree with what you are saying: I share your outrage at the Patriot Act and Minnesota's version of it. My problem is one I have complained about to you before: I'm not convinced that protesters have a focused agenda other than self-promotion.

More importantly, however, I don't think that the viewers at home - because protesting is always about putting on a show for the viewers at home - share our conviction that the constitution is being abused by the Patriot Act. In this scenario, protesting actually *harms* the cause.

Given this, I don't think it wise or noble to go provoke a bunch of angry policemen, who are just trying to do their job, and are probably scared of what might happen in a melee.

GeistX said...

While I agree provoking the police isn't a wise thing to do, and that the protesters do have an agenda (its politics after all), the right to assemble and air our views is part of our country. Heavy handedness, preemptive raids, 'free speech zones' are all tools of intimidation meant to keep people (peaceful or otherwise) from congregating.

I feel there is value in protesting. I agree that in some cases it may cause harm, because there seems to be an element that goes destructive, which is then covered by the media. But recently those destructive elements have been found to be provocateurs who were undercover cops. A lot of the preemptive raids were based off information from paid informants. Why have these?