So, I’m confused…

Why are those who so ardently defend the Constitution not speaking up when police keep forcibly removing those who are trying to exercise such a clear and simple right?

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise thereof … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Despite quotes to the contrary, I do not see anything in these words that provide for an exception to this right.

Full wording:

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.

Whether you agree or don't agree with the Occupy movement, protecting the First Amendment seems like a no-brainer.

6 thoughts on “So, I’m confused…

  1. Mark S

    Hi Brett!
    I’ve seen a fair number of news reports of the assembling but not always being so “peaceable”.
    I googled and found this web post with a list of links to articles about various incidents and problems.
    http://bigjournalism.com/jjmnolte/2011/10/28/occupywallstreet-the-rap-sheet-so-far/
    Scroll down for the list of links.
    I’d totally support their right to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    I’m not sure in a lot of these cases that is what they’re doing. If they’re creating hazards, hurling molotov cocktails, destroying private and public property, or creating a nuisance by occupying bridges, then the cops need to do their jobs and enforce the law. No?

    Reply
  2. Gary

    Rights are not absolute. Yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater will get you arrested and claiming that your rights are being violated will not be taken seriously.
    There is quite a bit of jurisprudence regarding 1st amendment time, place, and manner regulations. See http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/timeplacemanner.htm for a discussion.
    With respect to the #OWS protests, most of the problems have arisen due to the ‘occupy’ concept. Insisting on camping out overnight or occupying public spaces 24×7 for *months* is what has caused the legal problems–not the content of the protest.
    Some of the groups have decided to occupy intersections, bridges, roads, and in Oakland a port depriving the public of free passage, access to their workplace, and creating serious public safety issues.

    Reply
  3. True Religion Outlet

    @@@I’ve certainly thought about this, but I think one needs to distinguish the secularized Christian *moral* strain in progressive politics from a leftist politics based in class consciousness. Don’t wait to have a lot, to share a bit.Because you don’t know how long it will take.

    Reply
  4. Troglodad

    As a veteran, when I see protestors, I flash back to the 1st Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, and all the idiots protesting against us in uniform.
    There’s no way I’d ever stand up and support a bunch of freeloading, lazy, no working hippies. And that’s just what the OWS people look like to me: a bunch of modern, free-love, pill poppin’ hippies that need to take a bath and get a job.
    But that’s just my $.02

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *