Tag: protest

Dissent and Arrest

I originally wrote this Mar 22, 2007, as a DailyKos diary, but, thought given how out-of-control law enforcement has become, it deserved a reprint and update here as well.

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. - First Amendment of the Constitution.

So, if the First Amendment gives all American citizen's the right to assemble peaceably, how are anti-war protester's being arrested?

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Gore Says Yes On Protests: Study Shows Effectiveness

There are several myths used by powerful groups, such as our government and corporations, to limit our rights to effect changes in unjust laws by protest and to deter us from protesting. We are told that protest is not an effective means of political action, but Al Gore knows this is not true. Just this month, Gore stated that young people should be encouraged to "engage in peaceful protests to block major new carbon sources:"

"I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers," Mr. Gore said, "and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants."

Right-wingers jumped on Gore, claiming he wanted young people to be killed or harmed by bulldozers when Gore was simply making the point that peaceful protest is effective. In fact, a study released this summer showed that protest by social movements is one of the most effective ways to get Congress to pass laws favorable to that movement (pdf file).

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