The Rules of Protest and the Constitution

The Rules of Protest and the Constitution

“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. ~ The full text of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Does the First Amendment protect the rights of people to assemble for the purpose of protesting abuses of power by those who have been given authority by our government?

If so, then how is it possible for the same authorities that the people are protesting against to set up a line of intimidation and provocation aimed directly at the protestors? How is it possible for this intimidation to include a show of military strength aimed directly at American citizens who are exercising their Constitutional rights? How is it possible for those who the citizens are protesting against to demonstrate a willingness to use this military strength against those who are being provoked? How is it possible for those whose jobs are to protect our rights to be the ones who are destroying those rights?

How is it possible for the government to set ‘rules’ stating when and where such protests may take place? Saying “You may protest against us, but only when and where it is convenient for us. And we will be there, not to protect you, but to intimidate you” does more than make a mockery of the rights of the people. It effectively destroys these rights.

Does the First Amendment protect the rights of the press to investigate alleged abuses of power, and to report the results of their investigations?

If so, how is it possible for those who are charged with protecting our rights to intimidate and detain people for exercising their Constitutional rights?

The Constitution does not protect authorities from the inconvenience of dealing with people who are exercising their First Amendment rights. The government’s convenience is not a guaranteed right.

And to make this clear: As you exercise your rights please be aware of the rights that are guaranteed to all. Respect all people, respect their rights.

Individuals who step out of line should be dealt with according to the law. But their actions do NOT mean that the rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution no longer exist.

See on

Jerry Wyant