“The right to peaceably assemble . . .”

adj \ˈpē-sə-bəl\

1 a: disposed to peace : not contentious or quarrelsome b: quietly behaved
2: free from strife or disorder

A 78 year old woman was pushed down the stairs. A young female reporter was harassed and threatened. Protesters tried to force their way into a dinner hosted by a conservative group. They blockaded doors and blocked streets to prevent people from leaving.

Is an assembly “peaceable” when its intent is to interfere with other people’s right to assemble and associate? Does my right to freedom of speech include preventing you from exercising yours?

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39 Responses to “The right to peaceably assemble . . .”

  1. DeniseVB says:

    Surely there is some “covert” protesters keeping an ear open for anti-American or violent plotting? I hope so.

    I think the cities should at least do sweeps for illegal drugs, alcohol and firearms … and matches… to keep the protesters and citizens of those areas safer.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      If they were protesting on government grounds, none of that would happen. All those are contraband on those grounds. My bet is that’s part of why they aren’t protesting there. Well that, and love of all things Obama.

  2. WMCB says:

    Actually, by blocking the doors and preventing people from leaving, they are guilty of unlawful restraint.

    And it is shameful that the police on the scene did nothing at all to help these people.

  3. Lola-at-Large says:

    Semi-on topic. Walter Russell Mead gives us the breakdown of the Blue Wall Street model, which I believe is being mirrored in the disruptive, aggressive OWS movement.


  4. dorkle says:

    That video is really disturbing for me.

    When I went to the Occupy LA event last month, I was taking pictures and taking a bit of video, until I was approached by a man named Brian and told under no certain terms was I allowed to take photos. He added that I needed the expressed consent of the people I wanted to photograph. Furthermore, he and a guy named Eric would not leave me until I DELETED the photos from my tablet device.

    So, I went around and asked people if I could take photos of them and their actions, but was told a resounding ‘no’. They controlled their image to a T and only allowed specific media to record or do stories.

    If the whole thing weren’t a project, I just would have said fuck it. I’ve been to the smaller Occupy movements like in Santa Ana and Long Beach, and those have been a bit better. However, they ask a lot of questions about what I’m going to do with the pictures and what-not, and mostly do not allow me to do anything other than observe. I don’t even take notes of what happens because I’m so scared, so I just try to memorize everything.

    I think I give off an outsider vibe; they totally smell me a mile away.

    • Rocky Hussein Squirrel says:

      Strange, whenever we see a conflict between the cops and OWS there are always a bunch of people taking pictures of everything.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      That’s why you need to get comfortable with LYING. That’s what I did. I told them I was sympathetic and they signed my paper releases without thinking twice about it. They don’t have to know the truth, and they lie plenty. So take that for what it’s worth.

      • dorkle says:

        Thanks for the tip, really.

        I do think it’s me, though. I’ve been told by many people that they can read me like a book because when I think or feel something it reads all over my face. It’s a flaw, I know I have to work on.

  5. Anthony says:

    I hope any similar but opposing movement has the sense to leave them alone and let themselves burn out.

    Seems to me they’re asking for even more violence, and the last thing we need is for the twit in the WH to impose martial law before the 2012 election

    BTW, “whip kissers” are people too…

  6. yttik says:

    You do not have to the right to hurt people or to block their exit, but it goes even farther than that. You also have a responsibility to ensure that nobody gets hurt during your protest. It’s like that “screaming fire in a crowded theater” thing, which is not protected speech. There’s a fine line between expressing yourself and inciting a riot or a stampede that’s going to injure people.

    Nearly all protests, from anti-war demonstrations to the tea party, have understood the responsibility that goes along with free speech and protesting. Some people in the OWS movement even get it, but there’s also a faction that doesn’t. It’s pretty scary because they clearly state that their goal is violence. I don’t know if the OWSies are organized and strong enough to resist being taken over by the louder and more violence prone.

  7. NewOrleans says:

    “Occupy Denver protesters dance on an American flag on November 5, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.”

    Winning support for their cause by dancing on the American flag.

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