Americans no longer allowed to protest at events of national significance

H.R. 347 passed and headed to the President’s desk. One might refer to this as the anti-OWS bill. But it’s ramifications go much further.

Essentially, the mere protesting at an event can now be a criminal felony bringing with it jailtime.  Protest  the Republican National Convention and you could be jailed for a year.  Do so while executing your Constitutional right as many Tea Party protestors did outside townhall meetings and you can now be jailed for up to 10 years.

Folks, this is dredful, and further erodes our First Amendment rights.  Eliminate the First and Americans have nothing to resort to but the Second.

This is foolishness of our government, a government afraid to face the social consequences of its actions.  Furthermore, I think most of this is already covered by existing laws. Tresspassing is already a crime. Committing a violent act is already a felony. 

There is fear that this can be used to prevent critics of the government from having a place to voice themselves.  And if the intent is NOT to silence the First Amendment, than why do we need this law  – as I’ve already pointed out the redundancies that exist.
§ 1752. Restricted building or grounds Section (c)(1)(C)http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr347enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr347enr.pdf

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Published in: on March 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So it looks like there are 4 ways to run afoul of this (copied/pasted, … added for brevity):
    1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building
    or grounds without lawful authority to do so
    2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt…engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in…any restricted building or grounds
    3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt…obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted
    building or grounds
    4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence…

    As you say, #1 sounds like trespassing and #4 is assault or some related charge. But the interpretation of “and with intent to impede or disrupt” of #2 & #3 should definitely trip our slippery-slope alarms. A protest by definition is supposed to be disruptive, otherwise it just disappears into the background.

    I agree, this does not seem needed and the type of legislative thinking that thought this sort of bill was a good idea seriously concerns me.

    • Apparently, it passed by 300+ for, and 3 against – sad.


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