Notice: Peaceful Protest Is Now A Federal Crime

Protest sign

Congress has again voted to cancel the Bill of Rights. Peaceable protest anywhere in the U.S. is now potentially a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. I’m talking about H.R. 347 (and its companion Senate bill S. 1794); aka the “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011,” better known to those in the DC beltway as the “Trespass Bill.” This unconstitutional legislation passed unanimously in the Senate, and 388-3 in the House. President Obama signed it into law last Thursday.

It is now a federal crime to protest at a presidential event or a campaign stop by Newt Gingrich, Willard (“Mitt”) Romney or Rick Santorum. In addition, anything the U.S. Department of Homeland Security decides to designate a ‘National Special Security Event’ (NSSE) is now illegal to protest. In the past, these have included sporting events, state funerals, meetings of the World Trade Organization, NATO and G-8 Summits. The new law makes it a crime to enter or remain in an area even if the person does not know it’s illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it’s illegal.

Under the act, protesting in areas covered by Secret Service could land a demonstrator behind bars, and the thing about the Secret Service (in case you couldn’t tell by their name), is that they don’t always make it clear where they are. You could even say that the service they provide, at times, is kept secret.

… [T]he president can now detain you for getting too close to his front yard, order your assassination if the country considers you a threat and lock you away for life with no charge if you’re alleged to be a terrorist. You, on the other hand, can’t yell obscenities at Newt Gingrich without risking arrest.

Do they still teach elementary school students about the Bill of Rights, or do teachers mention it only as an historical document from the 18th Century?

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on March 14, 2012 - 8:14 pm

    What are they worried about? Can’t they just set one of these things up with a couple of sound cannons for good measure?

    Our leaders have become completely lawless and they wonder why people want to fight back.

  2. #2 by Nathan Erkkila on March 14, 2012 - 9:39 pm

    Are you surprised?

  3. #3 by brewski on March 14, 2012 - 10:45 pm

    Richard,
    You seem to not notice the obvious connection.

    If you give more power to the government to mandate what a church’s health plan will look like, what the prices will be, who can lend to whom, how much of your own money you are allowed to keep, and which favored business will live or die, then that same expanded power you gave them will be used to tell you where you can stand to speak, to determine whether you are a threat or not, and whether they can assassinate you.

    You are the ultimate Statist who is surprised that Statism has it’s downsides. You can ask Lieutenant Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg how these things generally work out.

  4. #4 by cav on March 15, 2012 - 8:11 am

    There does seem to be something of a quid pro quo for the government granting us the right to fight in and pay for its wars n’ shit.

  5. #5 by Richard Warnick on March 15, 2012 - 8:45 am

    brewski–

    Both major political parties seem to agree that protesters ought to be sent to federal prison for 10 years. That’s a concern, because it goes against the Constitution.

    Health care mandates are constitutional, under the Commerce Clause.

  6. #6 by Shane on March 15, 2012 - 9:17 am

    Congrats brewski, you just argued that regulations that support the common good and supression of opinion are the same thing just because both are a function of government. That may well be the single stupidest argument I have seen since he who cannot be named claimed inversions disprove warming.

    And then you stepped it up to nazi claims. All in one post. If you had any sense of shame at all, the moment you re-read that is your last moment ever making a public comment.

    …ah but we both know you will be back. And with dumber things to say.

  7. #7 by brewski on March 15, 2012 - 9:47 am

    Ahhhh, the “common good” argument. You are aware that the “common good” argument is the same argument which has and is being used to suppress free speech, jail dissenters, and seize people’s homes in China? The common good view held by Statists is that the State always knows best and its wise kommissars will makes decisions about you for you since it knows best.

    As for the reference to the German Statists, the analogy stands.

    I have no idea what you are talking about re inversions.

  8. #8 by Shane on March 15, 2012 - 9:52 am

    Actually, I personally hope you support this argument.

    I assume you have enrolled your kid in a Spanish class? After all, if you give the government the ability to decide who enters a country and who should leave, and what language is spoken, well, they can decide who to imprison! You are just two, maybe three steps from there to invading Poland my friend!

    So with no more immigration services maybe you can get your little whelp into a Spanish class and we won’t have to hear your sob stories about going to the local park and hearing foreign language spoken! The shame! Maybe your kid will have a chance at growing up a little racist, ignorant, and predjudice than his pathetic old man…

  9. #9 by Shane on March 15, 2012 - 9:54 am

    Let’s be honest brewski, inversions aren’t the problem. You have no idea what anyone here is talking about 99% of the time. Take your ignorance, illogic, bias and stupidity and go preform a very late term abortion. It would make everyone who ever met you happier…

  10. #10 by brewski on March 15, 2012 - 9:58 am

    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

    25. In order to carry out this program we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the State, the unconditional authority by the political central parliament of the whole State and all its organizations.

    The formation of professional committees and of committees representing the several estates of the realm, to ensure that the laws promulgated by the central authority shall be carried out by the federal states.

    – Program of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/nsdappro.asp

    I win again!

    • #11 by Nathan Erkkila on March 15, 2012 - 10:19 am

      Brewski, comparing someone to Hitler or the Nazis is one of the dumbest arguments you can come up with.

  11. #12 by brewski on March 15, 2012 - 9:59 am

    I am in moderation

  12. #13 by cav on March 15, 2012 - 10:19 am

    I get what brewski says, I just don’t agree much of the time. I was sort of hoping we could at least try to glean something from his comments without lambasting his progeny ‘n shit – no reason to knock his very being.

  13. #14 by brewski on March 15, 2012 - 10:33 am

    Nathan,
    Shane practically quotes point #25 of the nazi platform, unknowingly. Shane is arguing for more State power for the Common good and that is exactly what the nazi’s did. So how is the comparison dumb? Shane unintentionally repeats the nazi philosophy practically word for word. The comparison is direct, documented and apropos.

    Then in a feat of stupidity, Shane equates having our government protect our borders with trampling on our constitution and our liberty. That is the dumbest argument he has ever come up with, which is quite a feat.

  14. #15 by Richard Warnick on March 15, 2012 - 2:06 pm

    brewski–

    The whole point is that state power ought to have limits. Why we have the Bill of Rights. Congress and the Obama administration needs to stop what they’re doing and adhere to the Constitution.

  15. #16 by brewski on March 15, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    The whole point is that state power ought to have limits.

    Limits? What limits? Where are these limits? If it is in the “common good” as decided by the kommissars then there are no limits. Or perhaps some limits might be like not being able to command a private company what to sell and what the price will be.

  16. #17 by Richard Warnick on March 15, 2012 - 5:02 pm

    I think I said the Constitution is supposed to limit the power of government.

    Much as I dislike the individual private insurance mandate, it’s not unconstitutional. In fact, it’s an idea that came originally from Republicans.

  17. #18 by cav on March 15, 2012 - 6:39 pm

    ‘The Constitution’?..

    Where do you get this quaint stuff?

  18. #19 by cav on March 15, 2012 - 7:20 pm

    Lately we have:

    -let banks screw taxpayers again and again out of probably gazillions;
    -failed to prosecute and presumably jail a mess of seriously murderous war criminals;
    -given up on the notion of quality public education and its accessibility;
    -conducted a costly and ridiculous drug war;
    -moved backwards in cultural regions relating to gender, religion and class;
    -dropped the ball on energy and the environment, or rather handed it off to the nuke and oil people;
    -embraced endless war to a degree that would shock the vietnam/cold war generations;
    -and now, we’re attempting to undo the feminist generation accomplishments;
    -dispatched habeus corpus, accepting instead trial-free, utterly secret govt sanctioned murder, torture and theft of the grandest scale.

    Thanks CD.

  19. #20 by Larry Bergan on March 15, 2012 - 8:04 pm

    We should have the Canadians come down and show us how to protest so Cheney will be afraid to stay HERE.

    Actually, I think our protesters are doing a great job, it’s just that Cheney couldn’t take all his hardware with him on a trip to Canada. A “highway of death” just wouldn’t look good in Canada; Mexico, maybe.

  20. #21 by cav on March 16, 2012 - 10:41 am

    Is this just east of the library?

    Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013.

    Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases.

    Total Information Awareness lives on.

    Speak up, be destroyed.

  21. #22 by Larry Bergan on March 16, 2012 - 6:23 pm

    cav:

    This frog has boiled very slowly. This is worse then breaking into your house and taking your stereo and television; this is reading people’s minds without them knowing it.

    How did we get here. What would people have done about this just a decade or two ago?

  22. #23 by Larry Bergan on March 16, 2012 - 6:23 pm

    But HEY! It’s jobs!

  23. #24 by cav on March 17, 2012 - 2:15 pm

    The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

    …wcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

  24. #25 by Larry Bergan on March 17, 2012 - 4:52 pm

    Wow cav:

    What a great article! I’ve been wondering about the particulars of that project ever since governor Walker first uncovered it in it’s infancy when it was called “matrix”.

    Maybe now, people around the country will stop laughing at Utah and give us some damned respect. 🙂

  25. #26 by cav on March 17, 2012 - 6:55 pm

    I hope you scoped the comments. A lot there.

  26. #27 by Larry Bergan on March 17, 2012 - 9:06 pm

    cav:

    We ought to start sending each other yottabags of regular mail. The mail carriers will be dancing in the streets and it will send the entire government into the fetal position.

  27. #28 by Larry Bergan on March 17, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    I guess this was the first groundbreaking ever to be held in a tent so the cameras wouldn’t record recognizable terrain behind the politicians.

    Was Orrin Hatch there? Of course he was!

    Great job from Wired. I don’t like all of their articles, but this one deserves a Pulitzer. Never thought I’d learn about the names given to several levels of storage capacity above terabytes.

    Here’s one more link to the article.

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