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Forum Post: Government DOES have the authority to restrict speech and assembly

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 23, 2011, 1:17 p.m. EST by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The common wisdom among Occupiers seems to be that the First Amendment makes it illegal for the government to restrict speech in any way.  That is simply not true.

Some people like to point at the text of the First Amendment and then pretend like that's the end of the story.  They come up with their own interpretation, and then they conclude that cops are violating the First Amendment by enforcing laws that require permits for protests, or any other restriction.  This mentality ignores the reality of how our legal system works.

A statute is not the end of the story in law, it's the beginning of the story.  After a law is written, the law must be interpreted.  Individual citizens don't get to interpret laws in whatever self-serving way that they see fit.  Our legal system places the job of interpreting law in the hands of the courts.  One court ruling on a law becomes precedent for subsequent court rulings, and through this process of stare decisis, the case law determines the official, legal, universally-objective interpretation of the original statute.

This process is vital because the laws as they're written are often too vague to be implemented, and so the courts have to interpret the specifics in order for law enforcement to have clear policies.  One simple example of why this is vital is that the First Amendment says that "Congress" shall pass no law, it doesn't say anything about your local city government.  A fundamentalist interpretation might conclude that state and local governments are not bound by the First Amendment.  It's a good thing that it doesn't work like that, right?

Cops are not violating the First Amendment when they arrest people for not having permits for a protest.  They're simply enforcing the law as interpreted through centuries of case law.  Self-serving interpretations of the First Amendment that ignore how our legal system really works don't change that fact.

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[-] 4 points by randart (498) 2 years ago

We are the government. Don't ever forget that small little fact.

"We the people" once meant a few white skinned land owners but now it means ALL of us. So, "We, the people" in order to forma a more perfect union are speaking out.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Yes, I'm a big Howard Zinn fan and I understand what you mean. And the legal process that I'm referring to in the original post is the same process that evolved our law over time, to expand the effective definition of "We, the people" to include blacks, native Americans, and women.

It's the same process that has interpreted the First Amendment as having some limitations. You can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater and then hide behind the First Amendment, for example. This is the exact same process of stare decisis that I'm talking about.

[-] 4 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

I will refer you to the first amendment in the bill of rights.

Amendment I

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.

And then these 2

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Those amendments to the Constitution are the beginning of the story, not the end of it. If they were the end of the story then your local city government would be entitled to place any kinds of restrictions they like on speech or assembly, because City Hall is not "Congress". If you're going to insist on a fundamentalist interpretation of the Constitution with no regard for case law, then the First Amendment only narrowly applies to Congress, because it clearly says "Congress" right there in the Constitution. It doesn't say "Government". Fortunately for all of us, that isn't how our legal system works.

[-] 3 points by 1169 (204) 2 years ago

ows is the beginning of the protest, not the end of it, we the people will form a more perfect union.

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

I will refer you to the first amendment in the bill of rights. Amendment I 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. And then these 2 Amendment IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Amendment X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

If that were the end of the story, not the beginning, then only "speech" would be the only protected form of fre expression, because the First Amendment literally says, "speech", it doesn't say, "writing", or "art", or anything else.

And if that were the end of the story, then the First Amendment would only apply to Congress, because that's what it says. The City of New York could unfairly refuse to issue protest permits to one group while encouraging other groups, solely on the basis of their messages. But our legal process has interpreted the First Amendment as also applying to state and local government.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

You are incorrect, this has been addressed amply and it is a red herring employed often by would-be "debunkers".

The states become "Congress", and bound by congressional prohibitions, when they join the U. S. of A.

Anything congress cannot do, The States cannot do individually. Re-read Amendment X.

The flaw in your rationale is easy to expose:

By your reasoning, why couldn't various states make laws 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?

If you say that those words are "merely the beginning" -- and yet you also say that The States are unbound by them since "they are not Congress" -- then I humbly ask you:

Where is the law prohibiting The States?

Please provide the specific statutes, sections and clauses.

[-] 3 points by reckoning (53) 2 years ago

LOL! ''permit to protest''

what a joke america is.

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Please allow me to direct you toward what the ACLU has to say about the subject. Even if you don't trust me, you trust the ACLU on First Amendment issues, right? You understand that the ACLU is on your side and that they value the First Amendment?

This what they have to say about it:

Protest and Free Speech: A Brief Introduction

Find out about local and state laws on demonstrations well before you stage any protest. You need to know when permits are required, if there are limits on the amount of noise, if there are limits on the hours when protest is permitted and what the laws are on obstructing sidewalks, marching in streets, etc.

Most cities allow sidewalk pickets without permits but require that they don’t block sidewalks or access to buildings. Most insist on permits for street marches.

If you can, get a lawyer with some knowledge of the First Amendment to help you find out about all the local laws. The single most common mistake that people make with protests is not finding out about permit requirements early enough. Organizers often announce marches publicly only to find out that they don’t have time to get a permit, or that after the route has been announced, the city legitimately insists on changing it to accommodate traffic, etc. Since protests are a possible part of any campaign, find out about the laws at the start.

The First Amendment says that you can’t be denied a permit or subjected to special conditions because of your message. It also says that to minimize the possibility that hostility to your message will infect the process, permit laws must have “neutral criteria” for deciding when permits will be refused or marches limited.

However, a surprising number of cities still have laws which appear to give officials almost arbitrary power to limit protests or deny permits altogether. Even if a permit law is invalid, you generally must apply for the permit and follow the process through to challenge it later.

Finally, remember that the First Amendment will not protect you if you are arrested for civil disobedience (sit-ins, demonstrating on private property or on government property not intended for speech, etc.).

http://gbge.aclu.org/organize/protests-and-civil-disobedience

[-] 3 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

You confuse civil disobedience with reasonable freedom of speech restrictions.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You confuse civil disobedience with lawful behavior. I understand the value of civil disobedience, but civil disobedience is, by definition, unlawful behavior. Civil disobedience is when you intentionally violate unjust law. That's the definition of "civil disobedience".

[-] 2 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

You may violate several laws to protest unjust systems and governments.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Okay, sure. I don't disagree with civil disobedience. But it's not "legal". I object to the spreading meme that says that cops are acting illegally and that protesters aren't violating the law because of the First Amendment being some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card.

You responded in another thread, "tell that to Rosa Parks." But Rosa Parks intentionally violated the law. An unjust law, yes, but what she did was illegal.

[-] 2 points by BlueRose (1437) 2 years ago

On the whole, I think cops are too repressive in scope, ABSOLUTELY. I have nearly 20 years experience, it is subtle tactics, that's why I really don't care about tents in a park. Many cities don't either, they "get" what is happening, they "get" the civil disobedience aspect of a tent in a park. But did you know, cities don't even (adequately) plan for public space? It all designed to circumvent free speech laws anyway. Private freaking sidewalks? Come one, the protesters have no place to stand! "Give me a place to stand, I shall move the Earth."~Archimedes. We are now at the point where we have no place to stand, we must take a stand where we are.

[-] 2 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

@ BlueRose ... good point!

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You made the error that I'm pointing out. You talk about "free speech laws", while simultaneously endorsing intentionally violating the laws that our legal system has developed on the subject of free speech. ("civil disobedience")

This is hypocrisy, because you're using the same law that you're violating to defend your illegal actions. That makes no sense. It can only make sense if you have no respect for, or no knowledge of, how First Amendment law works.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

He did not make that error, you merely applied a strawman tactic to support your argument, which you believe precludes every "have a heart" plea like his.

He is absolutely right. They have literally denied you a place to stand, which is not an authority We The People have willfully relinquished.

Meanwhile you dogmatically support your wonky and contradictory position.

You're also incoherent:

you're using the same law that you're violating to defend your illegal actions.

Please quote exactly when BlueRose2 did that, in his precise words. I have no doubt we are going to be subjected to your own arbitrary (and consequently ill-described) interpretation.

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

You may... but realize that in so doing, you exist outside the protection of law.

[-] 2 points by IslandActivist (191) from Keaau, HI 2 years ago

I bet if I post here, someone will try to assert their beliefs on how they interpret the first amendment. This term is used too carelessly by any protest. Soon the government can detain you without having a 'motive' so sit back and watch as the protestors are spirited away.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

My objection here is exactly to the phenomenon of people asserting their beliefs on how they interpret the First Amendment. Because it isn't about beliefs. We have some pretty clearly-established law on the subject that anybody can look up if they like. It isn't about individual beliefs. There are people who believe that the First Amendment makes it unconstitutional for government to restrict free expression or assembly in any way. Anybody can just look up the fact that this is not true. It isn't about beliefs. This is law, not religion.

[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

State and local laws DO NOT trump the Constitution . . .

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

What gives you the impression that anybody said that they do?

If not for the same process that has established that government has the authority to restrict speech, state and local laws WOULD trump the Constitution, since the Constitution says "Congress" shall pass now law, it doesn't mention state and local laws. Good thing that it doesn't work that way, right?

[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

State and local laws CANNOT LEGALLY modify our bill of rights . . .

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You totally missed the point. The First Amendment applies to your state and local government and not just "Congress", even though that's what the Bill of Rights literally says, because of the legal process of interpreting laws that so many Occupiers are ignoring. Some are ignoring it, and some are ignorant.

[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

It is not only due to interpretation, the U.S. Constitution is written in clear language and State and Local laws DO NOT LEGALLY modify the primary law of our nation, that is the U.S. Constitution.

I like Critical Thinkers post: "Do NOT forget our rights are God given, NOT given by government. So, with our rights being God given, man, yep, your sacred government which you so often want to throw around, has NO authority to remove or qualify."

"that's inalienable."

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You totally missed the point yet again. It doesn't even seem like you're reading what I'm posting.

The clear language of the First Amendment specifically says "Congress". If not for the interpretive process, why would the First Amendment apply to state or local government at all?

If the Constitution is written in clear language and that's the end of the story, then would we have separation of church and state? The phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the US Constitution.

[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

Amendment X:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

"The phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the US Constitution."

The language in the Constitution prohibits Congress and the State and Local governments (Amendment X) from writing laws that establish a religion and/or prohibit the free exercise of religion.

The MSM initiated the phrase "separation of church and state."

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Not establishing an official religion is not the same thing as a wall separating church from state. That wall is the implementation of the First Amendment. It comes from the interpretation of the First Amendment by our legal system, which has concluded that the fairest way to implement the First Amendment is to maintain a wall of separation between church and state.

My point here is that the First Amendment is just the beginning of the story. In this example, the story continued from there to become a wall of separation between church and state. In the case of free speech, the First Amendment was the beginning of the story, and then the expansion from "speech" to "expression" happened as part of our legal system interpreting the First Amendment. And the same interpretive process has concluded that government CAN restrict free expression, and assembly, as long as the restrictions are content-neutral and not too restrictive.

Pretending that all restriction on expression or assembly at all levels of government is prohibited by the First Amendment and that's the end of the story is to ignore the interpretive process that makes the First Amendment relevant to your local government in the first place.

[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

Bear in mind as per the Declaration of Independence: "governments derive their JUST POWERS from consent of the governed."

‘When banks have routinely filed falsified mortgage promissory notes, with tens of thousands of fraudulent documents filed in tens of thousands of cases – “rampant, self-evident, easy to prosecute” fraud – what does it take to get prosecutions ?’

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/22/us-foreclosures-idUSTRE7BL0MC20111222

http://investmentwatchblog.com/barry-ritholtz-when-banks-have-routinely-filed-falsified-mortgage-promissory-notes-with-tens-of-thousands-of-fraudulent-documents-filed-in-tens-of-thousands-of-cases-rampant-self-evident-eas/

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/when-banks-have-routinely-filed-falsified-mortgage/

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Are you under the impression that the Declaration of Independence is somehow a law? Or did you sprinkle that in just for flavor?

[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

It is a founding document . . . are you under the impression that it is of little value from a legal stand point ?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The Declaration of Independence was a statement, not a statute. It's an announcement, not a law. It was a message addressed to the King of England.

My point through all of this, on this entire page, is that the First Amendment was the first word on the subject of free assembly and free expression, not the last word. The Declaration of Independence came even before the first word. More than ten years before.

[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

The Declaration of Independence is not law. The U.S. Constitution is the PRIMARY LAW of our nation which may not LEGALLY be superceded by any other. The U.S. Constitution ensures the natural rights of man referenced in the Declaration of Independence.

"Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" . . ."

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Okay sure, I'll give you all of that. I still don't know why you brought up the Declaration in the first place -- but sure.

And it is not unconstitutional for government to restrict free expression or free assembly.

[-] 1 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

Well that depends . . . "governments derive their JUST POWERS from consent of the governed." - Declaration of Independence

‘When banks have routinely filed falsified mortgage promissory notes, with tens of thousands of fraudulent documents filed in tens of thousands of cases – “rampant, self-evident, easy to prosecute” fraud – what does it take to get prosecutions ?’

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/22/us-foreclosures-idUSTRE7BL0MC20111222

http://investmentwatchblog.com/barry-ritholtz-when-banks-have-routinely-filed-falsified-mortgage-promissory-notes-with-tens-of-thousands-of-fraudulent-documents-filed-in-tens-of-thousands-of-cases-rampant-self-evident-eas/

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/when-banks-have-routinely-filed-falsified-mortgage/

"We are the government. Don't ever forget that small little fact."

"We the people" once meant a few white skinned land owners but now it means ALL of us. So, "We, the people" in order to forma a more perfect union are speaking out." - @ randart

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

Flip, meet Flop.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

Here now, you have just exposed your own previous contradictions. Now you're thinking too hard and blindly defending your previous statements against attacks you merely perceive.

This is called Doublethink, confusion, logical fallacy, or "having your head up your ass."

[-] 2 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 2 years ago

You confuse "statute" with law. The Constitution is the highest law of the land. Statutes do not make things lawful or unlawful, merely legal or illegal.

There is a difference.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The word "statute" is a general term that includes the Constitution. And you're correct that statutes, including the Constitution itself, do not make things lawful or unlawful by themselves. Statutes are the beginning of a process that determines the distinction between lawful and unlawful. What I'm talking about in this post is the relationship between statute and case law. The Constitution is the beginning of the process, not the end of it.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 2 years ago

Are courts operating under "sanctioned jurisdiction" Article III or Article IV? Under what jurisdiction did our court systems operate under for the first 80-ish years? Was anyone ever convicted for any crime of which no victim or injury had occurred? Why did it change or did it?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

This page is already on the first page of the Google search results for the phrase "sanctioned jurisdiction", after one day. Guess what the tells me?

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 2 years ago

It should tell you that somebody would prefer it never be discussed?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Article Three of the United States Constitution describes the courts, and judicial review.

Could you please explain what you mean by the term "sanctioned jurisdiction"?

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 2 years ago

http://www.gemworld.com/USAVSUS.HTM

Ignore the blue lodge and NWO rhetoric, just compare the two sides which represent pre and post DC America.

http://www.supremelaw.org/library/index.htm

http://www.supremelaw.org/fedzone11/index.htm

This last link is a worthwhile read and you'll find Mr Mitchell quite astute with all his adventures through our nations various courts to be interesting as well as verifiable.

Peek through it and let me know what you think. Do read the Federal Zone, it's a reasonably short read and very revealing.

The vaporization of the original 13th amendment was likely one of the most detrimental blows to our republic than any other inflictions on behalf of the world bankers who now own our nation.

See what you think and I look forward to changing ideas with you further.

[-] 1 points by Anachronism (225) 2 years ago

Law is subject to the best argument(also subjective) and it is skewed towards money power. I don't really hold much stock in the constitution as an arbiter of rights. People should have the right to non-violently assemble on public property..

One of the main purposed of the constitution as laid out by James Madison is to control the "leveling impulses" of the propertyless multitudes and of course, above all, protect the wealthy.

There is no such thing as equal application of the law. That is a ridiculous myth.

The only reason the occupations went on as long as they did is because the ruling class allowed it,

It's a rich mans world http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz-bcdRRiRo

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I actually do not disagree with you about the true intent of the founding fathers. But that still doesn't mean that it makes any sense to violate the law by organizing a protest and refusing to even apply for permits, for example, and to then claim that you're not breaking the law because of the First Amendment. That just isn't how it works. It's self-contradictory and hypocritical, and it reveals a very thin understanding of Constitutional law and a thin respect for the Constitution itself, as well as law and order in general.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I understand your point. But I do think the overall strategy has made it impossible for the public to ignore it, and hence have conversation on banking cartel.

[-] 1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Cops who violate the constitution and commit crimes (on order) are breaking the law and will be brought to justice in time. (See East German cops tried and convicted for shooting escapees over the wall on orders - http://articles.latimes.com/1992-01-21/news/mn-667_1_east-german )

They are a disgrace to our founders, the Revolutionary War, our history, and the very concept of freedom and democracy.

They are also so stupid that they obey their worst enemies. They should worry about their pensions (not to mention the newbies' pensions and benefits) and middle class lifestyles. What are they, dumb stupid animals?

Spare us your "law school" sophistry, fascist.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I suppose that maybe I deserve that "fascist" epithet for my "left-wing extremist" phrase. I changed the title of this page from "Government DOES have the authority to restrict speech" to the new title in frustration after all of the responses on this page.

The whole point of this post is to point out the fallacy in this statement: "Cops who violate the constitution and commit crimes (on order) are breaking the law."

Cops who commit crimes certainly are breaking the law. By definition. But cops who enforce legal restrictions on speech or assembly are not necessarily violating the constitution. Rarely, in fact. The laws that they're enforcing might violate the constitution. But not all laws that restrict speech or assembly are unconstitutional.

[-] 1 points by billyson (18) 2 years ago

Article 19. universal declaration of human rights (UN)

which trumps any law- written by any country- and is easily interpreted.

* Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

This is earths law- any law- that doesn't conform to it is null and void.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

"Earth's law"?!? Nothing that the UN has ever written "trumps" US law. The US government does not answer to the UN. The UN is a diplomatic organization.

Does your idea of how the legal system works tell you that you can simply declare any law "null and void" and violate it on the basis of a UN resolution? Violating a law that you believe to be unjust is civil disobedience, which is inherently illegal. You can commit civil disobedience and I might respect that, I respect Rosa Parks and many other examples for violating laws.

But how can I have any respect for people who commit civil disobedience and then pretend that they're not violating the law? Did Rosa Parks intentionally violate an unjust law, or did she insist that she wasn't breaking a law in the first place?

[-] 1 points by billyson (18) 2 years ago

All us laws are unjust- if the usa wrote them they are null and void- we will rewrite the laws- making them support human rights in stead of only protecting the evil of the 1%.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

And what a wonderful world this will be...

[-] 1 points by jsmith (22) 2 years ago

That law was signed by every country on earth-- and any country that now doesn't honor, its commitment to human rights- will be brought down. and tried for crimes against humanity. in the world court- Including the corrupt usa, which presently abuses its citizens-

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

It's not a "law", it's a declaration. And the UN does not dictate US law. Our legal system is not a hierarchy with the UN at the top.

You have a fascinating and wildly inaccurate impression of how the US legal system works, that our country is subservient to the UN. A lot of right-wingers would find your post to be a confirmation of some of their worst fears about Occupy.

[-] 1 points by jsmith (22) 2 years ago

Remember the declaration of independence --- The freedom loving people of the world except un passed documents as - world law-- us laws are null and void- as they are corrupt- The us will except the will of the worlds population- as it will end its oppression in the name of greed.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

And with this sad response from you, I officially hereby give up on the Occupy movement. This is just hopeless.

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 2 years ago

Their reason was: Health & Safety > Speech; while the homeless had more of all 3 for a brief moment in time.

[-] 1 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

Good eye "reckoning" ... a permit to protest??????

Gee, let's examine the First Amendment again ... the right of the people to peacefully assemble (with a permit) for a redress of grievances ...

NOPE, it does NOT say that ... See, the founding fathers were exceptionally bright. They knew (first hand experience) how a tyrannical government operates and ensured no qualifications were made.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Are you sure about that? The founding fathers explicitly did not intend for the First Amendment to apply to blacks, native Americans, indentured European servants, or women. The legal process that expanded our definition of "person" to include all of those groups is the same process that determined that the government CAN place restrictions on speech, such as the restriction that you can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater.

[-] 1 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

In the original writing, I don't see that the First did NOT apply to blacks, native Americans, indentured European servants, or women.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The US Constitution explicitly defines blacks slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of apportionment. This is Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

And you also hopefully know already that the Declaration of Independence refers to native Americans as "savages":

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst as, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

And women, of course, were simply invisible.

Do you still feel that the founding fathers intended for the First Amendment to apply to everybody, without qualification?

[-] 1 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

Types of restraints on speech

Time, place, or manner restrictions

Freedom of speech is also sometimes limited to free speech zones, which can take the form of a wire fence enclosure, barricades, or an alternative venue designed to segregate speakers according to the content of their message. There is much controversy surrounding the creation of these areas — the mere existence of such zones is offensive to some people, who maintain that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution makes the entire country an unrestricted free speech zone.[3] Civil libertarians claim that Free Speech Zones are used as a form of censorship and public relations management to conceal the existence of popular opposition from the mass public and elected officials.[

Gee, nothing there limiting OWS speech ...

Content-based restrictions

Restrictions that require examining the content of speech to be applied must pass strict scrutiny.

Operative words there ... "pass strict scrutiny" nothing there of any merit with respect to OWS

Viewpoint-based restrictions

Restrictions that apply to certain viewpoints but not others face the highest level of scrutiny, and are usually overturned, unless they fall into one of the court's special exceptions. An example of this is found in the United States Supreme Court's decision in Legal Services Corp. v. Velazquez in 2001. In this case, the Court held that government subsidies cannot be used to discriminate against a specific instance of viewpoint advocacy.

This certainly protects OWSs free speech ... so, nothing there.

Special exceptions

Obscenity

Obscenity, defined by the Miller test by applying contemporary community standards, is one exception. It is speech to which all the following apply: appeals to the prurient interest, depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. (This is usually applied to more hard-core forms of pornography.)

Nothing there prohibiting OWSs freedom of expression

'Fighting words'

Fighting words are words or phrases that are likely to induce the listener to get in a fight. This previously applied to words like "nigger" but with people getting less sensitive to words, this exception is little-used. Restrictions on hate speech have been generally overturned by the courts; such speech cannot be targeted for its content but may be targeted in other ways, if it involves speech beyond the First Amendment's protection like incitement to immediate violence or defamation.

Nothing there restricting OWSs freedom of expression

I could go on but it is getting tedious. You, Sir, have no grounds for your point. And, as BlueRose so aptly stated, YOU are confusing civil disobedience with freedom of speech.

Please stop this and find something to do.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

What I'm referring to is the notion that's popular among Occupiers that the government can't place restrictions on Occupy protests because of the First Amendment, such as requiring permits. That mistaken idea has spread a lot over the last three months after bouncing around in an echo chamber of people agreeing with each other, but that doesn't make it true. Occupy will do no good for anybody if it becomes a place where bad ideas get reinforced through repetition.

[-] 0 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

oh, and one other point. Do NOT forget our rights are God given, NOT given by government. So, with our rights being God given, man, yep, your sacred government which you so often want to throw around, has NO authority to remove or qualify.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

I thought they were unalienable.

[-] 1 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

that's inalienable

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

nonalienable?

joking

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

At the very HEART of our political system lies the idea that "WE THE PEOPLE" ARE SOVEREIGN.

The ONLY legitimacy of the President, Congress, Supreme Court, Pentagon, FBI, various police forces and other "public servants" is that they FAITHFULLY SERVE us the people.

If they serve us poorly, it is up to us - the masters, according to the Constitution - to upbraid our servants or even dismiss them for incompetence.

But - EVEN WORSE - If they fail to serve us the people and instead covertly serve the interests of a tiny minority, that is much worse than incompetence: it is CORRUPTION AND TREASON, for all public servants - including the President - are sworn to UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION "in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." (Preamble).

The President does NOT rule over us like a king or an emperor; WE RULE OVER HIM as "THE PEOPLE". We waged a Revolution over that very point back in 1776, remember? Are we now going to sacrifice that tremendous leap forward we made as a nation 235 years ago? WHY WOULD WE? Would it not make us accomplices to treason against ourselves? I say to you, it would be BENEATH OUR DIGNITY.

[-] 2 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

Profound! And that's the way it is.

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

Thank you, but it's not really profound or abstruse at all... The concept is, in fact, incredibly simple. - and beautiful in its simplicity. In 1776, the KING was replaced by THE PEOPLE. "We The People" became sovereign, inheriting all of the prestige and powers formerly bestowed upon king, emperor, tyrant, despot, etc.

The king was NOT replaced by a President. "We The People" are the kings, the President,, Congress, Supreme Court, Pentagon, FBI, police forces and other "public servants" are OUR SERVANTS. If they seek to BECOME OUR MASTERS, then they are TRAITORS to the Constitution perpetrating a de facto COUP D'ETAT.

So beautiful in its simplicity! THAT, I think, is the message we need to disseminate all over this Land in 2012. I would like to see it as part of a MANIFESTO. What do you think?

[-] 2 points by CriticalThinker (140) 2 years ago

We are NOT a democracy. We were a republic but we are now a bastardized plutocracy, oligarchy, and aristocracy.

And, if that message is lost upon those in authority, there is a remedy in the Amendments.

[-] 1 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

I would like to see it as part of a MANIFESTO. What do you think?

I would like to see that !

I agree with CriticalThinker - too

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The king was also not replaced by anarchy. "We, the people" were represented by a government and legal system designed to seek an objective legal interpretation of our laws. Our country doesn't stand for every individual coming up with their own self-serving interpretation of our laws and then following that interpretation. We all have to live by a common set of rules, and our legal system of building on statute with case law is the process that we use for determining the common set of rules.

If you feel that you're a "slave" to a "master" then you're entitled to think that way. But you can't try to claim a legal basis for breaking the law and then paint law enforcement as acting illegally. That's an inherent contradiction that reeks of a combination of ignorance and hypocrisy.

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

"TechJunkie" writes: "The king was also not replaced by anarchy."

"We The People" EQUALS NOT "anarchy"!!!!

It's interesting that you should bring up "anarchy", as I've been thinking about that lately...

WHO are the REAL ANARCHISTS in today's America, the modern-day Patriots of OWS or the Suit-and-Tie Mafia that has quietly taken over the country?

Isn't it "kinda ironic" that all over this troll-infested forum, OWS haters are accusing the Movement of being "just a bunch of ANARCHISTS"? Actually, America and a great many other pseudo-democracies are NOT the law-and-order countries that they claim to be, but are basically GLORIFIED ANARCHIES where "MIGHT TRUMPS RIGHT" and the ESTABLISHED DISORDER is imposed on the 99%.

Isn't that why Wall Street got away with clearly immoral AND illegal practices that hurled the country - and the world - into a catastrophic crisis?

And isn't that why Congress has just decided to basically scrap our "Bill of Rights" and "Magna Carta" protections dating back to 1215? WHO is currently governing this country, if not a mafia of SUIT-AND-TIE ANARCHISTS? "OBAMA IS SURROUNDED BY MAFIA!" recently exclaimed spiritual teacher and physician Deepak Chopra - a former supporter of Obama.

As Chris Hedges pointed a couple of months ago, the Great Patriots of OWS are actually fighting to uphold the Constitution and "restore the rule of Law". They are, in a word, the POLAR OPPOSITE of the suit-and-tie anarchists who have staged a covert and gradual COUP D'ETAT against our democracy.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

What I specifically meant when I said that the king was not replaced by anarchy is that we don't each get to be our own king, making up our own self-serving rules as we go along. We all obey the same rules, and our legal system determines those rules. If everybody just makes up their own rules then that's anarchy.

[-] 1 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 2 years ago

Everybody is equal but some are more equal than others.

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

The KING was NOT replaced by a "President". He was replaced by "WE THE PEOPLE". We The People are SOVEREIGN. The President, Congress, Supreme Court, Pentagon, military, police and other public servants are JUST THAT: our temporary SERVANTS, that We The People hire, re-hire or dismiss as we please.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Each individual person is not sovereign, we are a sovereign nation. (Contrary to the thinking of the guy on this page who thinks that UN resolutions trump US law.). We are all bound by the conclusions of our legal system. We all have to obey a consistent set of laws that are determined over time by the processes put in place by our founding fathers. We are not each individually our own founding father of our own sovereign nation of one, bound only by whatever laws we choose to respect. That would be anarchy. People who point to the First Amendment in defense of their actions have a responsibility to understand how the First Amendment works, or else they're hypocrites.

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

"TechJunkie", you are in need of "Troll Remedial English 101", with special emphasis on reading comprehension.

I never wrote that that "Each individual is sovereign"!!!

I in fact wrote: "WE THE PEOPLE ARE SOVEREIGN."

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

That's a nice bumper sticker but I don't really know what it has to do with government legally restricting First Amendment freedoms. I'm trying to talk about a specific aspect of Constitutional law, but I don't get the impression that both of us are having the same conversation. If you're to the point of branding me a troll now then there isn't any point continuing this.