Hana: Protest or riot? | State

Many of the inhabitants were horrified when the Nazis wanted to march in Skokie, Illinois. Most were Jews and some were in concentration camps. The memories of these camps have been vivid since 1978, just thirty years after the end of World War II.

I was a high school student when the controversy broke out. At that time, the ACLU defended the Nazi group, but the Nazi group never marched. But the fact that a renowned civil rights group stormed to uphold the rights of the bad guys seemed incredibly honorable at the time. No one called me a member with an ACLU card, but the fact that I was able to see greater principles of freedom of speech, assembly and expression beyond the sneaky personality of the client As a citizen, I taught my seniors in this high school a valuable lesson.

The right to protest passionately, powerfully, but peacefully is the foundation of our democracy. ACLU understood that in Skokie 40 years ago. And they could come back in Florida to defend that principle. But there are major differences that have arisen from years of dangerous and chaotic explosions in our towns and streets.

Governor Ron de Santis recently signed a series of bans on “riots.” The law aims to prevent the types of demonstrations seen in the last few years in cities such as Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Baltimore, Ferguson and Philadelphia.

According to the “Fighting the Public Order”, those engaged in violent protests will be subject to criminal penalties. The bill also creates certain new legislation banning mob and cyber intimidation.

It is designed to protect civilians and law enforcement officers from violent riots. As pointed out after seeing many of the countries burning in the last few years after being shot by police, there are few recent cases of mob violence in Florida, but many Americans have desantis. There are good reasons to support it.

But my old hero of the ACLU is having problems with the law, using the classic “extensive” argument. Kara Gross, head of legislation for the Florida branch, said: … Individuals who do not commit violence under this bill may be arrested, charged with three felony charges, and face up to five years in prison and loss of voting rights. The point of this is to instill fear in Floridian. “

The 18-year-old high school senior is now a 59-year-old lawyer who has been enrolled in law school for three years and has been involved in legal “word splitting” for 35 years. As a result, I was impressed by Gross’ concerns about the law to notify protesters that assaulting police officers, incinerating buildings, looting stores, and attacking innocent bystanders were unconstitutional acts. No.

If you are a peaceful protester, you will not realize that you are involved in a riot. If you see violence occurring in the “Kumbaya” march you organized, get out of it as soon as possible and try to quell the violence or call the police. Even better, make sure that the violent elements are neutralized before they infiltrate your “peaceful protest”.

I am also not convinced that these individuals, referred to by Gross as “peacefully protesting protests that become violent without their own negligence,” are completely innocent. When I saw a “peaceful protester” at the Capitol on January 6, I said the same thing. The majority may have gone to Washington, DC to air their dissatisfaction, but those involved in the violent attack on our Capitol were actually innocent. Don’t hide behind the “I’m innocent” mantra unless you can prove.

What is good for geese is good for Gander, but what is good for elephants is good for donkeys.

My point is that riots are easily distinguishable from protests and there are clear and bright lines that we can follow. Florida law is pulling it out, and protests from my young heroes at the ACLU are hollow.

There are those moments when people like Maxine Waters are literally urging people to “face” their enemies, and those who have accused Donald Trump of dangerous rhetoric to excuse her words. When, and when we’re exploding anger in the media, the possibility of a verdict they don’t like, peaceful protests, is inevitably just a dream.

Accompanied by a pipe bomb.

Christine Flowers is a lawyer and columnist at Delaware County Daily Times and can access the following URL:

Hana: Protest or riot? | State

Source link Hana: Protest or riot? | State

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