Thursday, September 02, 2004
I've been paying close attention to the protests in NYC, and I must say I am thoroughly alarmed. So far they have arrested over 1700 demonstrators, nearly all of whom have been peaceful. Reporting from the NYT and other sources indicates that the police are using arrests as a crowd control technique, not only to convince protesters not to come back, but to deter other potential protesters. Now I can understand the police wanting to regulate demonstrations (public safety, etc.), but to stifle dissent because it is inconvenient? Am I missing something, or has the 1st Amendment been repealed? Wasn't the original purpose of a police presence at protests to protect the protesters? (wow that was an alliterative sentence) First they try and marginalize the protests by not granting licenses or putting them in the middle of nowhere, and now they try and intimidate the citizenry. How does all this obstruction serve the public interest?
I'm very interested in what Supreme Court has to say about all this.