Constitutional Right to Protest?

It was April 15, 2000, the famous DC World Bank/IMF protests of A16. I was told to first go to the convergence center on Florida Avenue. The first thing I noticed was that the area near the World Bank, which had a protest permit, was now closed off by the police. Was this constitutional? Well, they had "international jurisdiction" to inflict martial law on the entire surrounding area. As I approached, I asked an officer where I could find the particular address of the convergence center. "We had to shut that building down. It was a fire hazard." Not only was the building a "fire hazard", but all its contents, because everything was confiscated, even protest signs.

This is typical of how protests in America are treated. Young political activists who were going home after making signs in the L.A. Convention protests were picked up by officers, for jay-walking, and taken to the police station.

Organizers of protests have been arrested for "inciting riots", and thrown in jail at one million dollars bail. (Washington Post, Aug 6) In addition, the FBI now keeps lists of protesters, and has begun tracking their movements, and prevented their travel abroad.

Is a protest in America really such a threat? Are these protesters trying to convey a message which the Establishment and major media do not want you to know? Why are they being subdued so thoroughly?

Protesters imprisoned have been hogtied, beaten, abused, woman dragged naked and bleeding, handcuffed crucifixion-style, etc...

Why isn't the Media reporting this?

Return to Corporate Welfare