Friday, October 31, 2008

Punishing Protest

Tom Burghardt examines the laws and customs of state and federal law enforcement under new Homeland Security powers that allow (and encourage) them to criminalize dissent.

As the ACLU observes, all it takes to get oneself into a federal terrorist database is to become an anti-war or pro-democracy activist, particularly if one participates in peaceful protest. The irony of being labeled a terrorist by federal agencies for demanding that the federal government itself follow the rule of law might be a bit much to get one's mind around, were it not for the preemptive roundup of law-abiding citizens at both national political party conventions this summer for the "crime" of opposing a war that everyone on earth now knows is a crime against humanity.

For those who think this is a trivial development, you might want to talk to the Quakers and other peace activists who were targeted, investigated and harassed under these new police powers. You might also want to ask their fellow travelers what it's like to be denied the right to travel on airlines or get employment or obtain bank loans because one's name is on this list.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi!
Given the title of your post, I thought I would direct you to this, https://www.nationallawyersguild.org/punishing.htm -- our organization's report on government repression of first amendment activity.

m
nlg national office

5:52 PM  
Blogger Spartacus O'Neal said...

Thanks, M! It's good to remember that we need both ACLU and the NLG on our side.

7:38 PM  

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