Violence has no place in protests

The constitution protects the right of assembly, not violent demonstrations

James Ball, Mill Valley News Reporter/Photographer

The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” The American people need to review these rights due to the chaos of Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12 and the free speech protest in Boston on Saturday, Aug. 19.

The right to peaceful assembly and speech has been a tool in significant movements such as the civil rights movement, LGBTQ rallies and the Women’s March on Washington. However, there have been blatant abuses of this right.

An example of this is Charlottesville. The white supremacist participants of the rally proceeded to encourage violence and hate against other ethnic groups. Shortly after Charlottesville, a free speech rally was held in Boston that was perceived as a cover for a white supremacist assembly. In reality, the event was a true free speech rally that held a diverse crowd of around 50 people, but around 30,000 people arrived to counter protest. Most protested peacefully, but there were outliers, such as an Antifa member grabbing a woman’s American flag and dragging her around.

The fact that people could condone the mistreatment of citizens is appalling and an utter disrespect of the Constitution.”

 
The fact that people could condone the mistreatment of citizens is appalling and an utter disrespect of the Constitution. Our freedoms are privileges If people continue to abuse this right, cities will refrain from allowing protests.

The fact of the matter is that it is completely and utterly inappropriate for citizens to participate and commit violent rallies. The moment a person has committed to these actions they have made a choice to abuse that right. They additionally set a poor example for others as well as the world. All actions have repercussions, and the best way to prove one’s viewpoint is to express it in an intelligent and non-violent way.

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