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mazingerz88's avatar

Can the protesters dispersed by the DC Park Police by order of Attorney General Barr sue him for violating their right to protest?

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4 Answers

SergeantQueen's avatar

I’ve seen so many conflicting things on this so I’m just going to say this:

If it can be proven that they were 100% peacefully protesting, and not violating any laws whatsoever while doing so, then it would appear to me that him doing that is violating their rights and that they may be able to respond by suing or whatever.

Some say they weren’t peaceful, some say they were. Point is, the 1st amendment says you have the right to peaceful assembly. So if that’s the case and they were peaceful, it is more than likely a violation of their constitutional rights.

But there needs to stop be so many conflicting stories because it gets hard to answer things like this. I didn’t see violence in that clip but I don’t know if that clip shows the entire crowd.

mazingerz88's avatar

It seems what happened is protesters occupying peacefully that space naturally wouldn’t budge. What would you do if men with shields and batons order you to move?

This is clearly the intention of Barr and trump. Even the Secretary of Defense had no idea they were going to the church. Would he have advised against going that route or even doing the photo-op? It was clearly a political photo-op.

This was trump intentionally causing trouble.

KNOWITALL's avatar

There’s precedent ruled both ways in the past in the US and other countries, such as Canada.

Leaving aside for the moment the problem of “speech-plus” communication, it becomes necessary to determine when expression that may be a nexus to criminal conduct is subject to punishment and restraint.
“The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree.”
And another:
In Whitney v. California,473 the Court affirmed a conviction under a criminal syndicalism statute based on the defendant’s association with and membership in an organization that advocated the commission of illegal acts, finding again that the determination of a legislature that such advocacy involves “danger to the public peace and the security of the State” was entitled to almost conclusive weight.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/amendment-1/freedom-of-expression-speech-and-press

Although it does appear many cases are allowed since 9/11, although many feel no protest zones are a violation in theory.:

At the 2000 Democratic National Convention held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, police set up a “secured zone,” which could be entered only by those with an actual convention ticket, and a “demonstration zone,” which was the only place protesters were allowed to demonstrate.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, however, creating secured zones and denying demonstrators’ permits are becoming increasingly common, and the courts are more likely to allow them, especially in areas with a heightened security risk.

In United for Peace and Justice v. City of New York (S.D.N.Y. 2003), a federal district court held that the city permissibly banned marches past the United Nations, an area of the city that posed a high security risk. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recognized such security concerns when it denied a preliminary injunction to demonstrators challenging the proposed “demonstration zone” near the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

In Bl(a)ck Tea Society v. City of Boston (1st Cir. 2004), the court held that alternative channels for communication were available in the vicinity of the Fleet Center and throughout Boston. In an almost regretful concurrence in Bl(a)ck Tea Society, Judge Kermit V. Lipez voiced what is undoubtedly on the minds of many judges who must consider such cases: “The risks of violence and the dire consequences of that violence seem more probable and more substantial than they were before 9/11. When judges are asked to assess these risks in the First Amendment balance, we must candidly acknowledge that they may weigh more than they once did.”

https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/960/free-speech-zones

mazingerz88's avatar

^^Thanks! I have much more to read about this later.

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