The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble

The 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution clearly grants “the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” There is no provision therein giving any right to authorities to pepper-spray students protesting unaffordable increases in college tuition leading to a jobless future. Likewise there is no reasonable explanation for our police departments to confiscate tents and other property belonging protestors across the nation, let alone destroying their books, simply because protests look and smell messy to the privileged. What’s this country coming to? Fahrenheit 451?

Time and again officials mishandle protestors to the point of blatant abuse, and by doing-so further empower the very causes those authorities seek to diffuse. The depression we’re experiencing is only a depression if you’re one of the people sitting on the bottom rung of the ladder. The bottom rung of the ladder is a very vulnerable place to be.  Wealthy politicians wouldn’t know much about that.  Take for instance, Newt Gingrich, who completely missed the mark when he made comments directed at the disadvantaged at last night’s republican “morality forum” saying that protestors need to “Go get a job right after you take a bath!”  A job? What job? Where? There’s job somewhere? More importantly – what the fucking hell is Newt Gingrich doing at a MORALITY FORUM? – Aside from offering a sterling example of what morality doesn’t look-like…

I have no appetite for confrontation. Discord makes me sick to my stomach, but we’re in a current state of affairs where conflict and clashes are inevitable. The fuse has already been lit and the fires fanned by authroity figures who don’t think before they act or give orders.  For the ‘greatest generation’ today’s political and financial climate must feel like the great depression of the 1930’s – with banks running amok while wealthy ineffective congressmen fail to reach any kind of compromise to cure our nations financial ills. Instead, our congresspeople are attempting to deprive seniors of the Medicaid and Medicare they’ve come to rely upon – and paid into their entire lives.

To my generation it feels a bit like the Vietnam War protest days. It infuriates me how people never learn from history. Over the past decade neo-con wing-nuts have been doing everything in their power to remove history from school curriculum’s across the nation. It’s easier to deceive people when they have no idea of what has gone before.  The line drawn under the current math equals a dim prospect for the future of both the young and old alike – unless you’re wealthy enough to be insulated from the impending turmoil. The only coping mechanism is to petition your doctor to write a prescription covered by your health plan (providing you have one) for heavy sedatives and anti-depressants.  In light of all the suffering and inequity in this world, it’s curious to me how the republican party clings to the artifice of Christianity while doing everything possible to contradict Christian teachings.  Last I checked, greed and disdain for the needy were not embraced by Christ.  Christ would most assuredly have been among the 99 percent protestor and not feeding at the table of greed-mongers.

I think the dog and I need to go hide under the bed and hope we feel more hopeful in the morning. I’m at a loss to know what any of us can do to redirect the destructive winds of change – other than taking solace in the way forests burn only to make way for new life – but who the hell wants to be caught in the middle of a forest fire?

6 thoughts on “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble

  1. From the New York Daily News, 11/22/11 – "Fox News viewers less informed about current events than those who don’t watch news at all, study finds"
    Fairleigh Dickinson University on Monday released the results of a study asking participants questions about current world events. Fox News viewers were LESS informed about world events than people who don't watch ANY news AT ALL – while a study last year at Maryland University showed that Fox News viewers were nearly TWICE as likely to believe false news reports than people who watched other news networks.
    Despite these facts about the abject stupidity of the average Faux Snooze viewers, the GOP still panders to this group as their central demographic. So, my conclusion is that the GOP wants stupid suckers as constituents.
    I showed the video of the events at UC Davis to an instructor here at ITT. He's not young, he remembers the 60's, and he all he could say was, "Didn't the 60's teach us anything?" He too, like me, sees this as another Kent State in the making. If something doesn't give soon, there will be another Kent State, but WORSE. This is not a threat, this is a prediction. I won't take any such action, nor work to cause one.
    I do think it was telling that after pepper hosing the seated students, the cops seemed to suddenly lose nerve. The crowd, chanting "Shame On You" walked forward and backed the campus Gestapo out of the area. The goons could not stand up to the combined outrage of over 1,000 angry students and other protesters. May we ALL stand up to thugs like those at UC Davis did.
    And, may we all work to Occupy Congress!

  2. I was struck by the way the police backed-down as well. It was very telling. I was also struck by the sadistic pleasure with which the one cop in particular displayed while doing his dirty deed.

  3. Mark – I suppose you've heard that PIX News is claining that pepper-spray is a food product. Like you have to be "this tall" to ride the whirligig at the amusement park. You need to have at least a 62 IQ to buy the horse-puckey being hawked by Faux Snooze'- as you so aptly put it.

  4. No, I had not heard that WPIX 11 out of NYC called pepper spray a "food product" I had seen reference to it though, and thought it came from FAUX SNOOZE again.
    However a correction, I don't think it's "at least a 62 IQ to buy the horse-puckey" I believe that it is AT MOST a 62!
    If pepper spray is now a food, I want to see it in the spice aisle so I can make my 5 Alarm Nuclear Chili faster!

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