G20 Riot Police Trap U of Pittsburgh Students on a Staircase and Tear Gas/Pepper Spray Them – police attack students in UPitt complex from all sides.
Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) used in Pittsburgh.
The first thing that came to my mind when watching that was “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Likely because of the leftist “anarchist” (really marxist) protesters that Vinture Sciarretti spoke of, the police went into full bore “riot control” mode and then lumped everyone into the same bucket, treating them all the same. And that is where the problem is.
I don’t have all the details, but what I saw there, as to those particular protesters in the video, looks to me like a violation of the right of we the people to peaceably assemble and to petition our government for a redress of grievances. Rock throwing, window bashing kids in black are not peaceably assembled, but the people in this video sure as hell were.
So, yes, unless there are facts not evident from the video, the police on that street were violating the free speech of the people on that street, and in my book, violating their oaths.
How, exactly, was that an unlawful assembly? And if it violated some obscure city ordinance, then the next question is whether that ordinance is even constitutional, and thus worthy of being considered law (since all laws in violation of the Constitution are null and void, as if never enacted). They did not appear to be violent or other than peaceable. So what was it? Were they impeding traffic? No permit? And if not impeding traffic, why would they need a permit? And if they were impeding traffic, did the police tell them to stick to the sidewalk?
It doesn’t look like there was any discussion, instruction, or dialogue other than the command to disperse. All I saw were commands and then stomping boots and riot batons being smacked against shields – where was the officer in charge simply speaking to the protesters? If anyone knows of other information, please share it.
And most disturbing of all is the way it was done, with that Orwellian sound weapon being threatened, atop that massive armored vehicle. Talk about overkill!
The proper solution would have been for the commander on the ground to step out and see what was going on, perhaps speaking to the protesters, and then make the call that these protesters were lawfully assembled, not part of the trouble makers on the next block, and the order likely issued in response to the rock chuckers did not apply to these people. Police need to have and use that kind of discretion, discernment, and flexibility or they will end up overstepping and violating the rights of fellow citizens, and thus violating their oaths.
It is improper, and a violation of the First Amendment, to forceably disperse peaceful people using their right of free speech and assembly, just because other protesters are not being peaceable. That is just not a valid response. Otherwise, all the left would have to do at the next huge Tea Party rally is to insert some rock throwing agent provocateurs, even on the next block over, and thus wipe out the free speech of all the rest in attendance. That’s not how it is supposed to work. And if that happened, the Tea Party folks would be justifiably outraged.
Without the right of free speech, assembly, and petition, we are left with what recourse?
This is not a good sign at all. Yes, the Oath Keepers message is sorely needed.
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