a commentary on libertarian news and events
Right to assemble
I was proud to be a part of a peaceful protest on South Elm Street, Jan. 31, 2006 in Greensboro, to protest George W. Bush and his regime. The event took place at The Scene on South Elm Street. The group (over 200, despite what the News & Record reported) was made up of high school and college students, parents, lawyers, businesswomen and men, artists, actors and professionals.
At 9 p.m. the protesters took to the streets for a peaceful (and, yes, loud) march throughout the streets of downtown Greensboro, symbolically drowning out President Bush’s State of The Union address.
Again, all of this was peaceful without any violence or trouble making whatsoever. At approximately 9:45 p.m., when protesters had regrouped in front of The Scene, the Greensboro Police Department began to bully protesters to silence. It was the most sickening display I have witnessed since the 1979 communist shootings (of course, there were no police there then when needed). Several people were thrown to the ground for no reason and arrested (again, I was witness to this) and one college-aged girl was maced in the eyes by one of the police who walked away after she fell to the ground screaming.
When I myself began to shout “police brutality” at the officer, he yelled at me to, “Shut your mouth or you’re next”.
I have always had a great respect for the Greensboro police, as I think they usually do a wonderful job of protecting the citizens of Greensboro (my home town), but after this brutal display of strong arming, bullying, unnecessary violence, working up a peaceful crowd into a panicked frenzy, I have lost all respect for the police. They were completely out of line and dangerous in their tactics.
Frighteningly, it reminded me of pre-roundup in Nazi Germany. Is the Police Department being strong-armed by the government? I am beginning to believe that the Police Department is just as corrupt as the rest of our so called leaders.
We, as citizens, have the right to assemble and the right to peaceful demonstration and, most importantly, in my opinion, freedom of speech. We, as American citizens, will not be silenced by threats or scare tactics. (License plate numbers were also being photographed thanks to our so-called Patriot Act.) I am an adamant patriot of our country but not of the Bush administration, and this is my right as an American citizen.
I am outraged at the police for inciting an otherwise peaceful protest, the News & Record for printing such a lame and misleading story in the paper Feb. 1, 2006, which made the protest seem like nothing but a bunch of extreme leftist, crazy groups, which it was not, and the cowardice of the rest of the media for not truthfully and honestly covering this story. Someone actually had to phone WFMY to let them know what was going on. To their credit, they did send out a reporter. Whether or not we will see any of the footage remains to be seen. But there were very few news teams or reporters there to cover any of this protest which was part of a nationwide effort.
The media has twisted itself towards the interests of George. Is every media going to become another Fox network?