Saturday, December 24, 2011

Immanent lawless action

DC Park regulations provide a permit may be denied if
"(g)(4)(iii)(B) It reasonably appears that the proposed demonstration or special event will present a clear and present danger to the public safety, good order, or health".
If that is the condition for denial of a demonstration, should that not also be the condition for the break up of a demonstration in progress?

In contrast to that test, demonstrations are routinely broken up when there is no such danger.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The free discussion of governmental affairs

Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.” Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 218 (1966). Moreover, as the Court has noted, “[f]reedom of expression has particular significance with respect to government because ‘[i]t is here that the state has a special incentive to repress opposition and often wields a more effective power of suppression.’”
Glick on videotaping.

Monday, November 21, 2011

DC Official Code §22 – 1307 (2011) v. Indians

Police urge protestors to "get on the sidewalk", but now protestors can be arrested if they will not stand single-file, lest they incommode the ghosts of the Cherokee who wander about the district, in search of the Great White Father.
If this provision is held to be "applicable" to the sidewalk in front of the White House, it effectively negates the (g)(5) permit rules, since a large assembly of people on this sidewalk can break, or be thought to break, this law. Breaking this law, if applicable, allows the on-scene commander to cancel the permit, per (g)(6), without the need to claim the standard "central portion" violation of (g)(5)(vii).
Plus it encumbers every demonstration in the city.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Is it lawful to assemble with signs
in front of the White House?

The First Amendment protects the right of the people to peaceable assemble to petition the government for the redress of grievances, and the tenth amendment reserves to the people the right to use all means that are necessary and proper to exercise this right.
John Marshall, on the meaning of "necessary and proper", in McCulloch v. Maryland (US Bank):
"Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional."
It is not only the power to tax that involves the power to destroy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Critical Legal Studies (CLS or crit.)

Critical Legal Studies is a movement in legal thought that suggests that the law tends to insulate the powerful from demands by the weak.
Now move along.

Friday, September 16, 2011


to inconvenience. to disturb. tr.
Currently, for arrests in front of the White House, you do not need to present the person inconvenienced, or claim that there is such a person.
But even if there exists a person who is inconvenienced, can it be that the first amendment protects actions only as long as no one is bothered by them?
There is the additional question, who is being inconvenienced more? Those who have to squeeze in among demonstrators to see the fountain, or those who have to travel to Washington to demonstrate against corruption at the highest levels?
Is there any reason that the interests of those who have a permit should not be satisfied first?
Or, failing that, first-come, first-served?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We shall overcome

01. 2011/08/30, XL Pipeline, Darryl Hanna and 1300 others arrested
   HuffPost USAToday Hansen Lakota NaomiKlein
02. 2011/07/26, deportation, Rep Gutierrez and 10 others arrested
   HuffPost FoxNews*Video
03. 2011/07/11, Columbia Free Trade Agreement, 4 arrests
   PeaceFellowship TeamsterNation TheCommunity
04. 2011/03/19, War, VFP MFSO, 113 arrests
   NuclearResister YouTube

06. 2010/12/16, Peace, Ellsburg, Hedges, McGovern, Flowers and 127 others
07. 2010/11/15, DontAsk, Lt Choi and 15 others
   MetroWeekly WashingtonBlade
08. 2010/09/27, Mountain Top Removal, James Hansen and 100 others
09.2010/06/02, human rights abuses in Peru, Pocahontas

11. 2010/03/20, War, Sheehan, Sweet, and 4 others
12. 2010/03/18, DontAsk, Lt Choi, and 2 others
   CNN*Video WashingtonBlade

16. 2009/10/05, War, 61 including David Swanson, VFP, WAT(Martha), and others

21. 2008/02/28, War, CW/Iowa & Minnesota, U/Iowa, Voices for Creative Nonviolence and 1 other
   Mike Ferner

marches (wikipedia)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The executive branch is not
"the government"

Although they like to be called that.

If the executive branch cannot protect the First Amendment
on the sidewalk outside its front door, maybe the judicial branch can.

Otherwise, what are we exporting?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Is 36 CFR 7.96 quaint?

1. The 36CFR 7.96 regulations were written in 1986 with occasional minor amendments. to achieve two goals:
  a. the safety and protection of the President
  b. preserve the aesthetic value of the national landmark

The safety regulations should all be stricken. Although 9/11 changed almost everything, it did not change 36CFR7.96. Pennsylvania Avenue closure is not acknowledged. The availability of modern technology that provides real levels of security to Federal buildings is not acknowledged or contemplated.
The aesthetic regulations should be stricken to the extent that they are aimed at demonstrations; that is, at constitutionally protected activity.
An esthetic interest may provide a rational basis for the regulations, and while a rational basis may be enough to regulate commerce, it is not enough to stifle dissent.
2. The regulations have not been lessened to reflect the significant impact they have had on demonstrations. Among those stopped from demonstrating are US Representative Louis Gutierrez, Lt. Erin Watada, Cindy Sheehan, James Hansen, Pocohontos, VFP, WAT.
3. The regulations have grammatical errors:
(g)(1)(iv)      15th is now called East Executive or Madison
(g)(2)(i)       "or will not" should probably be "and will not"
(g)(4)(i)(F)    "inaugual" should be "inaugural"
(g)(5)(ix)(A)(3) "less" should be "fewer"
4. The regulations are not enforced as written.
  a. The "central portion" has been expanded to the lampposts, to 100 feet from 60.
  b. Wood, allowed by the regulations, is forbidden in practice
  c. Vinyl, forbidden in the regulations, is allowed in practice
  d. Tripods are deemed "structures"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When is a demonstration not a demonstration

When it does not have a propensity to attract onlookers,
and does not offend the aesthetic sensibilities of the tourist or passer-by.

When is a permit not a permit?

When it may be revoked at will:
36 CFR 7.96(g)(6):a permit may be revoked by the ranking U.S.Park Police supervisory official in charge ... for any violation of applicable law or regulation.

Or perceived violation.