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Mon Feb 13, 2012, 05:25 PM

 

Has the First Amendment become an exercise in futility?

Just read a good column from a tiny newspaper on the state line of California & Arizona.

From The Paloverde Valley Times

By John W. Whitehead

Living in a representative democracy such as ours means that each person has the right to stand outside the halls of government and express his or her opinion on matters of state without fear of arrest. That's what the First Amendment is all about.

It gives every American the right to "petition the government for a redress of grievances." It ensures, as Adam Newton and Ronald K.L. Collins report for the Five Freedoms Project, "that our leaders hear, even if they don't listen to, the electorate. Though public officials may be indifferent, contrary, or silent participants in democratic discourse, at least the First Amendment commands their audience."



~~~~~~~~~~~~~snip~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Indeed, while lobbyists mill in and out of the homes and offices of Congressmen, the American people are kept at a distance through free speech zones, electronic town hall meetings, and security barriers. And those who dare to breach the gap - even through silent forms of protest - are arrested for making their voices heard. The case of Harold Hodge is a particularly telling illustration of the way in which the political elite in America have sheltered themselves from all correspondence and criticism.

On a snowy morning on Jan. 24, 2011, Harold Hodge walked to the plaza in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building with a sign around his neck. The 3' x 2' placard read: "The U.S. Gov. allows police to illegally murder and brutalize African Americans and Hispanic people." Hodge, a 45-year-old African-American, stood silently at attention in front of the building displaying his message. There weren't many passersby, and he wasn't blocking anyone's way. However, after a few minutes, Hodge was approached by a police officer for the Supreme Court. The officer informed Hodge that he was violating a law prohibiting expressive activity in and around the Supreme Court building and asked him to leave.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~snip~~~~~~~~~~

To read the complete article, go to:

http://www.paloverdevalleytimes.com/main.asp?SectionID=36&SubSectionID=807&ArticleID=16653



I thought this to be a really good piece of writing and the paper is in a very conservative area.

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Reply Has the First Amendment become an exercise in futility? (Original post)
Yavapai Feb 2012 OP
Uncle Joe Feb 2012 #1
Fearless Feb 2012 #2

Response to Yavapai (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 05:33 PM

1. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Yavapai.

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Response to Yavapai (Original post)

Mon Feb 13, 2012, 05:50 PM

2. Kicked for the evening crowd!

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