FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

Joseph F Barber | Create Your Badge
This blog does not promote, support, condone, encourage, advocate, nor in any way endorse any racist (or "racialist") ideologies, nor any armed and/or violent revolutionary, seditionist and/or terrorist activities. Any racial separatist or militant groups listed here are solely for reference and Opinions of multiple authors including Freedom or Anarchy Campaign of conscience.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville

The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville

The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville reminds me of the anti-Russia madness that has made front page news ever since Hillary Clinton discovered that she had lost the presidential election to Vladimir Putin. The media train is again rushing headlong into a terra incognita with its only goal being to bring down President Donald Trump by riding a wave of anti-right wing extremist revulsion. The establishment press is essentially enforcing its own code of ethics, insisting that just because what the mainstream characterizes as morally repugnant “Nazi-scum” and white nationalists exist they are ultimately fully responsible for any violence that is required to defeat them and disrupt their activities. For the ubiquitous talking heads like Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow to believe otherwise is to posit moral equivalency between the good guys and bad guys, something that cannot be tolerated.
As far as I can determine, almost no one knows much about the specific agendas of the various parties that were involved in last week’s fracas in Charlottesville. My own viewpoint extends only as far as a strong belief that the deconstruction of this nation through the elimination of select historical monuments is wrong, particularly when said monuments commemorate people who fought and died for their country. As I am a Vietnam-era army veteran I would concede that my judgment in that regard is somewhat skewed.
That aside, there are several other issues that should be of general interest that have been largely obscured by the violence that erupted and the media interpretation of the event to fit in with its own preferred narrative.

First and foremost is the free speech issue which is being conveniently ignored by a media and political class intent on punishing the white nationalist protesters no matter what rights have to be trampled along the way. As far as I can determine, the primary objective of the Unite-the-Right gathering was to protest against removing a statue, so one has to at least assume that some demonstrators were there in good faith based on that issue. And surely many of the counter-demonstrators were there to protest peacefully against some of the admittedly extremist groups marching under the Unite umbrella.
If President Donald Trump chooses to describe those individuals as good people, that is up to him to make that assessment based on what he was witnessing and hearing, but that is not what is really important. As far as I am concerned it matters not a whit whether some of the Unite marchers call themselves neo-Nazis or alt-Right because they had a permit to march and had a perfect right to gather, speak out and demonstrate. No one has a right to attack someone else or silence them because you disapprove of them. That is what the First Amendment is all about, the protection of every individual’s right to speak his or her own mind, particularly important if one is expressing unpopular or unorthodox views. It matters not at all if the speaker is a Communist, Fascist, a Green or a Libertarian, he or she has the same right. If that speaking-out morphs into threats of violence or degenerates into actual violence there are laws to deal with that, so free speech is not and should not be construed as a license to run amok.
Likewise, the so-called Antifa protesters had a right to demonstrate and deliver their message, though it is somewhat troubling that they appear not to have had a permit to gather and the police allowed them to effectively take control of the streets. One might also note that it is the political left, so called progressives, that have been in the forefront of using violence, particularly on college campuses, to shut down debate on issues they object to. They have successfully denied access to speakers who are routinely vilified as “racists” or “Nazi-scum,” including Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray and Ben Shapiro, and have “shut down” pro-Donald Trump rallies. They push their agenda while simultaneously ignoring the racism and domestic terror agenda of groups that they approve of like Black Lives Matter. This counter-demonstration in Charlottesville might easily be seen as the latest manifestation of that particular form of left-wing self-righteous bigotry, to shut down by violence a group that hard core leftists are not willing to tolerate.
It is important to bear in mind that there is great danger in selectively endorsing politically correct Free Speech. If either the left or right is successful and we lose our First Amendment rights through “hate speech” legislation or other forms of state censorship such as have been introduced in Europe it is safe to say that we will have lost our republic.
A second major issue is the role of local, state and federal government in what both did and did not happen. I have looked at a lot of footage of the rioting and have also spoken to several people who were there as observers. I wanted to know just how big the alleged Nazi and Klan contingents were, – 100, 500, a 1,000? – which would seem to me to be essential to understanding what took place. When I sought to discover more about the size of the groups that demonstrated and counter-demonstrated I learned that there was nothing definitive in the media on the issue.
I had been told by one of the witnesses that the so-called white nationalists were greatly outnumbered and had not initiated the violence, which would certainly alter the narrative, so I picked up the phone and eventually got through to the Charlottesville police department only to be told that there had been no public declaration of the numbers involved or sequence of events but someone would call me back. No one has returned the call and I find it very odd that those in authority have not even bothered to describe the event and how it developed from an official point of view, if only for “lessons learned” to correct the procedures in place that led to the violence.
There was in fact a considerable police presence in the area, even accounting for bathroom breaks and donut runs, but it was invisible where it needed to be, i.e. keeping the two groups separated, which it had apparently agreed to do after meeting with the organizers of Unite-the-Right. Both right-wing and left-wing participants in the protests have described how the police closed the park with the Lee statue before standing around and only “looking on” when the fighting started. It is difficult to describe this failure to separate the groups and clear the streets as an oversight, so it must have been deliberate.
Charlottesville has a liberal Democratic mayor named Mike Signer who quickly climbed on the bandwagon to condemn the Unite-the-Right protesters before, during and after the events of Friday night and Saturday. He appeared on national television in an interview with Jake Tapper on the morning after the Saturday riot to lay the blame for the unrest on Donald Trump. One wonders what orders the Charlottesville police had received, not to mention the numerous state troopers present who were under the control of Governor Terry McAuliffe, another liberal Democratic stalwart. Who attacked whom? Why did no one intervene until the fighting was well under way? Was the official indifference just dumb or deliberate?
And finally, there is the possible role of the federal government in what developed. One media source has identified some of the allegedly radical groups that came together to demonstrate on both sides. Among the so-called supremacist groups one finds the Alt Knights, Klu Klux Klan, Identity Evropa, Traditionalist Youth Network, League of the South and the so-called “3% Risen.”
On the left, there was Antifa and Redneck Revolt. Interestingly, though the media has made much of the fact that some of the right-wing activists were armed, it has chosen to overlook the fact the some of the left, most particularly Redneck Revolt, also brought their guns along while many more counter-protesters were prepared for action, carrying baseball bats and wearing helmets and balaclavas to hide their faces. In any event, neither side resorted to the use of firearms.
In reviewing the list of the various groups involved in the protests, I was reminded of the old quip that the American Communist Party only survived financially speaking in the post Second World War environment because it had been heavily infiltrated by dues paying members planted by the FBI. Placing one’s informants in the middle of a radical group is a time-honored practice that has exploded in the U.S. since 9/11. Hardly any arrests in so-called terrorism cases are made without an FBI informant being somewhere on the scene. Of course, the informant is not supposed to encourage or participate in any illegal action, but lacking a fly on the wall when something goes down who is to know? FBI officers get promoted on the basis of arrests made and both domestic and international terrorism constitute high priority targets. I would assume that there FBI informants among the Klu Kluxers, the neo-Nazis and also within Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. On the left, I would bet there were some inside sources working the Redneck Revolt and Antifa.
The likelihood that there were paid FBI informants on both sides of the conflict leads me to believe that the federal government knows exactly what took place on August 12th in Charlottesville, but perhaps no one has either the guts or requisite integrity to be honest about it as it might be embarrassing all around. What if it turns out that the politically more acceptable counter-demonstrators deliberately provoked the violence and were allowed to get away with it?
Even as I write this the tsunami “orgy of self-righteousness,” as George Neumayr describes it, connected to Charlottesville continues to grow. Steven Sailer has asked how long it will be before an alleged neo-Nazi is publicly lynched with the media blaming the victim for his own demise? And with all those apparent storm troopers marching around, it hasn’t taken long for Jewish groups to raise the specter of a tide of anti-Semitism in America all due to Trump, which inevitably means that the accommodating media and pandering politicians will get their talons into this story for a long time to come on that basis alone. Al Sharpton meanwhile wants to defund the Jefferson Memorial and there are moves afoot to remove all the statues of former slaveholders from the Capitol building. Can James Madison, James Monroe and even George Washington himself be next? Will Washington the city be renamed Tubman? Stay tuned.
Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.
The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville

The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville reminds me of the anti-Russia madness that has made front page news ever since Hillary Clinton discovered that she had lost the presidential election to Vladimir Putin. The media train is again rushing headlong into a terra incognita with its only goal being to bring down President Donald Trump by riding a wave of anti-right wing extremist revulsion. The establishment press is essentially enforcing its own code of ethics, insisting that just because what the mainstream characterizes as morally repugnant “Nazi-scum” and white nationalists exist they are ultimately fully responsible for any violence that is required to defeat them and disrupt their activities. For the ubiquitous talking heads like Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow to believe otherwise is to posit moral equivalency between the good guys and bad guys, something that cannot be tolerated.
As far as I can determine, almost no one knows much about the specific agendas of the various parties that were involved in last week’s fracas in Charlottesville. My own viewpoint extends only as far as a strong belief that the deconstruction of this nation through the elimination of select historical monuments is wrong, particularly when said monuments commemorate people who fought and died for their country. As I am a Vietnam-era army veteran I would concede that my judgment in that regard is somewhat skewed.
That aside, there are several other issues that should be of general interest that have been largely obscured by the violence that erupted and the media interpretation of the event to fit in with its own preferred narrative.

First and foremost is the free speech issue which is being conveniently ignored by a media and political class intent on punishing the white nationalist protesters no matter what rights have to be trampled along the way. As far as I can determine, the primary objective of the Unite-the-Right gathering was to protest against removing a statue, so one has to at least assume that some demonstrators were there in good faith based on that issue. And surely many of the counter-demonstrators were there to protest peacefully against some of the admittedly extremist groups marching under the Unite umbrella.
If President Donald Trump chooses to describe those individuals as good people, that is up to him to make that assessment based on what he was witnessing and hearing, but that is not what is really important. As far as I am concerned it matters not a whit whether some of the Unite marchers call themselves neo-Nazis or alt-Right because they had a permit to march and had a perfect right to gather, speak out and demonstrate. No one has a right to attack someone else or silence them because you disapprove of them. That is what the First Amendment is all about, the protection of every individual’s right to speak his or her own mind, particularly important if one is expressing unpopular or unorthodox views. It matters not at all if the speaker is a Communist, Fascist, a Green or a Libertarian, he or she has the same right. If that speaking-out morphs into threats of violence or degenerates into actual violence there are laws to deal with that, so free speech is not and should not be construed as a license to run amok.
Likewise, the so-called Antifa protesters had a right to demonstrate and deliver their message, though it is somewhat troubling that they appear not to have had a permit to gather and the police allowed them to effectively take control of the streets. One might also note that it is the political left, so called progressives, that have been in the forefront of using violence, particularly on college campuses, to shut down debate on issues they object to. They have successfully denied access to speakers who are routinely vilified as “racists” or “Nazi-scum,” including Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray and Ben Shapiro, and have “shut down” pro-Donald Trump rallies. They push their agenda while simultaneously ignoring the racism and domestic terror agenda of groups that they approve of like Black Lives Matter. This counter-demonstration in Charlottesville might easily be seen as the latest manifestation of that particular form of left-wing self-righteous bigotry, to shut down by violence a group that hard core leftists are not willing to tolerate.
It is important to bear in mind that there is great danger in selectively endorsing politically correct Free Speech. If either the left or right is successful and we lose our First Amendment rights through “hate speech” legislation or other forms of state censorship such as have been introduced in Europe it is safe to say that we will have lost our republic.
A second major issue is the role of local, state and federal government in what both did and did not happen. I have looked at a lot of footage of the rioting and have also spoken to several people who were there as observers. I wanted to know just how big the alleged Nazi and Klan contingents were, – 100, 500, a 1,000? – which would seem to me to be essential to understanding what took place. When I sought to discover more about the size of the groups that demonstrated and counter-demonstrated I learned that there was nothing definitive in the media on the issue.
I had been told by one of the witnesses that the so-called white nationalists were greatly outnumbered and had not initiated the violence, which would certainly alter the narrative, so I picked up the phone and eventually got through to the Charlottesville police department only to be told that there had been no public declaration of the numbers involved or sequence of events but someone would call me back. No one has returned the call and I find it very odd that those in authority have not even bothered to describe the event and how it developed from an official point of view, if only for “lessons learned” to correct the procedures in place that led to the violence.
There was in fact a considerable police presence in the area, even accounting for bathroom breaks and donut runs, but it was invisible where it needed to be, i.e. keeping the two groups separated, which it had apparently agreed to do after meeting with the organizers of Unite-the-Right. Both right-wing and left-wing participants in the protests have described how the police closed the park with the Lee statue before standing around and only “looking on” when the fighting started. It is difficult to describe this failure to separate the groups and clear the streets as an oversight, so it must have been deliberate.
Charlottesville has a liberal Democratic mayor named Mike Signer who quickly climbed on the bandwagon to condemn the Unite-the-Right protesters before, during and after the events of Friday night and Saturday. He appeared on national television in an interview with Jake Tapper on the morning after the Saturday riot to lay the blame for the unrest on Donald Trump. One wonders what orders the Charlottesville police had received, not to mention the numerous state troopers present who were under the control of Governor Terry McAuliffe, another liberal Democratic stalwart. Who attacked whom? Why did no one intervene until the fighting was well under way? Was the official indifference just dumb or deliberate?
And finally, there is the possible role of the federal government in what developed. One media source has identified some of the allegedly radical groups that came together to demonstrate on both sides. Among the so-called supremacist groups one finds the Alt Knights, Klu Klux Klan, Identity Evropa, Traditionalist Youth Network, League of the South and the so-called “3% Risen.”
On the left, there was Antifa and Redneck Revolt. Interestingly, though the media has made much of the fact that some of the right-wing activists were armed, it has chosen to overlook the fact the some of the left, most particularly Redneck Revolt, also brought their guns along while many more counter-protesters were prepared for action, carrying baseball bats and wearing helmets and balaclavas to hide their faces. In any event, neither side resorted to the use of firearms.
In reviewing the list of the various groups involved in the protests, I was reminded of the old quip that the American Communist Party only survived financially speaking in the post Second World War environment because it had been heavily infiltrated by dues paying members planted by the FBI. Placing one’s informants in the middle of a radical group is a time-honored practice that has exploded in the U.S. since 9/11. Hardly any arrests in so-called terrorism cases are made without an FBI informant being somewhere on the scene. Of course, the informant is not supposed to encourage or participate in any illegal action, but lacking a fly on the wall when something goes down who is to know? FBI officers get promoted on the basis of arrests made and both domestic and international terrorism constitute high priority targets. I would assume that there FBI informants among the Klu Kluxers, the neo-Nazis and also within Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. On the left, I would bet there were some inside sources working the Redneck Revolt and Antifa.
The likelihood that there were paid FBI informants on both sides of the conflict leads me to believe that the federal government knows exactly what took place on August 12th in Charlottesville, but perhaps no one has either the guts or requisite integrity to be honest about it as it might be embarrassing all around. What if it turns out that the politically more acceptable counter-demonstrators deliberately provoked the violence and were allowed to get away with it?
Even as I write this the tsunami “orgy of self-righteousness,” as George Neumayr describes it, connected to Charlottesville continues to grow. Steven Sailer has asked how long it will be before an alleged neo-Nazi is publicly lynched with the media blaming the victim for his own demise? And with all those apparent storm troopers marching around, it hasn’t taken long for Jewish groups to raise the specter of a tide of anti-Semitism in America all due to Trump, which inevitably means that the accommodating media and pandering politicians will get their talons into this story for a long time to come on that basis alone. Al Sharpton meanwhile wants to defund the Jefferson Memorial and there are moves afoot to remove all the statues of former slaveholders from the Capitol building. Can James Madison, James Monroe and even George Washington himself be next? Will Washington the city be renamed Tubman? Stay tuned.
Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.


I recently spoke of asset forfeiture

Through out the course of this day it seems Facebook the establishment and law enforcement would rather me not post this video of the blatant unethical and violation of a veteran and his wife also a veteran & rights to free travel rights the city of Oceanside Ca is ignoring the united states supreme courts 9th circuit court of appeals as it ruled against the city's of LA & SD on people who live in their vehicles or Rv as it violates the citizens right to the do process of the law and creates and unfair burden on those less fortunate than ourselves also the direct harassment of individuals whom may just be traveling or vacationing in their Rv which many of use have worked hard to have and to enjoy to be accosted and threatened under the color of authority is unethical and in its self a violation if every. Citizens rights to fare and equal treatment under the law the following video will explain what happen to me and my wife this morning at around 8:30 am pacific time take heed if you plane a vacation or any type of visit to the city of Oceanside Ca,this is not the end of this story since coming to ocean I have watched the local law tow and inbound their vehicles hence placing them on the street by a legal means called asset forfeiture so take heed people stand free and your ground feed all you can
Joseph F Barber



https://youtu.be/EbF5cPaQeQk I recently spoke of asset forfeiture and how the law enforcement agencies nation wide and especially here in oceanside california are using it against we the people the link provided will educate you in this truth 



https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMORANARCHYCampaignofConscience/videos/vb.1835402667/10207920054799326/?type=3&theater



Through out the course of this day it seems Facebook the establishment and law enforcement would rather me not post this video of the blatant unethical and violation of a veteran and his wife also a veteran & rights to free travel rights the city of Oceanside Ca is ignoring the united states supreme courts 9th circuit court of appeals as it ruled against the city's of LA & SD on people who live in their vehicles or Rv as it violates the citizens right to the do process of the law and creates and unfair burden on those less fortunate than ourselves also the direct harassment of individuals whom may just be traveling or vacationing in their Rv which many of use have worked hard to have and to enjoy to be accosted and threatened under the color of authority is unethical and in its self a violation if every. Citizens rights to fare and equal treatment under the law the following video will explain what happen to me and my wife this morning at around 8:30 am pacific time take heed if you plane a vacation or any type of visit to the city of Oceanside Ca,this is not the end of this story since coming to ocean I have watched the local law tow and inbound their vehicles hence placing them on the street by a legal means called asset forfeiture so take heed people stand free and your ground feed all you can
Joseph F Barber



https://youtu.be/EbF5cPaQeQk I recently spoke of asset forfeiture and how the law enforcement agencies nation wide and especially here in oceanside california are using it against we the people the link provided will educate you in this truth 



https://www.facebook.com/FREEDOMORANARCHYCampaignofConscience/videos/vb.1835402667/10207920054799326/?type=3&theater





Are You Prepared To Fight at Night?

Are You Prepared To Fight at Night?

Rethinking nighttime concealed carry.

What Do You Really Need For Nighttime Concealed Carry?




Nighttime is scary. Oh, most of us tend to pretend we’re big and bad and not bothered by the dark, but most of us are. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, either. It’s a primal fear that goes way back in our evolution. After all, predators lurked in the dark.
Unfortunately, they still do, only most of the predators we need to worry about prowl around on two legs instead of four.
Trying to prepare for the potential eventualities that we may encounter, having to fight at night is a recurring concern of many in the firearms community. As a result, the blessed free market has provided us with numerous goodies to keep away the night.
However, as Tamara Keel notes at Shooting Illustrated, some of us regular CCW holders may be looking at all of this wrong.
Night is a commonplace setting for needing a concealed-carry gun, but true-dark darkness really isn’t. In this modern world, the places where crime occurs can be dim, sure, but rarely is it truly dark. (Note that I’m distinguishing concealed carry from home defense, here.) Basically, the bad guy needs to see you in order to know you’re there to target you in the first place. As trainer Chuck Haggard has phrased it, “It’s really tough for bad guys to rob you, or even find you, when everyone is in the pitch-black ninja closet.
Tom Givens, head honcho at Rangemaster, taught out of his facility in Memphis for years and, as a result, has a large database of students who were involved in armed self-defense situations. At the time of this writing, his students were involved in more than 60 shootings. Not one of them required a light to see or hit the bad guy.
I recommend you head over and read the whole thing, because Keel makes some fantastic points. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but I’m not sure I disagree with any of them either, if that makes any sense.
I will say that if you retained every word Keel makes in this and internalize it, you won’t go wrong if you ever have to defend yourself with a firearm.
We in the firearms community tend to look at what the professionals use, because we figure that if it meets their needs, then it should meet ours. However, their needs do tend to exceed ours. As Keel rightfully points out, we’re far less likely to be clearing buildings with our concealed carry weapon (she does specify that she is not talking about home defense situations with this discussion, and neither am I).
Instead, we’ll pull a weapon on some punk that wants our money…or worse. Once that threat is gone, say he runs inside of a building nearby, we’re not going to go running in after him, clearing each floor in near total darkness. We’re not the police.
She makes some other points, that I also find myself agreeing with, but I could spend another few thousand words discussing this topic, and no one wants to read that right now. Instead, I’ll quote another point Keel and I are in agreement on.
Basically, any time someone’s biggest objection to something, be it a flashlight, glowing tritium lamp or laser is “It’ll give away my position!” I have to wonder what sort of attacker they’re preparing for. If he doesn’t know your position, how is he attacking you in the first place?

Precisely!

Are You Prepared To Fight at Night?

Rethinking nighttime concealed carry.

What Do You Really Need For Nighttime Concealed Carry?




Nighttime is scary. Oh, most of us tend to pretend we’re big and bad and not bothered by the dark, but most of us are. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, either. It’s a primal fear that goes way back in our evolution. After all, predators lurked in the dark.
Unfortunately, they still do, only most of the predators we need to worry about prowl around on two legs instead of four.
Trying to prepare for the potential eventualities that we may encounter, having to fight at night is a recurring concern of many in the firearms community. As a result, the blessed free market has provided us with numerous goodies to keep away the night.
However, as Tamara Keel notes at Shooting Illustrated, some of us regular CCW holders may be looking at all of this wrong.
Night is a commonplace setting for needing a concealed-carry gun, but true-dark darkness really isn’t. In this modern world, the places where crime occurs can be dim, sure, but rarely is it truly dark. (Note that I’m distinguishing concealed carry from home defense, here.) Basically, the bad guy needs to see you in order to know you’re there to target you in the first place. As trainer Chuck Haggard has phrased it, “It’s really tough for bad guys to rob you, or even find you, when everyone is in the pitch-black ninja closet.
Tom Givens, head honcho at Rangemaster, taught out of his facility in Memphis for years and, as a result, has a large database of students who were involved in armed self-defense situations. At the time of this writing, his students were involved in more than 60 shootings. Not one of them required a light to see or hit the bad guy.
I recommend you head over and read the whole thing, because Keel makes some fantastic points. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but I’m not sure I disagree with any of them either, if that makes any sense.
I will say that if you retained every word Keel makes in this and internalize it, you won’t go wrong if you ever have to defend yourself with a firearm.
We in the firearms community tend to look at what the professionals use, because we figure that if it meets their needs, then it should meet ours. However, their needs do tend to exceed ours. As Keel rightfully points out, we’re far less likely to be clearing buildings with our concealed carry weapon (she does specify that she is not talking about home defense situations with this discussion, and neither am I).
Instead, we’ll pull a weapon on some punk that wants our money…or worse. Once that threat is gone, say he runs inside of a building nearby, we’re not going to go running in after him, clearing each floor in near total darkness. We’re not the police.
She makes some other points, that I also find myself agreeing with, but I could spend another few thousand words discussing this topic, and no one wants to read that right now. Instead, I’ll quote another point Keel and I are in agreement on.
Basically, any time someone’s biggest objection to something, be it a flashlight, glowing tritium lamp or laser is “It’ll give away my position!” I have to wonder what sort of attacker they’re preparing for. If he doesn’t know your position, how is he attacking you in the first place?

Precisely!


Charlottesville Requiem


Charlottesville Requiem

 on who did what to whom.


The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville reminds me of the anti-Russia madness that has made front page news ever since Hillary Clinton discovered that she had lost the presidential election to Vladimir Putin. The media train is again rushing headlong into a terra incognita with its only goal being to bring down President Donald Trump by riding a wave of anti-right wing extremist revulsion. The establishment press is essentially enforcing its own code of ethics, insisting that just because what the mainstream characterizes as morally repugnant “Nazi-scum” and white nationalists exist they are ultimately fully responsible for any violence that is required to defeat them and disrupt their activities. For the ubiquitous talking heads like Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow to believe otherwise is to posit moral equivalency between the good guys and bad guys, something that cannot be tolerated.
As far as I can determine, almost no one knows much about the specific agendas of the various parties that were involved in last week’s fracas in Charlottesville. My own viewpoint extends only as far as a strong belief that the deconstruction of this nation through the elimination of select historical monuments is wrong, particularly when said monuments commemorate people who fought and died for their country. As I am a Vietnam-era army veteran I would concede that my judgment in that regard is somewhat skewed.
That aside, there are several other issues that should be of general interest that have been largely obscured by the violence that erupted and the media interpretation of the event to fit in with its own preferred narrative.
First and foremost is the free speech issue which is being conveniently ignored by a media and political class intent on punishing the white nationalist protesters no matter what rights have to be trampled along the way. As far as I can determine, the primary objective of the Unite-the-Right gathering was to protest against removing a statue, so one has to at least assume that some demonstrators were there in good faith based on that issue. And surely many of the counter-demonstrators were there to protest peacefully against some of the admittedly extremist groups marching under the Unite umbrella.
If President Donald Trump chooses to describe those individuals as good people, that is up to him to make that assessment based on what he was witnessing and hearing, but that is not what is really important. As far as I am concerned it matters not a whit whether some of the Unite marchers call themselves neo-Nazis or alt-Right because they had a permit to march and had a perfect right to gather, speak out and demonstrate. No one has a right to attack someone else or silence them because you disapprove of them. That is what the First Amendment is all about, the protection of every individual’s right to speak his or her own mind, particularly important if one is expressing unpopular or unorthodox views. It matters not at all if the speaker is a Communist, Fascist, a Green or a Libertarian, he or she has the same right. If that speaking-out morphs into threats of violence or degenerates into actual violence there are laws to deal with that, so free speech is not and should not be construed as a license to run amok.
Likewise, the so-called Antifa protesters had a right to demonstrate and deliver their message, though it is somewhat troubling that they appear not to have had a permit to gather and the police allowed them to effectively take control of the streets. One might also note that it is the political left, so called progressives, that have been in the forefront of using violence, particularly on college campuses, to shut down debate on issues they object to. They have successfully denied access to speakers who are routinely vilified as “racists” or “Nazi-scum,” including Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray and Ben Shapiro, and have “shut down” pro-Donald Trump rallies. They push their agenda while simultaneously ignoring the racism and domestic terror agenda of groups that they approve of like Black Lives Matter. This counter-demonstration in Charlottesville might easily be seen as the latest manifestation of that particular form of left-wing self-righteous bigotry, to shut down by violence a group that hard core leftists are not willing to tolerate.
It is important to bear in mind that there is great danger in selectively endorsing politically correct Free Speech. If either the left or right is successful and we lose our First Amendment rights through “hate speech” legislation or other forms of state censorship such as have been introduced in Europe it is safe to say that we will have lost our republic.
A second major issue is the role of local, state and federal government in what both did and did not happen. I have looked at a lot of footage of the rioting and have also spoken to several people who were there as observers. I wanted to know just how big the alleged Nazi and Klan contingents were, – 100, 500, a 1,000? – which would seem to me to be essential to understanding what took place. When I sought to discover more about the size of the groups that demonstrated and counter-demonstrated I learned that there was nothing definitive in the media on the issue.
I had been told by one of the witnesses that the so-called white nationalists were greatly outnumbered and had not initiated the violence, which would certainly alter the narrative, so I picked up the phone and eventually got through to the Charlottesville police department only to be told that there had been no public declaration of the numbers involved or sequence of events but someone would call me back. No one has returned the call and I find it very odd that those in authority have not even bothered to describe the event and how it developed from an official point of view, if only for “lessons learned” to correct the procedures in place that led to the violence.
There was in fact a considerable police presence in the area, even accounting for bathroom breaks and donut runs, but it was invisible where it needed to be, i.e. keeping the two groups separated, which it had apparently agreed to do after meeting with the organizers of Unite-the-Right. Both right-wing and left-wing participants in the protests have described how the police closed the park with the Lee statue before standing around and only “looking on” when the fighting started. It is difficult to describe this failure to separate the groups and clear the streets as an oversight, so it must have been deliberate.
Charlottesville has a liberal Democratic mayor named Mike Signer who quickly climbed on the bandwagon to condemn the Unite-the-Right protesters before, during and after the events of Friday night and Saturday. He appeared on national television in an interview with Jake Tapper on the morning after the Saturday riot to lay the blame for the unrest on Donald Trump. One wonders what orders the Charlottesville police had received, not to mention the numerous state troopers present who were under the control of Governor Terry McAuliffe, another liberal Democratic stalwart. Who attacked whom? Why did no one intervene until the fighting was well under way? Was the official indifference just dumb or deliberate?
And finally, there is the possible role of the federal government in what developed. One media source has identified some of the allegedly radical groups that came together to demonstrate on both sides. Among the so-called supremacist groups one finds the Alt Knights, Klu Klux Klan, Identity Evropa, Traditionalist Youth Network, League of the South and the so-called “3% Risen.”
On the left, there was Antifa and Redneck Revolt. Interestingly, though the media has made much of the fact that some of the right-wing activists were armed, it has chosen to overlook the fact the some of the left, most particularly Redneck Revolt, also brought their guns along while many more counter-protesters were prepared for action, carrying baseball bats and wearing helmets and balaclavas to hide their faces. In any event, neither side resorted to the use of firearms.
In reviewing the list of the various groups involved in the protests, I was reminded of the old quip that the American Communist Party only survived financially speaking in the post Second World War environment because it had been heavily infiltrated by dues paying members planted by the FBI. Placing one’s informants in the middle of a radical group is a time-honored practice that has exploded in the U.S. since 9/11. Hardly any arrests in so-called terrorism cases are made without an FBI informant being somewhere on the scene. Of course, the informant is not supposed to encourage or participate in any illegal action, but lacking a fly on the wall when something goes down who is to know? FBI officers get promoted on the basis of arrests made and both domestic and international terrorism constitute high priority targets. I would assume that there FBI informants among the Klu Kluxers, the neo-Nazis and also within Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. On the left, I would bet there were some inside sources working the Redneck Revolt and Antifa.
The likelihood that there were paid FBI informants on both sides of the conflict leads me to believe that the federal government knows exactly what took place on August 12th in Charlottesville, but perhaps no one has either the guts or requisite integrity to be honest about it as it might be embarrassing all around. What if it turns out that the politically more acceptable counter-demonstrators deliberately provoked the violence and were allowed to get away with it?
Even as I write this the tsunami “orgy of self-righteousness,” as George Neumayr describes it, connected to Charlottesville continues to grow. Steven Sailer has asked how long it will be before an alleged neo-Nazi is publicly lynched with the media blaming the victim for his own demise? And with all those apparent storm troopers marching around, it hasn’t taken long for Jewish groups to raise the specter of a tide of anti-Semitism in America all due to Trump, which inevitably means that the accommodating media and pandering politicians will get their talons into this story for a long time to come on that basis alone. Al Sharpton meanwhile wants to defund the Jefferson Memorial and there are moves afoot to remove all the statues of former slaveholders from the Capitol building. Can James Madison, James Monroe and even George Washington himself be next? Will Washington the city be renamed Tubman? Stay tuned.
Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.

Charlottesville Requiem

 on who did what to whom.


The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville reminds me of the anti-Russia madness that has made front page news ever since Hillary Clinton discovered that she had lost the presidential election to Vladimir Putin. The media train is again rushing headlong into a terra incognita with its only goal being to bring down President Donald Trump by riding a wave of anti-right wing extremist revulsion. The establishment press is essentially enforcing its own code of ethics, insisting that just because what the mainstream characterizes as morally repugnant “Nazi-scum” and white nationalists exist they are ultimately fully responsible for any violence that is required to defeat them and disrupt their activities. For the ubiquitous talking heads like Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow to believe otherwise is to posit moral equivalency between the good guys and bad guys, something that cannot be tolerated.
As far as I can determine, almost no one knows much about the specific agendas of the various parties that were involved in last week’s fracas in Charlottesville. My own viewpoint extends only as far as a strong belief that the deconstruction of this nation through the elimination of select historical monuments is wrong, particularly when said monuments commemorate people who fought and died for their country. As I am a Vietnam-era army veteran I would concede that my judgment in that regard is somewhat skewed.
That aside, there are several other issues that should be of general interest that have been largely obscured by the violence that erupted and the media interpretation of the event to fit in with its own preferred narrative.
First and foremost is the free speech issue which is being conveniently ignored by a media and political class intent on punishing the white nationalist protesters no matter what rights have to be trampled along the way. As far as I can determine, the primary objective of the Unite-the-Right gathering was to protest against removing a statue, so one has to at least assume that some demonstrators were there in good faith based on that issue. And surely many of the counter-demonstrators were there to protest peacefully against some of the admittedly extremist groups marching under the Unite umbrella.
If President Donald Trump chooses to describe those individuals as good people, that is up to him to make that assessment based on what he was witnessing and hearing, but that is not what is really important. As far as I am concerned it matters not a whit whether some of the Unite marchers call themselves neo-Nazis or alt-Right because they had a permit to march and had a perfect right to gather, speak out and demonstrate. No one has a right to attack someone else or silence them because you disapprove of them. That is what the First Amendment is all about, the protection of every individual’s right to speak his or her own mind, particularly important if one is expressing unpopular or unorthodox views. It matters not at all if the speaker is a Communist, Fascist, a Green or a Libertarian, he or she has the same right. If that speaking-out morphs into threats of violence or degenerates into actual violence there are laws to deal with that, so free speech is not and should not be construed as a license to run amok.
Likewise, the so-called Antifa protesters had a right to demonstrate and deliver their message, though it is somewhat troubling that they appear not to have had a permit to gather and the police allowed them to effectively take control of the streets. One might also note that it is the political left, so called progressives, that have been in the forefront of using violence, particularly on college campuses, to shut down debate on issues they object to. They have successfully denied access to speakers who are routinely vilified as “racists” or “Nazi-scum,” including Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray and Ben Shapiro, and have “shut down” pro-Donald Trump rallies. They push their agenda while simultaneously ignoring the racism and domestic terror agenda of groups that they approve of like Black Lives Matter. This counter-demonstration in Charlottesville might easily be seen as the latest manifestation of that particular form of left-wing self-righteous bigotry, to shut down by violence a group that hard core leftists are not willing to tolerate.
It is important to bear in mind that there is great danger in selectively endorsing politically correct Free Speech. If either the left or right is successful and we lose our First Amendment rights through “hate speech” legislation or other forms of state censorship such as have been introduced in Europe it is safe to say that we will have lost our republic.
A second major issue is the role of local, state and federal government in what both did and did not happen. I have looked at a lot of footage of the rioting and have also spoken to several people who were there as observers. I wanted to know just how big the alleged Nazi and Klan contingents were, – 100, 500, a 1,000? – which would seem to me to be essential to understanding what took place. When I sought to discover more about the size of the groups that demonstrated and counter-demonstrated I learned that there was nothing definitive in the media on the issue.
I had been told by one of the witnesses that the so-called white nationalists were greatly outnumbered and had not initiated the violence, which would certainly alter the narrative, so I picked up the phone and eventually got through to the Charlottesville police department only to be told that there had been no public declaration of the numbers involved or sequence of events but someone would call me back. No one has returned the call and I find it very odd that those in authority have not even bothered to describe the event and how it developed from an official point of view, if only for “lessons learned” to correct the procedures in place that led to the violence.
There was in fact a considerable police presence in the area, even accounting for bathroom breaks and donut runs, but it was invisible where it needed to be, i.e. keeping the two groups separated, which it had apparently agreed to do after meeting with the organizers of Unite-the-Right. Both right-wing and left-wing participants in the protests have described how the police closed the park with the Lee statue before standing around and only “looking on” when the fighting started. It is difficult to describe this failure to separate the groups and clear the streets as an oversight, so it must have been deliberate.
Charlottesville has a liberal Democratic mayor named Mike Signer who quickly climbed on the bandwagon to condemn the Unite-the-Right protesters before, during and after the events of Friday night and Saturday. He appeared on national television in an interview with Jake Tapper on the morning after the Saturday riot to lay the blame for the unrest on Donald Trump. One wonders what orders the Charlottesville police had received, not to mention the numerous state troopers present who were under the control of Governor Terry McAuliffe, another liberal Democratic stalwart. Who attacked whom? Why did no one intervene until the fighting was well under way? Was the official indifference just dumb or deliberate?
And finally, there is the possible role of the federal government in what developed. One media source has identified some of the allegedly radical groups that came together to demonstrate on both sides. Among the so-called supremacist groups one finds the Alt Knights, Klu Klux Klan, Identity Evropa, Traditionalist Youth Network, League of the South and the so-called “3% Risen.”
On the left, there was Antifa and Redneck Revolt. Interestingly, though the media has made much of the fact that some of the right-wing activists were armed, it has chosen to overlook the fact the some of the left, most particularly Redneck Revolt, also brought their guns along while many more counter-protesters were prepared for action, carrying baseball bats and wearing helmets and balaclavas to hide their faces. In any event, neither side resorted to the use of firearms.
In reviewing the list of the various groups involved in the protests, I was reminded of the old quip that the American Communist Party only survived financially speaking in the post Second World War environment because it had been heavily infiltrated by dues paying members planted by the FBI. Placing one’s informants in the middle of a radical group is a time-honored practice that has exploded in the U.S. since 9/11. Hardly any arrests in so-called terrorism cases are made without an FBI informant being somewhere on the scene. Of course, the informant is not supposed to encourage or participate in any illegal action, but lacking a fly on the wall when something goes down who is to know? FBI officers get promoted on the basis of arrests made and both domestic and international terrorism constitute high priority targets. I would assume that there FBI informants among the Klu Kluxers, the neo-Nazis and also within Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. On the left, I would bet there were some inside sources working the Redneck Revolt and Antifa.
The likelihood that there were paid FBI informants on both sides of the conflict leads me to believe that the federal government knows exactly what took place on August 12th in Charlottesville, but perhaps no one has either the guts or requisite integrity to be honest about it as it might be embarrassing all around. What if it turns out that the politically more acceptable counter-demonstrators deliberately provoked the violence and were allowed to get away with it?
Even as I write this the tsunami “orgy of self-righteousness,” as George Neumayr describes it, connected to Charlottesville continues to grow. Steven Sailer has asked how long it will be before an alleged neo-Nazi is publicly lynched with the media blaming the victim for his own demise? And with all those apparent storm troopers marching around, it hasn’t taken long for Jewish groups to raise the specter of a tide of anti-Semitism in America all due to Trump, which inevitably means that the accommodating media and pandering politicians will get their talons into this story for a long time to come on that basis alone. Al Sharpton meanwhile wants to defund the Jefferson Memorial and there are moves afoot to remove all the statues of former slaveholders from the Capitol building. Can James Madison, James Monroe and even George Washington himself be next? Will Washington the city be renamed Tubman? Stay tuned.
Reprinted with permission from The Unz Review.


Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest

Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest






“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”— Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
There was a time in this country, back when the British were running things, that if you spoke your mind and it ticked off the wrong people, you’d soon find yourself in jail for offending the king.
Reacting to this injustice, when it was time to write the Constitution, America’s founders argued for a Bill of Rights, of which the First Amendment protects the right to free speech. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, was very clear about the fact that he wrote the First Amendment to protect the minority against the majority.
What Madison meant by minority is “offensive speech.”
Unfortunately, we don’t honor that principle as much as we should today. In fact, we seem to be witnessing a politically correct philosophy at play, one shared by both the extreme left and the extreme right, which aims to stifle all expression that doesn’t fit within their parameters of what they consider to be “acceptable” speech.
There are all kinds of labels put on such speech—it’s been called politically incorrect speech, hate speech, offensive speech, and so on—but really, the message being conveyed is that you don’t have a right to express yourself if certain people or groups don’t like or agree with what you are saying.
Hence, we have seen the caging of free speech in recent years, through the use of so-called “free speech zones” on college campuses and at political events, the requirement of speech permits in parks and community gatherings, and the policing of online forums.
Clearly, this elitist, monolithic mindset is at odds with everything America is supposed to stand for.
Indeed, we should be encouraging people to debate issues and air their views. Instead, by muzzling free speech, we are contributing to a growing underclass of Americans—many of whom have been labeled racists, rednecks and religious bigots—who are being told that they can’t take part in American public life unless they “fit in.”
Remember, the First Amendment acts as a steam valve. It allows people to speak their minds, air their grievances and contribute to a larger dialogue that hopefully results in a more just world. When there is no steam valve to release the pressure, frustration builds, anger grows and people become more volatile and desperate to force a conversation.
The attempt to stifle certain forms of speech is where we go wrong.
In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that it is “a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment...that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.” For example, it is not a question of whether the Confederate flag represents racism but whether banning it leads to even greater problems, namely, the loss of freedom in general.
Along with the constitutional right to peacefully (and that means non-violently) assemble, the right to free speech allows us to challenge the government through protests and demonstrations and to attempt to change the world around us—for the better or the worse—through protests and counterprotests.
As always, knowledge is key.
The following Constitutional Q&A, available in more detail at The Rutherford Institute (www.rutherford.org), is a good starting point.
Q:        WHAT LAWS GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO PROTEST?
A:         The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Protesting is an exercise of these constitutional rights because it involves speaking out, by individual people or those assembled in groups, about matters of public interest and concern.
Q:        WHERE CAN I ENGAGE IN PROTEST ACTIVITY?
A:         The right to protest generally extends to places that are owned and controlled by the government, although not all government-owned property is available for exercising speech and assembly rights. However, beyond public or government property, a person cannot claim a First Amendment right to protest and demonstrate on property that is privately owned by someone else. This also applies to private property that is generally open to the public, such as a shopping mall or shopping center, although these areas sometimes allow demonstrations and other free speech activity with permission from the owner. You are also entitled to engage in protest activities on land you own.  The Supreme Court has ruled that the government may not forbid homeowners from posting signs on their property speaking out on a political or social issue.
Q:        WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS TO PROTEST IN A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC FORUM?
A:         Places historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, such as streets, sidewalks and parks, are traditional public forums and the government’s power to limit speech and assembly in those places is very limited. The government may not impose an absolute ban on expression and assembly in traditional public forums except in circumstances where it is essential to serve a compelling government interest.  However, expression and assembly in traditional public forums may be limited by reasonable time, place and manner regulations. Examples of reasonable regulations include restrictions on the volume of sound produced by the activity or a prohibition on impeding vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  To be a valid time, place and manner regulation, the restriction must not have the effect of restricting speech based on its content and it must not be broader than needed to serve the interest of the government.
Q:        CAN I PICKET AND/OR DISTRIBUTE LEAFLETS AND OTHER TYPES OF LITERATURE ON PUBLIC SIDEWALKS?
A:         Yes, a sidewalk is considered a traditional public forum where you can engage in expressive activities, such a passing out literature or speaking out on a matter of public concern. In exercising that right, you must not block pedestrians or the entrances to buildings. You may not physically or maliciously detain someone in order to give them a leaflet, but you may approach them and offer it to them.
Q:        CAN MY FREE SPEECH BE RESTRICTED BECAUSE OF WHAT I SAY, EVEN IF IT IS CONTROVERSIAL?
A:         No, the First Amendment protects speech even if most people would find it offensive, hurtful or hateful. Speech generally cannot be banned based upon its content or viewpoint because it is not up to the government to determine what can and cannot be said. A bedrock principle of the First Amendment is that the government may not prohibit expression of an idea because society finds it offensive or disagreeable. Also, protest speech also cannot be banned because of a fear that others may react violently to the speech.  Demonstrators cannot be punished or forbidden from speaking because they might offend a hostile mob. The Supreme Court has held that a “heckler’s veto” has no place in First Amendment law.
Q:        HOW DO THESE RIGHTS APPLY TO PUBLIC PLACES I TYPICALLY VISIT?
A:         Your rights to speak out and protest in particular public places will depend on the use and purpose of the place involved.  For example, the lobbies and offices of public buildings that are used by the government are generally not open for expressive activities because the purpose of these buildings is to carry out public business. Protesting would interfere with that purpose.  Ironically, the meetings of a governmental body, such as a city council or town board, are not considered public forums open for protest activities because the purpose of the meeting is generally to address public business that is on the agenda.  However, some government councils and boards set aside a time at the meeting when the public can voice their complaints.
The grounds of public colleges and universities are generally considered available for assembly and protest by students and other members of the institution’s community.  However, those who are not students, faculty or staff of the institution may be denied access to the campus for speech and protest activities under rules issued by the school.
Public elementary and secondary school grounds also are not considered places where persons can engage in assembly and protest.  However, students at these schools do not lose their right to free speech when they enter the school. The First Amendment protects the right of students to engage in expressive acts of protest, such as wearing armbands to demonstrate opposition to a war, that are not disruptive to the school environment.
Q:        DO I NEED A PERMIT IN ORDER TO CONDUCT A PROTEST?
A:         As a general rule, no. A person is not required to obtain the consent or permission of the government before engaging in activities that are protected by the First Amendment.  One of the main reasons for that constitutional provision was to forbid any requirement that citizens obtain a license in order to speak out.  The government cannot require that individuals or small groups obtain a permit in order to speak or protest in a public forum.
However, if persons or organizations want to hold larger rallies and demonstrations, they may be required by local laws to obtain a permit.  The Supreme Court has recognized that the government, in order to regulate competing uses of public forums, may impose a permit requirement on those wishing to hold a parade or rally.  Government officials cannot simply prohibit a public assembly according to their discretion, but the government can impose restrictions on the time, place, and manner of peaceful assembly, provided that constitutional safeguards are met. Such time, place and manner restrictions can take the form of requirements to obtain a permit for an assembly.
Whether an assembly or demonstration requires a permit depends on the laws of the locality.  A permit certainly is required for any parade because it would involve the use of the streets and interfere with vehicle traffic. A permit to hold an event in other public places typically is required if the gathering involves more than 50 persons or the use of amplification.
Q:        DO COUNTER-DEMONSTRATORS HAVE FREE SPEECH RIGHTS?
A:         Yes, they do. Just because counter-demonstrators oppose you and the viewpoint of your demonstration does not mean they have any less right to speak out and demonstrate. However, the same rules apply to counter-demonstrators as apply to the original assembly. The group cannot be violent and must assemble and protest in an appropriate place and manner.
Q:        WHAT CAN'T I DO IN EXERCISING MY RIGHTS TO PROTEST?
A:         The Supreme Court of the United States has held that the First Amendment protects the right to conduct a peaceful public assembly. The First Amendment does not provide the right to conduct a gathering at which there is a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, interference with traffic on public streets or other immediate threat to public safety. Laws that prohibit people from assembling and using force or violence to accomplish unlawful purposes are permissible under the First Amendment.
Q:       AM I ALLOWED TO CARRY A WEAPON OR FIREARM AT A DEMONSTRATION OR PROTEST?
A:         Your right to have a weapon with you when you protest largely depends on what is allowed by state law and is unlikely to be protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee to freedom of speech. Not all conduct can be considered “speech” protected by the First Amendment even if the person engaging in the conduct intends to express an idea. Most courts have held that the act of openly carrying a weapon or firearm is not expression protected by the First Amendment.
The right to possess a firearm is protected by the Second Amendment, and all states allow carrying a concealed weapon in public, although most require a permit to do so. Some states allow persons to openly carry firearms in public. However, it is not yet settled whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to possess a firearm in public. Thus, the right to carry a firearm at a demonstration or protest is a matter that depends on what is allowed under state law. Carrying other weapons, such as stun guns, which are not firearms also is subject to restrictions imposed by state lawPossession of weapons also may be prohibited in certain places where demonstrations might take place, such as a national park.     
Even if possession of weapons is allowed, their presence at demonstrations and rallies can be intimidating and provocative and does not help in achieving a civil and peaceful discourse on issues of public interest and concern. Demonstrations often relate to issues raising strong feelings among competing groups, and the presence of counter-demonstrators makes conflict likely.  In these situations, where the purpose of the gathering is to engage in speech activities, firearms and other weapons are threatening, result in the suppression of speech and are contrary to the purpose of the First Amendment to allow all voices to be heard on matters of public importance.
Q:        WHAT CAN’T THE POLICE DO IN RESPONDING TO PROTESTERS?
A:         In recent history, challenges to the right to protest have come in many forms. In some cases, police have cracked down on demonstrations by declaring them “unlawful assemblies” or through mass arrests, illegal use of force or curfews. Elsewhere, expression is limited by corralling protesters into so-called “free-speech zones.” New surveillance technologies are increasingly turned on innocent people, collecting information on their activities by virtue of their association with or proximity to a given protest. Even without active obstruction of the right to protest, police-inspired intimidation and fear can chill expressive activity and result in self-censorship. All of these things violate the First Amendment and are things the police cannot do to censor free speech. Unless the assembly is violent or violence is clearly imminent, the police have limited authority under the law to shut down protesters.
Clearly, as evidenced by the recent tensions in Charlottesville, Va., we’re at a crossroads concerning the constitutional right to free speech.
It must be emphasized that it was for the sake of preserving individuality and independence that James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.
This freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society. Conversely, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American Peoplewhen we fail to abide by Madison’s dictates about greater tolerance for all viewpoints, no matter how distasteful, the end result is always the same: an indoctrinated, infantilized citizenry that marches in lockstep with the governmental regime.
Some of this past century’s greatest dystopian literature shows what happens when the populace is transformed into mindless automatons. For instance, in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.”
Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.
This is the final link in the police state chain.
If ever there were a time for us to stand up for the right to speak freely, even if it’s freedom for speech we hate, the time is now

 John W. Whitehead

Freedom for the Speech We Hate: The Legal Ins and Outs of the Right to Protest






“If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”— Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
There was a time in this country, back when the British were running things, that if you spoke your mind and it ticked off the wrong people, you’d soon find yourself in jail for offending the king.
Reacting to this injustice, when it was time to write the Constitution, America’s founders argued for a Bill of Rights, of which the First Amendment protects the right to free speech. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, was very clear about the fact that he wrote the First Amendment to protect the minority against the majority.
What Madison meant by minority is “offensive speech.”
Unfortunately, we don’t honor that principle as much as we should today. In fact, we seem to be witnessing a politically correct philosophy at play, one shared by both the extreme left and the extreme right, which aims to stifle all expression that doesn’t fit within their parameters of what they consider to be “acceptable” speech.
There are all kinds of labels put on such speech—it’s been called politically incorrect speech, hate speech, offensive speech, and so on—but really, the message being conveyed is that you don’t have a right to express yourself if certain people or groups don’t like or agree with what you are saying.
Hence, we have seen the caging of free speech in recent years, through the use of so-called “free speech zones” on college campuses and at political events, the requirement of speech permits in parks and community gatherings, and the policing of online forums.
Clearly, this elitist, monolithic mindset is at odds with everything America is supposed to stand for.
Indeed, we should be encouraging people to debate issues and air their views. Instead, by muzzling free speech, we are contributing to a growing underclass of Americans—many of whom have been labeled racists, rednecks and religious bigots—who are being told that they can’t take part in American public life unless they “fit in.”
Remember, the First Amendment acts as a steam valve. It allows people to speak their minds, air their grievances and contribute to a larger dialogue that hopefully results in a more just world. When there is no steam valve to release the pressure, frustration builds, anger grows and people become more volatile and desperate to force a conversation.
The attempt to stifle certain forms of speech is where we go wrong.
In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that it is “a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment...that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.” For example, it is not a question of whether the Confederate flag represents racism but whether banning it leads to even greater problems, namely, the loss of freedom in general.
Along with the constitutional right to peacefully (and that means non-violently) assemble, the right to free speech allows us to challenge the government through protests and demonstrations and to attempt to change the world around us—for the better or the worse—through protests and counterprotests.
As always, knowledge is key.
The following Constitutional Q&A, available in more detail at The Rutherford Institute (www.rutherford.org), is a good starting point.
Q:        WHAT LAWS GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO PROTEST?
A:         The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Protesting is an exercise of these constitutional rights because it involves speaking out, by individual people or those assembled in groups, about matters of public interest and concern.
Q:        WHERE CAN I ENGAGE IN PROTEST ACTIVITY?
A:         The right to protest generally extends to places that are owned and controlled by the government, although not all government-owned property is available for exercising speech and assembly rights. However, beyond public or government property, a person cannot claim a First Amendment right to protest and demonstrate on property that is privately owned by someone else. This also applies to private property that is generally open to the public, such as a shopping mall or shopping center, although these areas sometimes allow demonstrations and other free speech activity with permission from the owner. You are also entitled to engage in protest activities on land you own.  The Supreme Court has ruled that the government may not forbid homeowners from posting signs on their property speaking out on a political or social issue.
Q:        WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS TO PROTEST IN A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC FORUM?
A:         Places historically associated with the free exercise of expressive activities, such as streets, sidewalks and parks, are traditional public forums and the government’s power to limit speech and assembly in those places is very limited. The government may not impose an absolute ban on expression and assembly in traditional public forums except in circumstances where it is essential to serve a compelling government interest.  However, expression and assembly in traditional public forums may be limited by reasonable time, place and manner regulations. Examples of reasonable regulations include restrictions on the volume of sound produced by the activity or a prohibition on impeding vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  To be a valid time, place and manner regulation, the restriction must not have the effect of restricting speech based on its content and it must not be broader than needed to serve the interest of the government.
Q:        CAN I PICKET AND/OR DISTRIBUTE LEAFLETS AND OTHER TYPES OF LITERATURE ON PUBLIC SIDEWALKS?
A:         Yes, a sidewalk is considered a traditional public forum where you can engage in expressive activities, such a passing out literature or speaking out on a matter of public concern. In exercising that right, you must not block pedestrians or the entrances to buildings. You may not physically or maliciously detain someone in order to give them a leaflet, but you may approach them and offer it to them.
Q:        CAN MY FREE SPEECH BE RESTRICTED BECAUSE OF WHAT I SAY, EVEN IF IT IS CONTROVERSIAL?
A:         No, the First Amendment protects speech even if most people would find it offensive, hurtful or hateful. Speech generally cannot be banned based upon its content or viewpoint because it is not up to the government to determine what can and cannot be said. A bedrock principle of the First Amendment is that the government may not prohibit expression of an idea because society finds it offensive or disagreeable. Also, protest speech also cannot be banned because of a fear that others may react violently to the speech.  Demonstrators cannot be punished or forbidden from speaking because they might offend a hostile mob. The Supreme Court has held that a “heckler’s veto” has no place in First Amendment law.
Q:        HOW DO THESE RIGHTS APPLY TO PUBLIC PLACES I TYPICALLY VISIT?
A:         Your rights to speak out and protest in particular public places will depend on the use and purpose of the place involved.  For example, the lobbies and offices of public buildings that are used by the government are generally not open for expressive activities because the purpose of these buildings is to carry out public business. Protesting would interfere with that purpose.  Ironically, the meetings of a governmental body, such as a city council or town board, are not considered public forums open for protest activities because the purpose of the meeting is generally to address public business that is on the agenda.  However, some government councils and boards set aside a time at the meeting when the public can voice their complaints.
The grounds of public colleges and universities are generally considered available for assembly and protest by students and other members of the institution’s community.  However, those who are not students, faculty or staff of the institution may be denied access to the campus for speech and protest activities under rules issued by the school.
Public elementary and secondary school grounds also are not considered places where persons can engage in assembly and protest.  However, students at these schools do not lose their right to free speech when they enter the school. The First Amendment protects the right of students to engage in expressive acts of protest, such as wearing armbands to demonstrate opposition to a war, that are not disruptive to the school environment.
Q:        DO I NEED A PERMIT IN ORDER TO CONDUCT A PROTEST?
A:         As a general rule, no. A person is not required to obtain the consent or permission of the government before engaging in activities that are protected by the First Amendment.  One of the main reasons for that constitutional provision was to forbid any requirement that citizens obtain a license in order to speak out.  The government cannot require that individuals or small groups obtain a permit in order to speak or protest in a public forum.
However, if persons or organizations want to hold larger rallies and demonstrations, they may be required by local laws to obtain a permit.  The Supreme Court has recognized that the government, in order to regulate competing uses of public forums, may impose a permit requirement on those wishing to hold a parade or rally.  Government officials cannot simply prohibit a public assembly according to their discretion, but the government can impose restrictions on the time, place, and manner of peaceful assembly, provided that constitutional safeguards are met. Such time, place and manner restrictions can take the form of requirements to obtain a permit for an assembly.
Whether an assembly or demonstration requires a permit depends on the laws of the locality.  A permit certainly is required for any parade because it would involve the use of the streets and interfere with vehicle traffic. A permit to hold an event in other public places typically is required if the gathering involves more than 50 persons or the use of amplification.
Q:        DO COUNTER-DEMONSTRATORS HAVE FREE SPEECH RIGHTS?
A:         Yes, they do. Just because counter-demonstrators oppose you and the viewpoint of your demonstration does not mean they have any less right to speak out and demonstrate. However, the same rules apply to counter-demonstrators as apply to the original assembly. The group cannot be violent and must assemble and protest in an appropriate place and manner.
Q:        WHAT CAN'T I DO IN EXERCISING MY RIGHTS TO PROTEST?
A:         The Supreme Court of the United States has held that the First Amendment protects the right to conduct a peaceful public assembly. The First Amendment does not provide the right to conduct a gathering at which there is a clear and present danger of riot, disorder, interference with traffic on public streets or other immediate threat to public safety. Laws that prohibit people from assembling and using force or violence to accomplish unlawful purposes are permissible under the First Amendment.
Q:       AM I ALLOWED TO CARRY A WEAPON OR FIREARM AT A DEMONSTRATION OR PROTEST?
A:         Your right to have a weapon with you when you protest largely depends on what is allowed by state law and is unlikely to be protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee to freedom of speech. Not all conduct can be considered “speech” protected by the First Amendment even if the person engaging in the conduct intends to express an idea. Most courts have held that the act of openly carrying a weapon or firearm is not expression protected by the First Amendment.
The right to possess a firearm is protected by the Second Amendment, and all states allow carrying a concealed weapon in public, although most require a permit to do so. Some states allow persons to openly carry firearms in public. However, it is not yet settled whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to possess a firearm in public. Thus, the right to carry a firearm at a demonstration or protest is a matter that depends on what is allowed under state law. Carrying other weapons, such as stun guns, which are not firearms also is subject to restrictions imposed by state lawPossession of weapons also may be prohibited in certain places where demonstrations might take place, such as a national park.     
Even if possession of weapons is allowed, their presence at demonstrations and rallies can be intimidating and provocative and does not help in achieving a civil and peaceful discourse on issues of public interest and concern. Demonstrations often relate to issues raising strong feelings among competing groups, and the presence of counter-demonstrators makes conflict likely.  In these situations, where the purpose of the gathering is to engage in speech activities, firearms and other weapons are threatening, result in the suppression of speech and are contrary to the purpose of the First Amendment to allow all voices to be heard on matters of public importance.
Q:        WHAT CAN’T THE POLICE DO IN RESPONDING TO PROTESTERS?
A:         In recent history, challenges to the right to protest have come in many forms. In some cases, police have cracked down on demonstrations by declaring them “unlawful assemblies” or through mass arrests, illegal use of force or curfews. Elsewhere, expression is limited by corralling protesters into so-called “free-speech zones.” New surveillance technologies are increasingly turned on innocent people, collecting information on their activities by virtue of their association with or proximity to a given protest. Even without active obstruction of the right to protest, police-inspired intimidation and fear can chill expressive activity and result in self-censorship. All of these things violate the First Amendment and are things the police cannot do to censor free speech. Unless the assembly is violent or violence is clearly imminent, the police have limited authority under the law to shut down protesters.
Clearly, as evidenced by the recent tensions in Charlottesville, Va., we’re at a crossroads concerning the constitutional right to free speech.
It must be emphasized that it was for the sake of preserving individuality and independence that James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely.
This freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society. Conversely, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American Peoplewhen we fail to abide by Madison’s dictates about greater tolerance for all viewpoints, no matter how distasteful, the end result is always the same: an indoctrinated, infantilized citizenry that marches in lockstep with the governmental regime.
Some of this past century’s greatest dystopian literature shows what happens when the populace is transformed into mindless automatons. For instance, in George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.”
Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.
This is the final link in the police state chain.
If ever there were a time for us to stand up for the right to speak freely, even if it’s freedom for speech we hate, the time is now

 John W. Whitehead