A college friend of mine Christopher De Vries, now faculty at Cal State Stanislaus, did some good work last week: Posted bychrisdolan November 28, 2011 3 Comments on A college friend of mine Christopher De Vries, now faculty at Cal State Stanislaus, did some good work last week: A college friend of mine Christopher De Vries, now faculty at Cal State Stanislaus, did some good work last week: http://blog.idolstarastronomer.com/post/13433486003
This seems kinda silly to me. It doesn’t recognize that some aseemblies become a burden, that there is such a thing as reasonable time/place/manner restrictions, and that if such reasonable restrictions are violated, the authorities may reasonably enforce them.
Now, we may argue that the restrictions were not reasonable, or that the enforcement was not reasonable. But without recognizing that such things may be reasonable, we can’t really move forward.
No one questions that peaceable assembly is necessary, and a right. But this resolution incorrectly implies there’s no limits to assembly, and that all enforcement of those limits is wrong.
The resolution does not imply an unlimited interpretation of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and assembly. It resolves rather simply to “support the rights … to peaceably assemble”. That is not a blanket statement that any and all assemblies are equivalently lawful. The resolution also states “They should always be free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt the regular and essential operations of the institution” which explicitly acknowledges that there can be some restrictions on the exercise of this right.
Given the casually violent actions of the police at UC Davis and elsewhere to clearly non-violent people doing little more than taking up some public space, your suggestion that “No one questions that peaceable assembly is necessary and a right” is debatable. I think an explicit reminder and assertion of important political rights is entirely reasonable.
Brian Casey I do not believe you could find a single person involved that disagrees that the right to peaceably assemble exists, and that it is necessary for our system. I do not think it is UNreasonable to mention it, but I do not think it is necessary or helpful. I think it implies that some people disagree with it, just for the sake of playing the victim against the campus authorities over free speech, when this has nothing to do with free speech. No one’s free speech is being violated in the slightest, and no relevant authority in the university would do so.
And I see nothing casual about the violent actions by the police at UC Davis. From what I can tell, they were calmly exerting the force necessary to fulfill their duties. Whether these people were nonviolently protesting is irrelevant: they were violating the rules and the police had the right to use force against them according to the policies and procedures laid out for them by the people in power.
I cannot tell from the video if the police did anything wrong at all, and I doubt anyone else can either. There’s nothing wrong with pepper-spraying people, if all the policies have been followed leading up to it: they were given a lawful order to leave, they refused, they resisted attempts to be physically moved, etc. Yes, if all that happens, you may be “casually” (again, I say “calmly”) pepper-sprayed.
It seems to me that the protestors and tge people who support them are just trying to make hay out of a shocking video, and crowing about the First Amendment, to avoid having to talk about whether the authorities actually did anything specifically wrong.
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