The First Amendment is very clear that Americans have the right to protest. The exact reference says the "right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The protest was named "#ReopenNC and a few dozen people showed up at the Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh, waving flags, wearing red, white & blue, to protest or in the words of the U.S. Constitution "to petition the government for a redress of grievances," over the statewide stay-at-home order.
The order as established was to last for 30 days. But with just over two weeks left in that original plan, a group demanding the order be lifted gathered to honk, chant and protest on Tuesday.
Those calls come one day after tighter restrictions took effect for those retailers that have been allowed to remain open.
"I am so proud of us," said Ashley Smith, a Boone business owner and co-founder of the Facebook group called ReopenNC. "We will continue to work day and night until our governor opens up for business."
But Raleigh police disagreed. After observing the crowd for about an hour, officers determined it was too many people too close together and asked them to disperse.
"If you fail to leave, if you do not disperse, you will be subject to a physical arrest and taken to the jail," an officer on a bullhorn told the crowd.
Many then protested from their cars by blowing their horns, but the police did arrest a 51 year old woman that refused to "disperse," since it is her Constitutional right to protest, so they took her away in handcuffs.
YouTuber "The Pragmatic Libertarian," took his camera and decided to go attempt to get some answers from the Raleigh Police. They refused to answer the questions, then ordered him to move along and "disperse," despite the fact that he was doing nothing wrong, and by the end they were a bit belligerent about it.
The images from the protest show a normal group of Americans, and granted most weren't wearing masks which is not exactly smart at this moment in time when a large group is gathering, but they are adults, they know the risks and took them. Last time I checked, stupidity was not a violation of the law.
The question is not whether people should be self-quarantining, we at ANP have been suggesting the healthy isolate themselves if at all possible, in order to stay that way... but rather whether the state has the right to force people to go into quarantine collectively. Voluntary is the key word here.
Governors across the nation ordering by Executive Order a lockdown of this type, runs us smack dab into a violation of our constitutional rights.
This type of fascism is unprecedented in America, but not for countries led by dictators or tyrants, which many state Governors seem to think they have the right to be.
We have Governors mandating that neighbors not be allowed to visit neighbors, demanding that local businesses shutter their doors unless the state deems them "essential," and basically destroying peoples lives.
In what might be one of the most over-the-top and draconian responses to coronavirus yet seen in Montana, Valley County is mandating that people wear government-issued pink arm bands in under to purchase products inside of stores. The measure, enforced by the Valley County Health Department, insists that store-owners keep customers out unless they have the pink arm-bands, which denote the customer has been in the area more than 14 days and submitted to quarantine protocol.
According to the flier produced by the Valley County Health Department, out-of-towners who lack the government-issued armbands will be prohibited from stores and residents are notified to call law enforcement if they do not comply.
The health department even issued a script to warn customers to flee, saying, “You are violating our Governor’s and Valley County’s Health Officer’s orders. I am happy to shop for you with curbside delivery. I will get the items for you and bring them to your car. If you don’t cooperate, you will force me to call law enforcement.”
Other extreme measures include, but are not limited to:
• Rhode Island, Florida and Texas have set up controversial border checkpoints to stop non-residents who may be carrying the virus.
• In Florida and Texas, state troopers are requiring motorists from out of state and their passengers to sign forms promising to self-quarantine for 14 days. Florida, Rhode Island and Texas also require travelers to provide an address where they plan to shelter — and advise them to be prepared for a follow-up call or unannounced visit from public health officials.
U.S. District Judge Justin Walker sided with the church, saying that the city is prohibited from “enforcing; attempting to enforce; threatening to enforce; or otherwise requiring compliance with any prohibition on drive-in church services at On Fire.”
“On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter,” Walker wrote in his sternly worded 20-page opinion. “That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion.”
Walker added that “The Mayor’s decision is stunning. And it is, ‘beyond all reason,’ unconstitutional."
Remove the names of the city and states from the descriptions of the extreme measures being taken by out-of-control governors across the nation, and one would think we were talking about another country, such as China and North Korea, or the old Nazi Germany or Soviet Union, or any modern day dictatorship.
But no, this is the New America, where Governors from across the nation are blatantly violating the constitutional rights of every citizen.
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