Now, some one may wonder just why I'm angry over this. I'm not a resident of this city. I pay no taxes or have anything to do with the government of the city. My only real dealings with it is occasionally purchasing items there and driving thru on my way out of the area on the NYS Thruway to go visit friends. So, I really shouldn't be upset with this whole business, right?
You know, if I didn't give a damn about my rights as a citizen of the United States, I probably wouldn't bat an eyelash over this. You see, if you deprive one citizen of their rights under the color of law, you lay the groundwork for depriving all of us of them. I understand, Rochester has something of a crime problem. I recognize that a large percentage of the people who are caught up in that problem are of African-American descent. I also recognize there is a need to protect the members of the community, including the local government, from violence.
I, however, do not in any way, shape, or form feel that it is appropriate to deny citizens their right to assemble and demand redress of grievances. A statement from the Rochester Chief of Police that was quoted just minutes ago on the local news report made me see red. He states that the people who attended the meeting regarding the appointment of the new public defender had gone with the expressed purpose of disrupting the meeting. He implied, with this statement, that the people who attended the meeting did not have a right to be there!
This makes me livid. The right to assemble and demand redress of grievances is secured for us in the Consitution of the United States of America. It is part of that initial fundamental list of rights known as the Bill of Rights. Indeed, it is part of the First Amendment!
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 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.I italicized and bolded the portions of interest here. Please, let me rephrase this in an easier to read format.
Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Now, the fact that this is true for Congress may encourage some people to state that the legislature of lower levels of government can engage in this. As has been seen in the past on other matters, the Supreme Court of the United States does not support that line of logic. Local, state, or federal government is not allowed to deprive us of our right to assemble and demand justice.
Tell me, how is it that the two bit Chief of Police can advocate such a thing, then? And explain to me how this can be done with out public outcry?
I really want answers on that one.
While you're at it, can somebody give me justification for why our right to be protected from illegal search and seizure is violated daily by the federal government?
It makes me sick to see such gross abuses of the citizens of this nation by the very people who are supposed to protect us. I am becoming increasingly convinced that this is not the republic that my ancestors fought and died for. I don't know what this is, but it's not that. That nation didn't ignore the rights of the people wholesale with out fear of reprisal.