Posts tagged Protest
Posts tagged Protest
Chris Hedges, from a talk given Sunday night in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.
Members of the organization were later arrested by the NYPD as they read the names of the war dead, including 85-year-old World War II veteran Jay Wenk.
Image from warisacrime.org
mrpooscratch replied to your post: Dear Conservatives who think they grasp this Jesus thing:
Um, it’s about free speech and people not trying to destroy your business because they disagree with you, NOT homosexuality. Sorry you missed the point.
Nope, sorry. You’re missing the point here. Just as the CEO has his freedom of speech, we have the freedom of speech to boycott his establishments and spread the word about his business practices. In fact, a boycott is a form of free speech.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right to boycott in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. et al. 458 U.S. 886 (1982). The court held that the States have broad power to regulate general economic activities, but cannot prohibit peaceful political activity and organizing. This includes boycotts, which are protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments in regards to freedom of speech and association. Also, within the right to freely associate is the right to demonstrate and align one’s self with the ideals of the association or business — or not.
Also, individuals are not responsible for business losses due a non-violent boycott — even if a business fails. The First Amendment freedoms in a boycott trump the business owner’s success. Claiborne bears striking similarities to issues at the heart of the boycott of Chick-Fil-A. As the Court said in this case, petitioners, “through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution… sought to change a social order that had consistently treated them as second-class citizens.”
Justice John Paul Stevens, who delivered the majority opinion, wrote:
“The boycott of white merchants at issue in this case took many forms. The boycott was launched at a meeting of a local branch of the NAACP attended by several hundred persons. Its acknowledged purpose was to secure compliance by both civic and business leaders with a lengthy list of demands for equality and racial justice. The boycott was supported by speeches and nonviolent picketing. Participants repeatedly encouraged others to join in its cause. Each of these elements of the boycott is a form of speech or conduct that is ordinarily entitled to protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”
Also, in Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415 (1971), Chief Justice Warren Burger stated:
“The claim that the expressions were intended to exercise a coercive impact on respondent does not remove them from the reach of the First Amendment. Petitioners plainly intended to influence respondent’s conduct by their activities; this is not fundamentally different from the function of a newspaper. Petitioners were engaged openly and vigorously in making the public aware of respondent’s real estate practices. Those practices were offensive to them, as the views and practices of petitioners are no doubt offensive to others. But so long as the means are peaceful, the communication need not meet standards of acceptability.” [citations omitted]
In other words, even if the goal of the boycott is coercive action against a business entity, the boycott is protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments as long as it remains non-violent.
Now, beyond the constitutionality of the boycott, isn’t this how the free market is supposed to work? For example, I don’t like the business practices or views of Shop X, and they refuse to change their practices — say, puppy punching for the lulz. I hate puppy punching because it’s hurtful and unnecessary for the business to function. So I organize a boycott. Shop X refuses to quit punching puppies, and eventually closes because others decided of their own volition to stop patronizing the shop.
Diner Y’s owner holds racist beliefs which he voices on community radio. So I organize a boycott. Diner Y closes because people refuse to eat at a place that endorses bigotry.
Chick-Fil-A’s owner actively supports discrimination against GLBTQ people via his free speech (his words and money). So I organize a boycott. The free market has yet to decide on Chick-Fil-A’s fate.
The U.S. Constitution is a beautiful thing.
Shep Smith and Judge Robert Napolitano discuss the arrests of Chicago NATO protesters, including the five men accused of possessing explosives:
Napolitano: “But the Chicago folks want to make a case out of it, because they want to make an example out of these kids to deter other people from expressing their political opinions in the streets.”
Smith: “You’ve got to be kidding me. How do we have stories like this, two or three times a week, and no one in the nation seems to care?”
Napolitano: “Because the American public has been deluded into thinking that when the government finds a dope and persuades the dope to say bad things and think he’s assembling a bomb and then he eventually pleads guilty, somehow we are kept safe by that happening.”
Smith: “That’s a load of it! Somehow we are made to feel like maybe they’re doing something for us, and what they’re really doing is trampling on our liberty.”
Bless you, Shep Smith. This same shit happened in Minnesota in 2004 with the RNC convention, and in NYC and Denver at the RNC and DNC conventions. How much you want to bet it’ll happen in Tampa at the 2012 RNC convention?
As a progressive activist, I swear — I’m worried about giving details of any upcoming protest actions to people I don’t know. Not because I plan acts of violence or support acts of violence, but because I don’t want to be a target of a midnight raid as an example. And let’s be real, I’m pretty boring out here Wyoming…
However, an injury to one is an injury to all.
Mitt Romney to WBTV in Charlotte, N.C., discussing the protests at Bank of America.
Oh, we young people don’t understand “real jobs” and “what banks do,” yeah?
I argue we do. There’s a lot of us working two and three minimum wage jobs, going to school, graduating, barely surviving, or some combination of the above.
We’re consistently screwed by people like you, Mitt, who gambled with our parents’ retirement, who ensured most of us can never retire, who foreclosed on our families, who laid us off in the name of savings, who pissed away bailouts in executive bonuses and back slaps, as you grin in your expensive suits and tell us repeatedly that we DON’T GET how it works, as you reach into our back pockets for yet another checking account usage fee because we can’t keep a minimum balance, let me tell you…
WE GET IT.
We are fully proletarianized, working ourselves to the bone, paying the same tax rate as you, and praying to whatever is sacred that we do not get sick or injured because we are one paycheck or missed unemployment check away from completed ruin, while you and your cronies line up for another spin at the roulette wheel, your wallets fat from the products of our intellectual and physical labor.
FUCK YOU and your patronizing condescension. Fuck you with the all the fucks my exhausted self has left to give.
So much symbolism here…
May Day Occupy Oakland protesters lay a line of flowers in front of police.
(Image: Occupy Wall Street)