Portland protesters released from jail on condition they no longer attend protests

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/28/protesters-released-from-jail.html


Cue ACLU winnable lawsuits, please; that is unconstitutional as fuck.

What, no flag for this post?


I could win a case against this condition after staying awake for a week straight and arguing it through a pair of tin cans connected by a mile of string. And I’m not a lawyer.


Is it? I mean it is so wrong that you kind of need to use one of those backwards R’s to write about it…but releases from jail while a trial is pending do tend to have limits, and those limits always infringe on one’s normal rights (don’t leave the jurisdiction, don’t talk to this list of people, don’t go near the witnesses, go to AA meetings, and so on).

What limits exist on the stipulations on “well, we could keep you in jail, but if you promise X I guess we can let you out”?

(again, I’m not here to argue that this is even slightly right, I’m just not sure how this is a slam dunk win…and I’ll be happy to be told why the ACLU will have a field day, or better yet see them do so!)


Can these kind of conditions be put on someone who is released from jail pending trial? Everyone is saying “this is unconstitutional” but when Roger Stone was awaiting trial he was told to not use social media, which is technically a violation of his first amendment rights. So it seems that as a condition of release from jail you can be forced to (temporarily) give up your first amendment rights.

On the other hand Michael Cohen had a “no writing” condition on his early release and that was pretty quickly judged unconstitutional.

Any actual lawyers here know the distinction?


The Constitution explicitly gives the right to assemble and peacefully protest. No government agent can take/revoke this right.




So when you kill someone and they put you in jail and you can’t assemble and protest, that’s unconstitutional?

Clearly there are cases where they can take those rights away, after conviction of a crime. And being arrested for a crime is an “in-between” state that seems like a fuzzy condition in terms of one’s constitutional rights.

The protesters have not been convicted.

ETA: There is a presumption of innocence. I mean, Trump et al have been wreaking havoc with the Constitution, but you can’t revoke someone’s Constitutional rights without a trial.


Right, but again, arrest and release pending trial seems to be an “in-between” state where judges have a lot of discretion to tamper with First Amendment rights, as in the Roger Stone case.

From the article: Constitutional lawyers said conditioning release from jail on a promise to stop joining protests were…almost certainly a violation of the First Amendment right to free assembly.

That’s the rub. “Almost certainly” but not certainly. As we’ve seen a lot recently, what people have fervently believed and assumed to be violations of our rights turn out not to be—in a legal sense—given the current courts.

Edit: added the “legal” clause since they are obviously violations of our rights in any true sense. I’m not arguing that these restrictions aren’t shitty and appalling things. But some people seem to have trouble with anyone wanting to discuss true precedent or facts other than “I know it’s this way cuz i say so”

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And this may be beyond the scope of a Federal Magistrate Judge. These judges have less oversight than regular judges and they usually adjudicate petty crime. Revoking a Constitutional right to protest (and under duress) isn’t a small matter.


Wait a minute. Conditional release is not unique to this.

At Seabrook in 1978 they were offered release on condition, I think it was they not return to Seabrook.

When we climbed over the fence at the construction site for tye Darlington nuclear power plant, we “decided” ahead of time to not sign a conditional release. So we spent a weekend in jail, then all signed on the monday. There was no real point to it.

The next year Ontario changed the petty tresspassing law, I can’t remember details. But my interpretation was that we’d not get a conditional release. I mentioned it to someone, and he laughed it off. So I never went further, not because I changed my mind, but because I needed support. We got arrested, got our tickets, and no conditional release. We could have gone back the next day, brought in people who saw us get arrested the first day.

A conditional release may be like putting up bail so you won’t flee, or staying away from the person you’ve’ve been annoying.

People should take from the Black Panther playbook and know and understand the law.

People can protest and not understand much about protest. They can also move into groups by picking up lingo and identity, but that doesn’t mean they can make good decisions, or change course as the situation changes.

The mob can’t be controlling what’s going on. It requires understanding. What’s the goal, and how do we get there?

Don’t be distracted by tearing down statues or some vast change when it distracts from the core. Don’t conflate individuals being mistreated by cops with cops keeping protest in line after the mob gets rowdy.

Rosa Parks didn’t carry a sign “down with segregation”. She refused segregation , and the bus boycott followed. John Lewis refused segregation when he sat down at lunch counters and when he rode the bus. Don’t invest too much in marches, assuming constant and ever larger marches changes things. There is a continuum, not just civil disobedience (that’s not random acts of vandalism) but even down to voting.

I didn’t routinely carry ID for 38 years, because the cops didn’t take no for an answer, they’d search me. I thought two years ago I could start carrying again. But now I won’t, Black Lves Matter. I wrote about what happened to me in 1986, I wrote a letter to a paper yesterday, I’m working on another letter to another paper. I shouldn’t be spending time trying to explain protest and nonviolence, there are way more important things.

This can’t get sidelined by people who haven’t experienced police abuse directly.


I’m surprised they hadn’t put a gag order on them as well to prevent this from coming out. Either they’re incompetent (most likely) or they want others to know about it (a bit of this probably true since Trump’s poll numbers are sagging badly).


Also, IIRC Roger stone had been warned, repeatedly. If he wanted to stand outside on a corner with a sign claiing he was being railroaded, that would be different. He published a threatening photo of the judge in crosshairs.

Don’t conflate the two issues with “what aboutisms.”


Because it’s the government saying that they will keep you in prison if you exercise the first amendment right.


The defendants are hereby banished from planet earth :earth_americas:


Before this thread drags on any further, let’s be clear that the majority of the charges protesters were picked up for were simple acts such as stepping into federal property, which is a simple misdemeanor.
The rhetoric of “violent acts” is a concoction by the Little Green Men.

Constitutional lawyers argue there are no violent acts to tie to their arrests.


This is just fascism with extra steps.