Protesting is a non-essential activity, according to the Raleigh Police Department

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/04/20/protesting-is-a-non-essential.html

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This is some tricky shit that does not have easy answers, and it’s only going to get trickier as folks of bad faith make it their business to accomplish.

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Start arresting the protestors and put them in cramped holding cells for 12 hours. Release them at the end of the day without charges. See how many suddenly change their views.

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My protest while potentially sharing dangerous germs is essential.

Your kneeling during a football game in UNMERKAN!!!

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Protests are only legitimate insofar as they don’t present a significant danger to others who are not involved in the protest. Fuck these assholes, lock 'em up, and leave them there until we’re sure they’re not infected.

ETA: Around here they’ve taken to protest within their cars, presumably to skirt the rules against large gatherings.

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Everyone’s inalienable rights stop at the tip of everyone else’s nose. They are actively resisting a legitimate order that is designed to keep everyone safe. Yes, this could be over-reach, but in this case I don’t think so.

I’m more concerned that they carry their guns everywhere. Which is also supposedly legal, but in the interest of public safety is generally understood to be fine as long as you’re out in the country. You don’t bring them into cities unless you are robbing a bank.

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Although I agree with the overall sentiment, I note that the same used to be true of masks.

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Note that the sign carried by the Darth Vader mask wearing protester contains the obligatory grammatical error.

Probably has about the same reading level as ⊥rump.

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I’m somewhat more concerned that “there” is no longer a word, or is it
the other way around?

Uh - none of them, since their point is protesting against a “tyrannical government”.

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Yeah, no. Protesting is an essential activity. End of story. They can’t be allowed to directly endanger others, such as directly approaching uninvolved people going about their essential business, but indirect harm / increased risk is not enough to justify preventing their right to protest the government.

I also support and encourage essential workers to assemble for the purposes of protesting and striking in order to demand fair pay, health care, and proper workplace safety measures. And they should be doing it now, because I guarantee that “when this is all over” everyone will thank them for their service and do nothing about it. They have the power now, they need to use it.

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If the law in the state, as in the UK, bans gatherings of more than 2 people not in the same family, then the protesters can be arrested - simply because they risk spreading the virus between each other. That is a public health risk that trumps (sorry) all free speech.

If the law does not say that, then they need to stand 2 metres apart rather than bunched together. Which could make for innovative protests.

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The right to protest, even during a pandemic absolutely needs to be preserved. These protestors may be idiots, but there’s so many reasonable grievances that people might have against the government and businesses, that we absolutely can’t silence protest. Lack of health care, there was that one kid who died after being denied urgent care, minority communities are being impacted harder, unemployment in most states is just failing, landlords can’t legally enforce, but are planning a lot of evictions, the small business loan program was largely a joke, etc.

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That’s really cool to see

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Doesn’t matter where you stand politically, 2m apart is the smart way to protest.

If you can get there safely… :woman_shrugging:t3:

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It’s amazing that these people are to hold that bad faith “tyrannical government” argument when they’re literally being cheered on by the tyrant who runs the government.

But my Schadenfreude addiction would love to see their heads explode when they start disrespecting cops.

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Oh THAT what’s been going on the past few decades!?!? I must admit, I had wondered. Explains all those rolling living rooms, though.

Yeah I’d be better able to stomach it if the police arrested them for reckless endangerment and violating public occupancy laws, rather than for “inessential protesting.”

At least then, the police would be actively saving lives.

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Yes, but what if they’re protesting against the tyranny of their states on behalf of the federal president? There wouldn’t be any irony in that, now would there? :slight_smile:

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