Congress shall make no law… abridging… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. — First Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America.
The “free speech zone,” despite being anathema to the U.S. Constitution, has been used intermittently since the Vietnam War protests. Their use has expanded ever since to actually hide protesters, as they did during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 2004. Under the guise of “public safety” and well-contrived property rights, municipalities are attempting to circumvent the fact that all of America is a free speech zone for those who wish to engage in the political discourse determining their future.
These zones have now become nothing more than a political tool used to alter the perception of media coverage, as supporters are routinely allowed a front-row seat in full view of cameras, while protesters are housed in cages sometimes blocks away from the actual event. Activists have even faced felony charges for their refusal to permit their rights to be violated.
Free speech zones continue their incremental march across America in a variety of locations, as evidenced in the following video from Mesa, AZ where those who wish to express their political views outside the GOP debate are corralled and harassed. However, reporter Shelton Obadiah (4409) doesn’t make it easy for the bureaucrats and petty tyrants he faces:
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