Jackboot North American strategy to deny right to mass protest

By The Real News Network

Michael Ratner: “There is a North America-wide strategy to take away the right to mass protest.”

An attorney and an adjunct professor of law at Columbia University, Michael Ratner is the current President of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He is also a Board of Advisors member of Grassroots International; co-host of a Pacifica Radio program that reports legal developments related to civil liberties, civil rights and human rights issues; and a former President of the National Lawyers Guild. Ratner has written that Che Guevara “has remained my hero” since boyhood.

His most recent book is Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in Twenty-First-Century America, which he co-authored with Margaret Ratner Kunstler.

5 responses to “Jackboot North American strategy to deny right to mass protest

  1. Hard to envision anyone who is an intellectual with Che as a hero. Folks like him were the ones Che had killed. In a sense it is even more amusing since Cubans have no right to peacefully assemble. In any case, the right of people to peacefully assemble will be circumscribed by a multitude of laws, but never taken away unless the people refuse to peacefully assemble in defense of peaceful assembly. On the other hand, considering how little good it has done for people to peacefully assemble, perhaps the whiff of grapeshot is needed for the protestors to have backbones instead of rhetoric.

  2. I remember alot of ‘mass protests’ but none that were greeted with joy. In fact the riot squads, even tanks and barbed wire were plentiful.

    How have Americans become so tame and dispirited? You have the rights you are willing to fight for! not just the ones they are willing to give you.

  3. Demonstrations in the United States are rather tame affairs despite the overwhelming police presence. In fact, they are ritually scripted dramas. In the first place the wrangling over the groups permitted to ciaim some ownership of the demonstration-let’s call this politics. In the second place wrangling over speechifying at the demonstration.
    Lastly what isssue will this specific demonstration revolve around and then the fun begins. All gesture, useless like tits on a bull. You can march, sing, stomp, ride a bike, shout, and all you are doing is exercising your right to vent. Public policy is not moved because public policy has nothing to do with the public. It is a drollery really to watch these marches, a bit like small town parades. It only gets fun when the agents called the Black Bloc start creating havoc because they ae angry youth spoiling for a fight and they are easily manipulated. In truth the only thing accomplished is giving the cops more money in overtime.

  4. its going to get worse, theyre shitting themselves that americans will also have a “spring” event soon as TSHTF bigtime!
    actually for you guys it may be Autumn,
    of everyones Dis content.
    and when you get really aggro eventually as they bulldoze entire bank owned neighbourhoods, councils and states declare bankrupt, hmm? delaware? getting in early was it?
    take 1930’s insanity like the aforementioned home crushing, throwing food away burning crops etc to keep prices high, yes at a time when people in your country are on the streets no work no hime and hungry, and moved on and harassed everytime they stop.
    hey smaller scale hit Aus back then too.
    now heres odd,
    we werent doing bad, just like now,
    then UK called in Debts cos THEY screwed up, paying for ww1? and the rest afterwards, and our idiot Govt sent US broke to repay them! and Aus also had the depression years.
    we had Waltzing Matilda. you had grapes of wrath.
    and back then?
    they rounded people up and put them into forced work camps.
    I hear Bells…warning bells. alarm bells. FEMA Bells?

  5. I think our ability to protest in large numbers is vitally important if we are to see any change in this country. It encourages people to organize and lets them know that they are not alone in their opposition to the corporatist powers that are destroying this country. That is why it is being so systematically curtailed. The powers that be fear it.
    For all Che’s faults and mistakes, he lived his beliefs. He worked sometimes 36 hours at a stretch, He may be the only minister in history to do construction work and cut sugar cane on his days off. One could have far worse heroes.

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