HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Government says the anti-...

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 06:51 PM

Government says the anti-protest bill was just a small tweak of the existing law-Don’t believe it.

You Can’t Occupy This
The government says the anti-protest bill was just a small tweak of the existing law. Don’t believe it.

By Dahlia Lithwick and Raymond Vasvari
Posted Monday, March 19, 2012, at 6:25 PM ET

........................

For one thing, the law makes it easier for the government to criminalize protest. Period. It is a federal offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison to protest anywhere the Secret Service might be guarding someone. For another, it’s almost impossible to predict what constitutes “disorderly or disruptive conduct” or what sorts of conduct authorities deem to “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.”

The types of events and individuals warranting Secret Service protection have grown exponentially since the law was enacted in 1971. Today, any occasion that is officially defined as a National Special Security Event calls for Secret Service protection. NSSE’s can include basketball championships, concerts, and the Winter Olympics, which have nothing whatsoever to do with government business, official functions, or improving public grounds. Every Super Bowl since 9/11 has been declared an NSSE.

And that brings us to the real problem with the change to the old protest law. Instead of turning on a designated place, the protest ban turns on what persons and spaces are deemed to warrant Secret Service protection. It’s a perfect circle: The people who believe they are important enough to warrant protest can now shield themselves from protestors. No wonder the Occupy supporters are worried. In the spirit of “free speech zones,” this law creates another space in which protesters are free to be nowhere near the people they are protesting.

..............

more:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2012/03/the_anti_protest_bill_signed_by_barack_obama_is_a_quiet_attack_on_free_speech_.html

29 replies, 4163 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Government says the anti-protest bill was just a small tweak of the existing law-Don’t believe it. (Original post)
kpete Mar 2012 OP
TheWraith Mar 2012 #1
Post removed Mar 2012 #2
SomethingFishy Mar 2012 #6
Mojorabbit Mar 2012 #12
onenote Mar 2012 #14
Zalatix Mar 2012 #17
woo me with science Mar 2012 #3
Autumn Mar 2012 #4
randome Mar 2012 #5
Robb Mar 2012 #7
randome Mar 2012 #8
SidDithers Mar 2012 #9
jeff47 Mar 2012 #10
TheKentuckian Mar 2012 #19
jeff47 Mar 2012 #20
ProSense Mar 2012 #11
Mojorabbit Mar 2012 #13
Zalatix Mar 2012 #18
onenote Mar 2012 #23
jeff47 Mar 2012 #21
ProSense Mar 2012 #25
jeff47 Mar 2012 #26
ProSense Mar 2012 #27
ProSense Mar 2012 #24
Mojorabbit Mar 2012 #28
girl gone mad Mar 2012 #16
jeff47 Mar 2012 #22
girl gone mad Mar 2012 #15
geek tragedy Mar 2012 #29

Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 06:55 PM

1. Oh look, another hyperventilating pantsload about an old, discredited issue.

Apparently the panic-mongers are having a hard time coming up with new material lately.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheWraith (Reply #1)


Response to TheWraith (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:58 PM

6. You have a link to the discrediting of this story?

Please

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheWraith (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:53 PM

12. What a terrible dismissive post. Can you then dispute this piece? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 02:47 PM

14. I can. And will.

The thrust of the article is that HR 347 represents a "radical shift in free speech law" and "targets" Occupy protesters.

We'll start with the "targeting" Occupy argument. To argue that HR 347 targets Occupy you have to believe that the members of Congress who first introduced this legislation in 2010 had a crystal ball that told them that the Occupy movement was coming. Personally, I'm not a big believer in crystal ball-based arguments.

As for the "radical" nature of the changes in existing law, the article claims that the old law only protected areas around the President, VP, or any others under the protection of the Secret Service" while the new law now makes it punishable by up to 10 years in prison to protest anywhere the Secret Service may be guarding someone. It also suggests that the new law is more expansive than the old law because "it's almost impossible to to predict what constitutes 'disorderly or disruptive conduct' or what sorts of conduct authorities deem to 'impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.'" Another purported expansion in the law: it covers "any occasion that is officially defined as a National Special Security Event". In summing up, the article claims that the old law turned on a "designated place" while the new law turns on "what persons and spaces are deemed to warrant Secret Service protection."

Now here's the problem with all of the above -- every single thing that they've identified as being in the "new" law already exists in the law that was in effect the day before the President signed the new law. Put another way, everything that they are complaining about as being an effort to target Occupy and a "radical shift" in the law would be exactly the same had the President vetoed HR 347.

Don't believe me? Compare 18 USC 1752 as it existed the day before the President signed HR 347 to what 18 USC 1752 looks like after HR 347 amended it.

Prohibition on "disorderly or disruptive conduct" and activities that "impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions"? In both the old and new law.

Application to NSSEs? In both the old and new law.

The expansion of the scope of the bill from "designated places" to "what persons and spaces are deemed to warrant Secret Service protection"? Let's let the language of the old and new laws speak for themselves.

Here's what the old law covered: "any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area" (1) "of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting" and (2) "of a buidling or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance."

Here's what the new law covers: "any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area (1) "of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President's official residence or its grounds; (2) "of a building or grounds where the President or any other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting" and (3) "of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance."

In other words, the "radical shift" in the types of areas covered by the new law compared to the old law? It now expressly covers the White House, White House grounds, Vice President's residence and VP's residence grounds.

So excuse me if I roll my eyes at this obvious attempt to mislead people as to the effect of HR 347 on existing law. Its not a "radical shift"; it wasn't enacted to "target" Occupy, and the authors are too smart not to know that so they don't deserve to be cut any slack.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheWraith (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:30 PM

17. That's okay, when the GOPers use this law you'll understand why you're wrong.

 

Hopefully it won't be too late.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:40 PM

3. DU Rec. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:48 PM

4. Rec. I don't believe it.

The government and the defenders are tweaking our asses,

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 08:53 PM

5. Be very, very afraid.

 

All the time. Don't sleep. Cower under the bed. You still won't be safe.

And then in the morning, start all over again!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 09:01 PM

7. If this has been an "exponential growth" of law...

...surely the arrests and federal prosecutions under these laws have grown exponentially as well?

Dahlia and Raymond surely have this data?

...Surely?

Hint: in order to really boil the proverbial frog, it's not a matter of the frog being certain he'll be cooked at any moment. To do it, the heat has to actually be increased.

I think the frogs will be fine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Robb (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 09:14 PM

8. Rib-bit!

 

[link:http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1024&bih=485&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=7HLIjXR6hpfXEM:&imgrefurl=http://www.salesproductivityinsider.com/time-to-eat-the-frog-not-the-turkey/&docid=tnyx9uRlc2GRjM&imgurl=&w=350&h=305&ei=CNpnT99ZhNSyApSJrYUJ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=274&sig=106415036804199459274&page=1&tbnh=120&tbnw=138&start=0&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r,s:0&tx=87&ty=25|

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 09:20 PM

9. Oh look, it's this thread again...



Sid

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:43 AM

10. How exactly does lying help?

This article claims the law has all sorts of evil new powers.

Yet this article cites things that aren't actually in the new law, or existed in the old law.

Lying is what Republicans do. Stick with reality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:01 PM

19. The existence in the old law is meaningless to it being reaffirmed and/or enhanced by the new one

What is in the law is what was affimatively passed. Anything in the old law that is in the present one was by definition passed and signed into law.

Saying something is in the legislation that isn't is one thing but citing the actual text cannot be a lie or even a misrepresentation because it is there in black and white. If the intent was not to uphold, affirm, and enhance existing law the Congress is fully empowered to write new law that sets an entirely different tone, if it so chooses. The existing law is meaningless to the conversation, the law is what it is and whining that similar language preexisted it does little good when considering the power to legislate Congress always has. They are in no way obligated to other acts of Congress that are not enshrined in the Constitution.

They passed what they passed, that is all that counts. They own each and every word as if it was plucked out of thin air. If it is in the black and white then it is fair game.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #19)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:19 PM

20. It isn't meaningless when one's entire thesis is that the new law has all sorts of nasty powers

Since those powers were already present, or part of other laws.

One can make an argument that they'd prefer a differently worded law. But claiming this law grants all sorts of new evil powers is flat out lying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 09:46 AM

11. Well

the ACLU said the same thing: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002401129


It's like there is an industry to create fear.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProSense (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 01:56 PM

13. Your link state this


These restricted areas include locations where individuals under Secret Service protection are temporarily located, and certain large special events like a presidential inauguration. They can also include large public events like the Super Bowl and the presidential nominating conventions (troublingly, the Department of Homeland Security has significant discretion in designating what qualifies as one of these special events).

The original statute, unchanged by H.R. 347,made certain conduct with respect to these restricted areas a crime, including simple trespass, actions in or near the restricted area that would "disrupt the orderly conduct of Government," and blocking the entrance or exit to the restricted area.

H.R. 347 did make one noteworthy change, which may make it easier for the Secret Service to overuse or misuse the statute to arrest lawful protesters

which is along the lines of what the op states. .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:32 PM

18. Everyone on the DU knows the ACLU is America's biggest maker of tinfoil hats

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zalatix (Reply #18)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:29 PM

23. the ACLU blog post confirms that HR 347 is not the big deal that the OP article claims it is

The OP article describes HR 347 as representing a "radical shift in free speech law" and that it "targets" Occupy protesters. The ACLU blog post essentially says that the truth about HR 347 is "more mundane." The blog post goes on to acknowledge that with essentially one exception, HR 347 is effectively a restatement of existing law. The one exception, which the blog post describes as "noteworthy" is that HR 347 deleted the word "willfully" from certain provisions of 18 USC 1752. But even in describing that change, the blog post provides an incomplete picture. For example, according to the blog post, the deletion of "willfully" means that all the prosecution needs to prove is that the accused acted "knowingly" (i.e., that you "know you're in a restricted area, but not necessarily that you're committing a crime". What the blog post fails to acknowledge is that in one of the provisions where "willfully" was removed, the words "without lawful authority" were added, meaning that the prosecution has to prove that you knew you were in a restricted area AND that you knew you were there without lawful authority (i.e., you knew you were committing a crime).
In two other provisions where "willfully" was omitted, the statute still requires both knowledge AND "intent" -- the willfulness requirement in those provisions was essentially belt and suspenders and its deletion doesn't change the law. Finally, the willfulness requirement was deleted from a fourth provision in the statute -- the one that makes it illegal to engage in an act of physical violence. As a general matter, intent (or "willfulness" is an implied element of crimes of physical violence and one can't engage in such acts and then claim "I didn't know it was illegal to assault someone." So again, the willfulness requirement was unnecessary and its elimination doesn't change the law.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:25 PM

21. No, that isn't actually what the OP states.

I hate to agree with ProSense, but the bullshit being thrown around over this law is way over-the-top. For example, the part of the ACLU statement you failed to quote talked about a scenario that is exceptionally difficult to imagine happening to an otherwise innocent party.

I'm trying to figure out who profits from the massive wave of lying, since it's quite odd that a lot of people have come up with the same lies and started shouting them at the same time. Best guess at this moment is a poorly-funded effort to drive a wedge between the activist left and the Democrats.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #21)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:33 PM

25. You

"I hate to agree with ProSense"

..."hate to agree" with me?

OK, how about kicking this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002401129

You don't have to rec it. LOL!

I mean, everyone is spinning the ACLU's statement, but interestingly it was largely ignored.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProSense (Reply #25)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:07 PM

26. Well,

This gets rather off-topic, but the one-word subjects annoy me when I'm trying to scan the thread outline.

Additionally, you'll reliably cut-n-paste analysis from others, when I'd prefer using that data to boost one's own analysis.

But those come down to a difference in opinion of style, so perhaps there's others who prefer your style.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jeff47 (Reply #26)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:13 PM

27. That's OK

"This gets rather off-topic, but the one-word subjects annoy me when I'm trying to scan the thread outline.

Additionally, you'll reliably cut-n-paste analysis from others, when I'd prefer using that data to boost one's own analysis."

I try not be long winded unecessarily. Nothing worse than reading through dense paragraphs with very few spaces only to get to the end and find little to no substance.

At least, I can get in an occasional short response beyond +1 or Rec!

To each his own.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:31 PM

24. Here's

what the link states:

It's important to note — contrary to some reports — that H.R. 347 doesn't create any new crimes, or directly apply to the Occupy protests. The bill slightly rewrites a short trespass law, originally passed in 1971 and amended a couple of times since, that covers areas subject to heightened Secret Service security measures.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002401129

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProSense (Reply #24)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 10:58 PM

28. Again from your post

in the link
H.R. 347 did make one noteworthy change, which may make it easier for the Secret Service to overuse or misuse the statute to arrest lawful protesters.


It would be really nice if you would leave off linking to your posts. It makes it impossible to have a conversation in the thread.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProSense (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:30 PM

16. People thought the Stand Your Ground law would lead to abuses..

such as in the Trayvon Martin murder.

Guess they were just an "industry to create fear" from your deluded perspective.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to girl gone mad (Reply #16)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 06:27 PM

22. Stand your ground is new. This is from 1971.

Please list the abuses of the old, nearly identical law that was on the books for the last 41 years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 05:27 PM

15. k & r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Mar 20, 2012, 11:21 PM

29. More ignorant nonsense from the hysteria pimps on the fringe.

 

It's always been illegal to interfere with security perimeters set up by the secret service. The one major change this made was to include the White House and VP residence. 95% of this language is already on the books, and this bill renewing that language was introduced before OWS existed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread