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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. [View all]

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

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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.

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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

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