Issues > "Permitting" Peaceful Protests
"Permitting" Peaceful Protests
by Daniel Newby,
July 15, 2005
On June 16, 2005, I attended a protest against banks in Utah
that pander to illegal aliens. I was saddened to learn,
however, that a "permit" had been "required" and obtained from
the police to "legitimize" the protest. This is a dangerous,
recent trend leading to complete tyranny and slavery.
Vhere arre your papers?! June 16,
2005, protest of Wells Fargo bank in Midvale, Utah.
It is one thing for police agencies to, in the interests of
protecting citizens from potential harm, politely request that
peaceful protestors inform them of the times and locations of
their free speech activities conducted on public grounds (in
this case a public sidewalk/easement). It is another matter
entirely to attempt to force them to do so.
The inherent risk is that some protestors will not choose to
inform the police, and therefore the police may not be able to
respond quickly to some altercation or other incident. But
those risks come with the proposition of freedom accepted by
The "permit" farce treats citizens as though they are guilty
of criminal action before anything criminal occurs.
Gatherings of the Sons of Liberty were frequently not
"permitted" by the government. To my knowledge, Martin Luther
King did not obtain "permits" to march. From Tiananmen Square
in China to and Gandhi's marches against the British, the
greatest protests of the world were conducted without
government permission. Why? Those protestors
realized that a government empowered to "permit" your speech
can likewise take it away!
The only "permit" we need to speak our minds is the one
already granted to us by our Creator. To seek a "permit" from
government is an offense to our Creator and to ourselves.
Our forefathers even enacted a clause in the federal constitution
aimed at reaffirming (not
creating, but reaffirming) our natural rights:
(U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article I)
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition
the Government for a redress of grievances."
Many states have similar clauses in their constitutions.
Article 1 of the Utah Constitution, for instance, includes not
one, but two sections reaffirming our natural rights:
(Article I. Section 1, bold caps added)
"All men have an inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and
defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess and
protect property; to worship according to the dictates of
their consciences; to assemble peaceably, protest against
wrongs, and petition for redress of grievances; to
communicate FREELY their thoughts and opinions, being
responsible for the abuse of that right."
"No law shall be passed to abridge or restrain the freedom
of speech or of the press..."
(Article I, Section 15 — goes on to discuss jury trials
Do these people need permission to
wave flags and hold signs on a public easement?
June 16, 2005, protest of Zion's Bank in Midvale, Utah.
Citizens should support protests that are not "permitted" on
public sidewalks and easements — particularly in front of
corrupt government offices and police agencies that openly
defy and trample our inalienable rights and the Creator who
endowed us with those rights.
If that is not viewed as productive, then citizens can resort to some of
the other political tactics our forefathers pursued in their
confrontations with the tyrannical powers of their day.
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