The Right to Peaceably Assemble and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

“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.”  ~ First Amendment to the US Constitution


I just saw this particularly ugly meme popping up on my Facebook feed, where yet another Progressive friend is celebrating the use of force by the police state and the imprisonment of more Americans for having the temerity to object to federal power. Come on y’all, come clean. You don’t want the rule of law and fairness. You don’t care about the Constitution. You haven’t a clue what it says. You want power to impose your agenda on the whole world. It’s that simple.  If you want to know what happened here, then Justin Raimondo's article is great.


Many commentators called for the ranchers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge  to be ousted--by force if necessary. Counter-protesters arrived to sleep in until the original protesters were ousted. People spoke of “our” land being taken, even though those at the Refuge invited others to join them. One thing that I did not hear at all was any mention of the right of people to peaceably assemble. This right, guaranteed by the First Amendment, the exercise of which was fundamental to women's suffrage and to the civil rights movement seems to be wholly overlooked in this instance.


If the people cannot assemble on public land, where can they assemble? The prohibition against the federal government limiting this particular right of people is unequivocal—there can be no law that abridges that right. By what right did federal officials remove the Bundy protesters? Why that would be by the power of “might makes right.”. While not enshrined anywhere in the Constitution, it is the power most frequently exercised by the federal government and the Progressives celebrate its use when their enemies are being ousted.

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