Fascism is sweeping, sometimes violently across this nation. Our First Amendment rights are being trashed and our Constitution is being desecrated. The political leadership is fostering dangerous division among the people while at the same time acting as stewards and enforcers for the corrupting corporate interests that have gutted this country.
The protests we have seen thus far are just the tip of the iceberg. What is coming as our nation confronts the horrifying consequences of our economic reality will be far more than the vast majority of people in this country are prepared to comprehend….
But listen to what the judge said; what you see is a brilliant jurist carefully balancing respect for the First Amendment with the rights and responsibilities of law enforcement under the First Amendment:
What a huge debt this nation owes to its “troublemakers.” From Thomas Paine to Martin Luther King, Jr., they have forced us to focus on problems we would prefer to downplay or ignore. Yet it is often only with hindsight that we can distinguish those troublemakers who brought us to our senses from those who were simply . troublemakers. Prudence, and respect for the constitutional rights to free speech and free association, therefore dictate that the legal system cut all non-violent protesters a fair amount of slack.
In the Second Circuit, the leading applicable case is Papineau
v. Parmley, 465 F.3d 46 (2d Cir. 2006). Papineau involved a case in which a protest originated on private property bordering on an interstate highway but spilled over onto the highway when a small group of protesters walked onto the interstate, attempting to distribute leaflets. Id. at 52. These actions potentially violated state law. at 59. Shortly after the group abandoned its attempts to distribute leaflets on the interstate, a large number of police officers began to disperse all of the protesters, arresting those who failed to comply. Id. at 53. The Second Circuit, in an opinion written by then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor, held that “even if the [officers] had a lawful basis to interfere with the demonstration,” the demonstrators “still enjoyed First Amendment protection, and absent imminent harm, the troopers could not simply disperse them without giving fair warning.”