More than 940 people were arrested during the 2013 legislative session, which saw North Carolina take a sharp rightward turn as Republicans exerted control over the General Assembly and the governor's mansion for the first time in more than a century.
The "Moral Monday" protests were organized by the state branch of the NAACP and included a coalition of left-leaning groups opposed to GOP-backed bills they saw as damaging to working people, low income families, public education and the environment. The protests were uniformly no violent, with dozens of people typically waiting patiently in line to be arrested and handcuffed by police.
So far, only about two dozen protesters have taken Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby up on his offer to defer prosecution in exchange for community service. Charges against a journalist swept up in the police dragnet were dismissed.
Though the protesters were non-violent, General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver said their singing, clapping and chanting was quite loud and had the potential to disrupt the work of the elected officials. By protesting in the second-floor rotunda outside the tall golden doors leading to the Senate and House, Weaver said lawmakers were forced to use other entrances to the chambers.
The chief also testified that he had reasons to be concerned for the safety of legislators and workers in the building because he recognized known anarchists, occupiers and people with criminal records among the hundreds of protesters.
Forgive me.. but what is the outrage about here?
reply to post by Shdak
Perhaps you should be enraged at our legal system. A jury of his peers found him guilty under the law.
The article even explains why.
Muammad's lawyer, Al McSurely, gave immediate notice of appeal. Under state law, Muammad, 68, will now have the option of having his case heard in Superior Court before a jury of 12.
Thanks to almost zero media coverage, few of us know about a law passed this past March, severely limiting our right to protest. The silence may have been due to the lack of controversy in bringing the bill to law: Only three of our federal elected officials voted against the bill’s passage. Yes, Republicans and Democrats agreed on something almost 100%.
... The First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees us the rights of free speech and assembly. A fundamental purpose of our free speech guarantee is to invite dispute. Protests can and have been the catalyst for positive change. Thus while we despise that protestors can burn our flag as protected political speech, and we hate that Neo-Nazis can march down our streets, we recognize the rights of these groups to do what they do and we send our troops across the world to fight for these rights.
Last year’s “occupy movement” scared the government. On March 8, President Obama signed a law that makes protesting more difficult and more criminal. The law is titled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, and it passed unanimously in the Senate and with only three “no” votes in the House. It was called the “Trepass Bill” by Congress and the “anti-Occupy law” by everyone else who commented.
The law “improves” public grounds by forcing people - protestors - elsewhere. It amends an older law that made it a federal crime to “willfully and knowingly” enter a restricted space. Now you will be found guilty of this offense if you simply “knowingly” enter a restricted area, even if you did not know it was illegal to do so.
The Department of Homeland Security can designate an event as one of “national significance,” making protests or demonstrations near the event illegal. The law makes it punishable by up to ten years in jail to protest anywhere the Secret Service “is or will be temporarily visiting,” or anywhere they might be guarding someone. Does the name Secret tell you anything about your chances of knowing where they are? The law allows for conviction if you are “disorderly or disruptive,” or if you “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.” You can no longer heckle or “boo” at a political candidate’s speech, as that would be disruptive.
After you swallow all of this and correctly conclude that it is now very easy to be prosecuted for virtually any public protest, you should brace yourself and appreciate that it is even worse. Today, any event that is officially defined as a National Special Security Event has Secret Service protection.
This can include sporting events and concerts. The timing of the law was not coincidental. The bill was presented to the Senate, after House passage, on November 17, 2011, during an intense nationwide effort to stop the Occupy Wall Street protests.
....If you want to protest a politician speaking to a crowd now, you can do so maybe a half mile or so away.....
The reality is that, so far, we have largely failed to articulate a clear and compelling vision of why a new global order matters — and where the world should be headed. Half a century ago, those who designed the post-war system — the United Nations, the Bretton Woods system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) — were deeply influenced by the shared lessons of history.
All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty
....Over the past 70 years we have constructed the legal and institutional framework to manage closer economic integration at the regional and global level... Yet, with the world becoming ever more interconnected and challenges become truly global, governance remains to a large extent local.
The discrepancy between the reality of today’s interdependence, the challenges resulting from it, and the capacity of governments to agree politically on how to deal with them is striking. For the international system is founded on the principle and politics of national sovereignty: the Wesphalian order of 1648 remains very much alive in the international architecture today.
In the absence of a truly global government, global governance results from the action of sovereign States. It is inter-national. Between nations....
In fact, the Wesphalian order is a challenge in itself. The recent crisis has demonstrated it brutally. Local politics has taken the upper hand over addressing global issues. Governments are too busy dealing with domestic issues to dedicate sufficient attention and energy to multilateral negotiations, be they trade negotiations or climate negotiations.
I see four main challenges for global governance today....
You missed the fact that we no longer have the RIGHT TO PROTEST.