Mark Sidney| Opinion| The media is doing this nation a huge disservice when they refuse to make the distinction between a ‘protest’ and ‘violence’, a ‘riot’, or ‘looting,’ clear. Peaceful protests are part, a large part in fact, of what makes America great.
There are many nations on Earth in which airing your grievances with the government is forbidden. Protests are so important that they are covered by the very first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
However, just like with the 2nd Amendment, and the right to bear arms, with those rights, come a lot of responsibility. Yes, you have the right to own a weapon and defend yourself, but no, you do not have a right to discharge your weapon in public without dire cause.
The same goes for the First Amendment, and it is all laid out there in the text of the Amendment itself:
‘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.’
‘Peaceably to assemble,’ the keyword being ‘peaceably.’ Now it seems that California Black Lives Matter leader, Tianna Arata, is learning that lesson the hard way after she organized a ‘protest’ and was subsequently arrested by the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) after the event turned violent.
The Gateway Pundit explains ‘The San Luis Obispo DA this week filed five felony charges against Arata, including four felony counts of false imprisonment, and one felony count of conspiracy.
She was also hit with three misdemeanor charges: resisting or obstructing a peace officer, inciting a riot, and unlawful assembly.’
Ms. Arata is facing 15 years in prison.
Activist Tianna Arata was arrested on July 21 by the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) in California after police said a protest she organized turned violent.
In a statement released following Arata’s arrest, the department said SLOPD Police Chief Deanna Cantrell had spoken with Arata ahead of the rally and had been assured that the protest would be peaceful.
However, SLOPD said the protest, which grew to a demonstration involving approximately 300 people, got out of hand when demonstrators marched onto a highway and, at one point, launched an assault on a passenger vehicle, despite a 4-year-old child being inside.
It is unclear what led up to the incident, but SLOPD said protesters damaged the hood of the vehicle and smashed the rear window, causing glass to shatter on the 4-year-old, who was sitting in the back seat.
According to police, protesters also targeted at least two other vehicles upon exiting the highway, with some demonstrators seen chasing down and throwing objects at one car.
The protest, police said, “resulted in significant public safety risks for protesters and community members.”
Arata’s friend, Melissa Elizalde posted a video of the arrest online, in which she called the event a ‘kidnapping:’
— melissa elizalde (@melissayumm) August 10, 2020
“I just turned 20 last month, there’s so much that I want to accomplish,” Arata told The Tribune. “And I’ve been through so much struggle in my life that dealing with this, it’s just, like, I want to be able to overcome it and to go on to the new steps of my life.”
I’m sure if she just tells that judge that she will be fine … right?
I sure hope that the prosecution has more evidence that Ms. Arata was instrumental in the transition from ‘peaceable’ protest to violent, traffic blocking, kid terrorizing, criminal activity if they want to lock her up for 15 years. If not, I am not so sure how I feel about her facing 15 years in prison because some people decided to break the law at an event she organized.
On the right, we talk about personal responsibility a lot. We do not want to be held accountable for the actions of others, and that same right needs to extend to everyone. Unless Ms. Arata facilitated the violence, I do not see how she can be held responsible for the actions of others. What do you think?
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