by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
The Raleigh Police Department announced on Twitter just now: “Protesting is a non-essential activity.”
(You can tell I grabbed this screenshot early; the ratio is still relatively small.)
Here’s why they’re wrong. State or federal, you pick.
North Carolina State Constitution, Article 1, Section 12:
The people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances; but secret political societies are dangerous to the liberties of a free people and shall not be tolerated.
First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:
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.
RPD is going to be sued over this, and they’re going to lose in short order. As my colleague Jon Guze aptly put it, if a right is “sufficiently important to merit a specifically enumerated constitutional right, it must certainly be important enough to be classified as an essential activity under any emergency order.”