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.
Bill of Rights
United States Constitution
Adopted August 21, 1789
As Congressional representatives overwhelming approved the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act in February of this year, few Americans were paying attention. When President Obama signed the Act into law, he did so in secret, without any of the fanfare that came with his signing of universal health care two years prior – and for good reason. This is one of those laws the government doesn’t want you to know exists until it’s too late to do anything about it.
For many, awareness of the existence of the new law will only become apparent when they are arrested and charged under new Federal trespassing guidelines as they attempt to protest, display signs or disrupt any person or event of national significance. An event of national significance is any activity where Secret Service agents are responsible for security. With several thousand agents in the field at any given time, events involving the President, Congressional members, staff or individuals running for Federal office are all fair game.
Simply standing with a bullhorn, holding up a sign, promoting a contentious message or even being on the grounds of a Secret Service secured event will now make it possible for the government to detain, arrest and charge those involved in these “disruptions” (even if you just happen to be passing through) with a felonious criminal act.
Excerpt from HR 347:
Whoever attempts or conspires to knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;
knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions,
obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds
The punishment for a violation is—
(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more
than 10 years, or both, if—
(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense,
uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm;
(*editor’s note: did you want to show your support for the 2nd Amendment by carrying your rifle or gun to a protest or march like so many have done in the past? Do it as of now and you’re facing ten years in prison)
‘(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as
defined by section 2118(e)(3); and
(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more
than one year, or both, in any other case.
The law is very clear in who has authority over these events, but as is generally the case, very broad in what can or cannot be deemed a disruption.
Judge Andrew Napolitano weighs in on Fox News:
“This is not like a traffic ticket – for standing and protesting.
The type of thing that for 230 years Americans took for granted because it was protected by the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech has actually been abridged.
[The law] basically allows Secret Service agents to decide where there are ‘NO Free Speech Zones’, not ‘Free Speech Zones’… ‘NO Free Speech Zones.’
Anybody protected by the Secret Service can ask those agents to ban protests wherever they are. I can think of three violations – speech violations, association violations, and the right to petition the government for redress of your grievances.
What good is free speech if the people in the government are so far away from you that they can’t hear you.
It is a part of American history since day one that we have the right to speak freely to, about and against those in the government.
With Red Zones and large-scale detention facilities in the process of being implemented in Chicago ahead of the May 20-21 NATO summit, there’s a strong likelihood that any protests disseminating a message in opposition to those attending this event of national significance will be met with strong-arm tactics of the new American police state.
The government is preparing to send a message to the proles, and their intention is to strike fear into the hearts and minds of every one of us.
This article was posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm