Effort to characterize right to assemble as terrorism accelerates
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
An activist was designated as a terror suspect, put on a watchlist and arrested, ostensibly it seems to prevent him attending a protest at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Charlotte resident and activist James Tyson was arrested on Sunday after his name showed up on a terror watchlist – conveniently just days before the start of the DNC which is being held at three different locations this week in Charlotte.
Tyson’s attorney Derek Fletcher revealed to WSOCTV that “prosecutors tried to get the judge to keep him behind bars during the Democratic National Convention.”
Tyson’s bond was initially set at a whopping $10,000 dollars before Fletcher was able to convince the judge to reduce the figure, after which Tyson was released on bail.
The case represents a shocking example of how paranoia over terrorism is being hijacked to denounce legitimate demonstrators as extremists while discouraging others from exercising their right to free speech.
Efforts on behalf of authorities to characterize protesting as an act of terrorism have been ongoing for a number of years.
A 2009 Department of Defense anti-terrorism training program entitled Antiterrorism and Force Protection Annual Refresher Training Course used material that defined certain First Amendment-protected activities as “low level terrorism.”
Part of the training course, which all DoD personnel are required to complete on a yearly basis, involved multiple choice questions including the following.
Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism activity? Select the correct answer and then click Check Your Answer.
– Attacking the Pentagon
– Hate crimes against racial groups
In order to proceed, users had to choose the “correct” answer as “Protests”.
Demonstrators in Charlotte marching in protest against the DNC have been met by a huge security response, with police outnumbering protesters just as they did in Tampa for the Republican National Convention.
“This isn’t a protest,” one member of the group told the Charlotte Observer during a march last night. “This is an articulation of the boundaries of the police state.”
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.