Overzealous protesters violating Constitution

By Joseph Manago

In regard to the current plethora of anti-police protests and marches in New York City generally organized by provocateurs such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and the Rev. Al Sharpton, it should be pointed out that these present activities, ostensibly under the United States First Amendment (“right of the people to peaceably assemble”), miserably fail the Supreme Court’s constitutional standards and guidelines defining the freedom of assembly.

In Cox v. Louisiana (1965), Justice Arthur Goldberg asserted for a five-member majority that “picketing and parading is subject to (state) regulation even though intertwined with expression and association” in instances of obstructing “public passages.”

In another case of a state law that prohibited trespass “committed with a malicious and mischievous intent,” Justice Hugo Black, writing for a majority of five, concluded that the Constitution does not prevent a state from enforcement of the general trespass statute: “The State, no less than a private owner of property, has power to preserve the property under its control for the use to which it is lawfully dedicated” (Adderley v. Florida, 1966).

Further, not every place constitutes a public forum under the First Amendment. In Lloyd Corporation v. Tanner (1972), the Supreme Court stated that a private shopping center does not “lose its private character merely because the public is generally invited to use it for designated purposes.”

It would appear that the present anti-police protests and marches on New York City streets, sidewalks, bridges, tunnels and in shopping centers and stores (such as Macy’s), are illegal under the federal Constitution, unless the state Constitution or state courts explicitly transcend the civil liberties of Washington, D.C. (PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins, 1980).

Public streets and bridges have been obstructed, and private stores, neither being the appropriate cause of the grievance nor the venue to petition for redress thereof, have been financially victimized. The proper place for a petition of grievances is before the City Council and the state Legislature in Albany, and the proper place for assembly is the Staten Island and Ferguson courts where the grand juries made their legal decisions not to indict the police officers who were enforcing the law against criminal offenders.

I suggest de Blasio and all these other “civil rights agitators” and anarchists study American constitutional law.

Further, if de Blasio is ordering the NYPD to refrain from enforcing the laws apropos Thoreauvian “civil disobedience,” then he should be immediately recalled from office by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Even de Blasio’s arrest record for disorderly conduct at Long Island College Hospital apparently discloses a pattern of criminal and anti-establishment behavior. Despite de Blasio’s request of his entourage of provocateurs to suspend protests out of respect for the two assassinated police officers, another anti-police protest was held subsequently.

Boot de Blasio from public office immediately and call a special election for mayor. Sic semper tyrannis (Thus ever to tyrants).

Joseph Manago


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