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AMERICAN TV crews were overcome with tear gas fired near their vehicle in Ferguson, Missouri, Wednesday night. Minutes later, police took down the crew's light kit, and pointed their camera at the ground
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.
Most of us are well aware of the First Amendment in our Constitution. It is First and Foremost the one governing principle which sets us apart from every other nation on earth, at least in theory. In practice, it is more of a series of guidelines, the government usually follows unless they feel they have a need to not do so. Ferguson, Missouri is a case in point.

~ More below the fold ~

Police in this country no longer exist to protect. They exist to shoot first, ask questions maybe. They are militarized, private militias for local and state municipalities, who are promoted and incentivized to issue citations and make arrests. They are disconnected from the communities they preside over, by being trained to view everyone as a potential suspect, regardless of a reasonable suspicion or the probable cause to do so. Everyone is guilty, even some who are proven innocent. More and more we see local police departments using military-styled tactics, with military-grade equipment, shooting first. This is not indicative of a free and democratic society. This is a prelude to a police state!

The civil unrest occurring in Ferguson, Missouri is a clear indication of how the "Rights" we are supposed to have are not guaranteed when it comes to the power wielded by those in "Law Enforcement". Journalists reporting on the protests as well as the police response have been threatened with arrest for simply doing their jobs. A no fly zone has been established for the sole purpose of preventing the media from reporting; Furthermore, reports have come in of Police Officers firing rubber bullets and tear gas pellets at journalists who are reporting on the ground. Now, if one of these things occurred we may be able to explain it away as a coincidence, officers who were caught up in the heat of the moment; However, the fact that officers have singled out reporters, threatened and attacked them specifically, shows this is not a coincidence at all.

This has become an all to common trend in this nation. Constitutionally protected and guaranteed rights are subject to the whims of those in positions of power and authority. While those actions may be overruled at some later point by a sympathetic judge, the infringement on individual rights still happens and frequently. There are no real penalties for this, who polices the Police? More often than not, Law enforcement is backed up by their local judicial system, whom they oftentimes have a friendly, pat on the back, working relationship with.

These types of abuses of authority should not only be punished, but universally condemned, but instead we see a majority of the community leaders and politicians remaining silent on the issue, we have a vocal minority in our society who demands we acquiesced to the authority of those in power regardless of the what civil liberties we are expected to surrender, and the majority of people are to timid, preoccupied, or are otherwise disconnected from the events to an extent they do not feel compelled to act until they, themselves are in the crosshairs. This apathy is what feeds the problem and is arguably more dangerous than the encroachment on our civil liberties.

In closing, I posit, we are all partly responsible for the police brutality occurring all over the country. Each of us, who sits back and says or does nothing, while civil rights are violated in our own country shares in the blame. Freedom is not free, it came with a very high price, the responsibility to defend it.

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM PT: I think recent events, as well as the focus of the national media on this situation have lent further credence to the dangers I highlighted in the article. It is sad to see so many of you who feel it is to late, or we are to apathetic to defend our freedoms. I hope by writing articles like these, exposing the truth of what is going on in our world I can educate those who otherwise would be oblivious. Perhaps if those of you who read the article were to share it with others who have not, you would not feel it is to late, and we would not have a population of unaware, undereducated and apathetic citizens. Just a thought :)


Poll

Is it to late, or are we to apathetic to defend our freedoms?

57%27 votes
34%16 votes
8%4 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    Lunaril Larentia is the writer of, "A Touch of Realism" A blog that highlights current events and societal observations from a critical thinking, common sense approach.

    by Lunaril Larentia on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 06:54:59 AM PDT

  •  the Freedom to Peaceably Assemble, for the Redress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blackhand, chrisculpepper

    ...of Grievances...

       Right Now, while we still have Public Libraries, it is time to reclaim that space for Active Promotion of the First Amendment. Our Town's library has a community room that anyone can sign up for (as far as I know), and we offer free wifi in a rural area, plus regular public access computers.
       When the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act came out our State Library came to us to explain the ramifications, and that was where I learned about Sibel Edmonds, through her speech to the ALA. Support Your Public Libraries, please, as people like the Connecticut 4 support our Rights, and also, consider how many ways we can serve, including a physical place (with plumbing!) to occupy.
        This has been an unsolicited public service announcement from your friendly local public library assistant. thanks for your attention.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 07:40:37 AM PDT

  •  This is the money quote (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, rb608, chrisculpepper, al m
    This has become an all to common trend in this nation. Constitutionally protected and guaranteed rights are subject to the whims of those in positions of power and authority
    The whole paragraph is pretty damned good, but this one statement really nails it.

    It is said that the people get the govt that they deserve, or ask for.  With voter turn out typically in the single digits, I can understand why this is the case.  Unless the people are willing to hold the politicians to task, they will steal the proverbial farm.   As with steering anything large with much inertia, a little pressure applied early on can make the a difference that requires tremendous pressure applied later.  I am not optimistic that societal and political correction will occur without things getting much worse and violent.   I voted 'not too late' because I think the course will be corrected but we're past the point where it will be easy.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 07:54:52 AM PDT

  •  Im always surprised that liberals are surprised (0+ / 0-)

    Police/armies/military throughout the entire history of humanity have behaved this way.

    The only thing that can keep them in check is an armed populous.

    The only thing that truly protects freedom of speech by the people is guns owned by the people.

    Ultimately gun ownership by regular citizens is what will keep future government (local/state or even federal) tyranny at bay.

    •  Really? (5+ / 0-)

      How do you explain the courteous police in all those unarmed European countries?

      I'll wait.

    •  Populaces Are Unarmed In Every Leading Demo- (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, the fan man, Don midwest, DocGonzo

      cracy, including the several dozen whose people have more of the American dream of economic advancement opportunity in their countries than we have in America.

      Have you ever traveled outside the US?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 08:34:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And they were disarmed in 1930's Germany too (0+ / 0-)

        Similarly, it can be shown that the most oppressive regimes on the plant have strict gun control regulations.  The argument could be easily made that the two concepts are orthogonal.  In fact, it has been argued many times on this site that social and economic equality, family structure, community uniformity, and all sorts of other factors can be shown as being contributors to the success of these countries.

        The point is also largely irrelevant as disarmament is not going to fly in this nation and attempts by the Left to push it tend to create more backlash than anything.  On a similar note, I hear that gun stores in the St. Louis area are selling out with sales at all time record highs.

        "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

        by blackhand on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 08:58:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest

      As bad as the militarization and trigger-happiness of police has become now, how do you think it will be better if they start behaving as though every citizen feels empowered to shoot any police officer that citizen feels is infringing on their rights?  Having scared police is part of the root of the problem, not the solution.   It is not the citizen's right to interpret and enforce the law with deadly weapons. The idea is insanity.

      You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

      by rb608 on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 08:53:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OT, but I just can't help it. To, two, too. (0+ / 0-)

    It's too late to stop the two parties.

    I'm sorry, but this distracts too much from an otherwise interesting diary.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 09:42:13 AM PDT

  •  creep, creep, creep. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    I think the aftermath of 9/11 is when the cops on steroids ramped up. Bad enough before, but when you give someone the power and equip them to do as they please ...sometimes they do. Nurturing racism fosters the depiction of the illusive  enemy, particularly when Arabs are no longer in the crosshairs. There seems to be no shortage of supporters regardless of who is being hunted for slaughter. The very worst traits of human behavior on display, all of which could be predicted, and prohibited. The weapons industry must be peeing in their pants at the sight of Ferguson.

    •  I am certain that 9-11-2001 played a part (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest

      I think it caused a sudden change in societal attitude that lead to the militarization.  I think that this was then coupled with the return of soldiers, many of whom had served too many tours in combat zones, returning to the US with little to no other skill set, going into law enforcement.  Then the surplus military gear was then sold to the citizen police forces.   This gave us a combination of combat trained troops, equipped with familiar military grade hardware and we have the ingredients for a recipe for disaster.

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 10:48:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spot on (0+ / 0-)

    Damn good essay hits the nail right on the head.
    Now how to we get the masses of Amurikans to read it and understand it?

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