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Jeanfromfillmore 01-01-2014 12:15 PM

Obama Secretly Signs No Free Speech Bill
Obama Secretly Signs No Free Speech Bill

Long gone may the days be where the people of the United States have the right to express themselves freely under the First Amendment. Obama just signed a bill into law secretly that allows for Secret Service to arrest anyone publicly protesting within their vicinity.

The bill turned law, H.R. 347, has passed through congress with little objection from either side, or the American public. This could be on account of lawmakers sneaking it through congress allowing for no real discussion on the matter until after it was passed.

The law effectively allows for secret service, or anyone under secret service protection, to dictate public demonstrations. If they find anyone to be in violation of the law, people arrested would be charged with a felony and potentially subjected to over a year in prison.

We all remember this, right:

Well now, it just might get you thrown in jail.

H.R. 347 certainly isn’t the first act of aggression on the first amendment this administration has portrayed, but it certainly is the boldest. It’s no wonder the bill went through congress so silently because it gives Secret Service, and more importantly anyone under their protection, the right to control the atmosphere wherever they go.

So if you know the president is going to be nearby and you decide to stand across the street holding a sign, you could be arrested and thrown in jail.
This violation of the freedom of speech is unacceptable and frankly, quite frightening. We all know, if you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll ask for a glass of milk, so what’s stopping politicians there?

Why not restrict more negative speech on the President? How about the news? Maybe anything said online in a negative tone against the President will soon be banned. Who knows, in a few years with the NSA listening to your phone calls, Secret Service may just randomly show up and haul you away.
Either way it’s a slippery slope but wrong no matter what way you look at it. Read the First Amendment and see if you can pick out what’s wrong here:
“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."

H.R. 347 is in clear violation of the First Amendment being that it limits our free speech, our right to assemble peaceably, and to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Isn’t this a country of the people, for the people and by the people?

What purpose does a democracy have when all its citizen’s rights are taken away and leaders are given free rein to do as they please and arrest anyone that may oppose them? Sounds like something else doesn’t it? Isn’t that exactly what we fought for so many years ago, and what our forefathers made so perfectly clear trying to make sure it would never happened again?
This is exactly what is so wrong with liberals—they will argue nonsense until they’re blue in the face in order to twist the constitutions words to fit their agenda. We’ve seen it with the Second Amendment, and now we’re seeing an all out assault on the first.

ilbegone 01-01-2014 01:48 PM

There is a mixture of interpretation, and it's a minor revision of a law originally passed in the 1970's:

I might be wrong, but if it is so egregious I believe there would have been a stink about it from the get go.

Text of law (the numbers and letters of sections are scrambled somewhat due to the cut and paste, but here it is):

H. R. 347


To correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 (relating to restricted buildings or grounds) of title 18, United States Code.
Short title

This Act may be cited as the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011".

Restricted building or grounds


knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;

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; or

knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds;
or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is—

a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if—

the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and

a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

In this section—

the term restricted buildings or grounds means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area—

of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

the term other person protected by the Secret Service means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.

Jeanfromfillmore 01-01-2014 01:58 PM

Looks to me like a revision of a tool that can be used to stop anyone who questions a political stump speech. A lot of grey area here with a lot of pliable bending. Politicians these days want a wall between the public and their agendas.

ilbegone 01-01-2014 04:19 PM

Maybe it can be stretched and then more than likely beaten back with a lawsuit...

Several key things here:

It's been around since 2011 so it's hardly a secret bill. It won't be like the Sacramento legislative process where a bill is brought up in the afternoon then gutted, rewritten and passed in the middle of the night without benefit of public scrutiny or legislative review.

It has to do with a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise defined restricted area.

The person has to knowingly cross into a restricted area to purposefully impede or disrupt function of government, or impede or disrupt entering and exiting.

A further provision has to do with bodily harm or the ability to inflict bodily harm with the restricted area with a weapon.

It doesn't seem to me that it is much different than informational picketing at a business or legislator's office, and that revolves around public access. The public parking lot is fair game, as is the public sidewalk in front - so long as traffic and pedestrians are not impeded or threatened.

It is also trespassing to go into the building or fenced off portion of the property, and it is a further crime to assault and harm someone after trespassing. And it would be wise to not construct signs in such a manner that the handles could be construed as weapons.

None of this seems to me to deny protests at political speeches so long as the guidelines are complied with. I think it has more to do with people who believe that "civil disobedience" is defined by yelling a bunch of incoherent crap inside a meeting to disrupt governmental process.

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