The First Amendment is a beautiful thing.
There is a reason that the Founding Fathers had the foresight to put it at the very beginning of the Bill of Rights—and there’s a reason they put the Second Amendment directly after it.
They’re up front because, without them, the rest fall like dominoes.
As a patriot, I support ANY American’s right to protest…
I support ANY American who wants to make their voice heard as long as they do so in a way that doesn’t harm any other American.
I don’t care what your issue is or whether I agree with it. If you gather in groups, large or small, and peacefully exercise your First Amendment right, then I will support your right to do so.
Now, that doesn’t mean I have to agree with your premise…
It simply means that I support your right to do it without any government agency “shutting you up.”
However, the moment your protest crosses the line, the moment your group harms another human, destroys a business, physically intimidates other people, you lose my support. I, along with everyone who shares my opinion, will not condone your riot, regardless of what side of the aisle you stand on.
The Right To Assemble… PEACEFULLY
I didn’t support the George Floyd riots…and I didn’t support the Capitol Hill riot.
I believe in consistency across the board.
So, when BLM recently trapped customers inside of a Rochester area Wegman’s grocery store in a stunt disguised as a protest to mark one year since the death of Daniel Prude, I also have to draw the line. That is NOT an example of peaceful protest.
In fact, one could argue that it’s unlawful restraint, if not outright kidnapping.
The staff of the store closed and locked the doors in order to prevent the protesters from entering and possibly causing damage to the store or injury or the 100+ customers inside.
That proved to be the smart move as the aggression level of the protestors seemed pretty high. Take a look:
BREAKING: East Ave Wegmans shut down pic.twitter.com/dcWqxmutC4
— Michael_Schwartz (@MSchwartzWHAM) March 23, 2021
As you can see, the protestors were determined to get into the store, because apparently gathering OUTSIDE wasn’t the actual plan.
The real plan was to storm the grocery store and cause havoc for those that had nothing to do with the death of Prude while in police custody one year ago.
According to local news, the demonstrations started with a rally at 8 AM and escalated from there. Protestors blocked buses inside a terminal before the crowd marched through downtown Rochester towards the grocery store, all the while chanting: “No justice, no peace.”
Why this grocery store?
Well, one protestor, Anthony Hall, told local reporters that Wegman’s was “symbolic” of some of the problems in the city, saying, “As we march, rally and protest, you have to be able to stop commerce. Wegmans is a large business in Monroe County. This is the only Wegmans in the city limits, but it’s not accessible to the city residents. Hopefully, Danny Wegman talks with the Mayor and City Council because this affected him today. We want people to be inconvenienced because Daniel Prude’s family has suffered a great loss.”
That’s not how protest works, Anthony.
You don’t get to disrupt the lives of others. That’s not how you gain support. In fact, it can be argued that taking out your frustrations on people who are not responsible for your problems will cause you to LOSE supporters – especially those whose lives you disrupted.
There are rules to this…
And consistently, BLM seems intent on breaking them.
This is part of what is causing the public’s dislike for the organization as a whole.
Because they could have been a positive force in America and the world – but now they’re just a part of the problem.
Wake up, guys…
You’re blowing it.
“We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.