View Poll Results: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

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  • Yes, government can prohibit protester gathers

    4 18.18%
  • Yes, public safety is more important that protest rights

    2 9.09%
  • Maybe, it depends on the circumstance

    8 36.36%
  • No, people have a right to protest in public

    8 36.36%
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Thread: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

  1. #11
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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I say yes they are unconstitutional.You have a right to peaceably assemble and protest.That said you don't have the right riot and to block the road, block access to a business, church, or some other place or to bogart a public space. I believe permits are for the exclusive use of those spaces. As far as I know in my state you can protest all you want on a public sidewalk as long as you are not blocking anyone else's access to that sidewalk. Protesting is one thing, it is a completely different thing if you are shutting down a business,city or blocking access to a place under the guise of a protest.
    That doesn't resolve the issue of curfews, thus both preventing any protesting (even peaceful) and essentially is putting everyone under house arrest at night.

    I thought the black woman protesting being arrested saying she was exercising her right to go outside and look at the stars was a fairly decent claim. There are old case rules about a person having a fundamental human right to "view the ancient lights."

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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    When it becomes impossible to readily identify the arsonists and looters among "peaceful" protesters then it's the obligation of the state to shut them down. Furthermore, if protest is used as a means to mask criminal behavior then it is no longer peaceful.
    Nearly 700,000 people in Baltimore were ordered into basically house arrest.

    Could the federal government do that too if there is a crime spree? Ordering every person in the country must stay in their apartment or house at night?

    Also, can the government summarily shut down every business and lay off every night shift employee like this did?

    The Constitution doesn't allow protests only if the government believes the protest is safe, does it?

  3. #13
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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Government has the right to curtail or otherwise limit peaceful demonstration where demonstrators are interfering with the rest of us in a too large way or behaving in an unsafe manner. Reasonable restrictions on the right to assemble are a-ok with me.
    Except that's all they prohibited. They did not declare no night-time protests. They established a universal curfew. For adults, that is effectively a house arrest of everyone for which everyone is treated as guilty. Nearly 700,000 people punished summarily (if it a citywide curfew), every business that operated 24/7 summarily ordered out of business, any every person with a nightshift job laid off by the government.

    It went beyond ordering a crowd to disperse or prohibiting protesting.

    What if this, instead, was a daytime curfew? No one in the city can go outside during the day? Does that make a difference? To shutdown the entire city and everyone under house arrest during the day, because there are crimes being committed mostly during the daytime?

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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    This poll is a false question because there's no example or reference to the government ever instituting a curfew to thwart "peaceful" protesting. Curfews are only instituted when lawlessness occurs. Peaceful protests may be a victim of the lawless, and the governmental means to control the lawless, but they're not a direct victim of curfews.

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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    This poll is a false question because there's no example or reference to the government ever instituting a curfew to thwart "peaceful" protesting. Curfews are only instituted when lawlessness occurs. Peaceful protests may be a victim of the lawless, and the governmental means to control the lawless, but they're not a direct victim of curfews.
    In my opinion, the motive is virtually irrelevant as who knows what the true motive of another person or organization is. It is the actual effect that matters.

    The curfew "victimized" essentially everyone. Everyone was placed under house arrest and put in jail if they refused to submit to the house arrest. Isn't that the reality? We could argue "motive," but not "effect."

    It is NOT a false poll, because it is a poll about what power the government does and doesn't legitimately have. I don't think it works that the law is whatever the government thinks is best for everyone at the time - regardless of Constitution, Bill of Rights and laws.

    It does seem in crisis the government believes it becomes the all-powerful dictator, such as in Katrina, forcing people to leave their homes, warrantless searches and seizing all firearms - claiming THE GOVERNMENT decided they just have to do this for everyone's sake, throwing out all recognized citizen's rights to do so. Does crisis turn our country instantly into an absolute authoritarian dictatorship and police state with no citizen's rights? I don't think so.
    Last edited by joko104; 05-04-15 at 12:20 PM.

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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    In my opinion, the motive is virtually irrelevant as who knows what the true motive of another person or organization is. It is the actual effect that matters.

    The curfew "victimized" essentially everyone. Everyone was placed under house arrest and put in jail if they refused to submit to the house arrest. Isn't that the reality? We could argue "motive," but not "effect."
    Well, clearly, your solution is for the police to let protests lead to riots and then for the police to attempt to pick off rioters from those simply observing all while the riot is going on. Perhaps you'd like to put your life on the line to stop masked and potentially armed anarchists as they torch and loot randomly and at will.

    The curfew was instituted in an established area of the city to avoid the rioting that took place previous nights. People could visit their neighbours, hang out in their backyards, work if they had a nighttime job to go to, etc. - they just couldn't loiter around a hot spot in the city where rioting had occurred. You'd have to be brain dead and a fool - which the Baltimore Mayor clearly originally was - to think that under the darkness of night elements of those protesting were not going to be violent and destructive. Baltimore isn't the first city to ever experience such "peaceful" protesting at 1, 2, 3 in the morning.
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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    This poll is a false question because there's no example or reference to the government ever instituting a curfew to thwart "peaceful" protesting. Curfews are only instituted when lawlessness occurs. Peaceful protests may be a victim of the lawless, and the governmental means to control the lawless, but they're not a direct victim of curfews.
    Weren't they doing so for the OWS protests? Or maybe just saying "park is closed" or some other method to disperse the protest.
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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    The government has used declaring curfews, establishing "protest areas" as the only place protesters may be, requiring a permit to have a protest gathering or march, and other rules that effectively criminal peaceful protests by which the police may arrest and criminally prosecute all protesters - and anyone who does not agree they can be basically placed under house arrest at night.

    Curfews for adults is a very different set of issues for adults than it is for children.

    There are other questions such as having an inherent right to be in public, as opposed to basically under house arrest every night in your own home.

    I would imagine bars are none too happy with a 10 pm curfew nor are companies and employees of night shifts.

    Is a curfew, "designated protest area," and a requirement to obtain permits for a protest rally or march legitimate? Unconstitutional? Good ideas?
    They have the guns, they can do so. But I find it suspicious use of government power in general. Particularly "designated protest areas". Like the "Free Speech" zones they have for the Republocrat conventions, usually FAR removed from the convention itself. I don't understand how that's legal.

    For the most part, government must allow peaceful protest and assembly to continue unmolested.
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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Weren't they doing so for the OWS protests? Or maybe just saying "park is closed" or some other method to disperse the protest.
    OWS protests, including those that went on here in Toronto, were allowed to continue for weeks and over a month before finally dispersed. Camping out and taking control of a significant part of a city is not going to be tolerated forever. And there was a lot of lawlessness within the OWS movement and "camps", including some theft, rapes and assaults.

    OWS is a perfect example to counter the argument made in the OP - the government basically were hands off while the protests were peaceful and coordinated/contained.

    And just as a side note, here in Toronto there was almost a $1million worth of damage done to a park that was occupied during the OWS protests - it was, however, tolerated as part of democracy.
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    Re: Can government use curfews & other restrictions to outlaw peaceful protests?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    I say yes they are unconstitutional.You have a right to peaceably assemble and protest.That said you don't have the right riot and to block the road, block access to a business, church, or some other place or to bogart a public space. I believe permits are for the exclusive use of those spaces. As far as I know in my state you can protest all you want on a public sidewalk as long as you are not blocking anyone else's access to that sidewalk. Protesting is one thing, it is a completely different thing if you are shutting down a business,city or blocking access to a place under the guise of a protest.
    I'm with ya, except I have concerns about "bogart a public space". If someone is using a public park, and not impeding traffic, part of me says they're entitled to... with reasonable time limits so other people can use the space as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Government has the right to curtail or otherwise limit peaceful demonstration where demonstrators are interfering with the rest of us in a too large way or behaving in an unsafe manner. Reasonable restrictions on the right to assemble are a-ok with me.
    Problem is, what's "reasonable"?
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