Trump Found A Loophole To Silence Protest

Any active politician is going to be the target of protest and natural dissent. That’s taken to an intensified level once the presidency is waiting at the finish line. While most choose to mostly ignore their dissenters or even embrace them occasionally, Donald Trump has taken another opportunity to show he’s far different than “most.”

Through the use of loopholes and technicalities, Donald Trump has pretty much found a way to further silence free speech and control protests. After making public statements saying that he’d look to restrict the press and commit other unconstitutional acts if elected, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

Bus driver fired for leading students in prayer

A Minnesota school bus driver has been fired after leading kids in prayers while driving.

George Nathaniel, 49, had already been warned of his praying. He was also reassigned for practicing what he calls “freedom of speech.”

From Gawker:

Nathaniel, also a pastor for two Minneapolis churches, argues that firing him “for praying for the safety of the children” isn’t right.  Nathaniel prayed during the seven-minute ride to school after the last child got on board.“We start out with a song,” he said. “Then each person will pray if they want to pray. If they don’t want to pray, they don’t have to pray. Then I will pray and ask them if they want to join me in prayer. Just give them something constructive and positive to go to school with.”

Police and the NATO Protests

On Sunday morning, in 90 degree weather, Grant Park was filled with artists, students, workers, and educators, all antiwar activists, gathered for the main protest against the NATO summit in Chicago. It was the largest demonstration, following three days of anti-NATO actions Buses brought protesters from surrounding states, as well as places as far as New York City and Portland. I saw people who I had interned with at In These Times magazine, having come from Texas and Washington DC. The Chicago left was not only represented, but so was a geographically larger community of activists. My question of day was: “We know it’s thousands, but how many thousands of people are here today?” Still, estimates vary from 2,000 to 7,000 at the height of the demonstration.

From noon to 2 pm was a rally in the park, which would be followed by a march to McCormick Place, where the NATO proceedings were going on inside. The rally was an extremely peaceful congregation that consisted of two hours of speeches, musical acts and vying for shady spots in the park’s green areas. Protesters were surprised to experience very little police presence in the park. Aside from one officer following me to a trash can and checking inside after I’d thrown away leftovers from lunch, police presence at the rally was, for the most part, unseen and unfelt.

This dynamic shifted quite suddenly as we began to march to State Street. Chicago and State Police lined our route and strictly would not let anyone pass their line. Each officer was equipped with at least six weapons and many of them suited in heavy padding, “riot gear.”

The Right of the People to Peaceably Assemble

Right hands on holsters
at thickish cop hips.
Left ones raising splinters
with palm sweat
on their wooden beating poles.

Shaking in their bullet proof spacesuits,
bitter and
shaking in their “I-think-they’ll-b-safe” suits,
they are
over armed,
ready for attack
against the mob equipped
with a radical thirst.