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.
As TrumpMania has built up over the months with an alarmingly large amount of support coming out of America’s nether regions, so have those that wish to voice their disapproval. But one benefit that Trump got with his rising political career was protection by the Secret Service, which started in November 2015, according to the Intercept.
Based on a 2012 amendment to federal trespass law, the penalty for protesting in an area protected by the Secret Service has gotten far more serious. According to H.R. 347 and the Intercept, doing so could result in up to a year in prison.
You may recall a week ago when another one of Trump’s rallies gained an additional spotlight for ejecting a group of reportedly peaceful black students protestors at Valdosta State University. At the time, no one wanted to take credit for pointing the group out, including Trump’s staff, local authorities and the Secret Service.
Trump technically had the right to ask for anyone to be escorted off of the property, as he does and takes full advantage of in most of his appearances, because he’s rented the space for what’s actually a private event.
To take things a step further, the “trespass law” says that protesters can only demonstrate in supposed “free speech zones,” which are often out of sight from the venue and as far as a quarter-mile away. Contrary to what their label would suggest, “free speech zones” work directly against free speech in the form of protest.
Trump is still moving ahead in the polls and is set to have a rally in Chicago this upcoming Friday. There are already local Latino organizations stating that they plan to gather in protest, according to the Chicago Tribune.
It’ll be important to see how Trump’s staff and local authorities respond to what’s expected to be a considerable pushback from the community given that the rally will be held in a mostly-liberal Midwestern city, which he’s noticeably avoided up until now. If the actions that took place at VSU are repeated, it confirms that we’re headed toward a long political campaign that’s actively silencing US voters and concerned citizens.
(Photo: Wiki Commons)