Rule 179: Non-violent protest

Here is the Non-violent protest section from the proposed constitution. There are 179 similar sections for other topics.

1/ When the people gather in great and mostly peaceful numbers as they proudly did in Hong Kong, Barcelona, Tiananmen, and Cuba it shall be thought a glorious and sacred thing that is pointed straight up for us in the land of the free. Those who menace and threaten peaceful protesters shall be seen by all as tyrants and the enemies of freedom.

2/ We shall immortalize the words of Xi Jin Ping and the Chinese Communist Party: “Crushed bodies and shattered bones”. These words were said to the democracy protesters of Hong Kong when China threatened another Tiananmen massacre. This direction is straight down to us in the land of the free.

3/ Protesters shall not wear a uniform or same color clothing as this supports protest crime. Protesters shall not wear face coverings, even for reasons of religion or infectious disease.

4/ When large numbers of protesters approach people in a menacing way, or they are smaller groups threatening with words, even vague words, the crowd itself may be seen as a weapon. Protestors are required to make every reasonable effort to avoid contact with isolated opponents.

5/ The right of protest shall never be allowed to become a thing that may be directed at individuals or small groups. For when this happens, we have started down the road of intimidation and fear that created the power vacuum that the Nazi regime came to power in. This regime came to power in a very large part because their opponents were so often “hit on the head”, or threatened.

6/ The right of our leaders to be safe from threat of violence is obviously a first-order protection for our democracy. Without this, it is a step towards SA empowerment. (The SA or Sturmabteilung was the thug army that brought Hitler to power by silencing his opposition.) Therefore, the right of protest shall not include the right to menace or harm others, (and especially political opponents) in any way.

7/ There shall be no right for protesters to go to people’s homes, even as individuals, or for protesters to menace or confront individuals and groups in the street, or during their meals or errands. And this protection shall expressly apply to all leaders, authors, critics, commentators, media producers, judicial people, police, and those accused, but not convicted of a crime.

8/ Fake anarchy often presents itself as a disorganized mob. Where this mob is used to overpower or influence elected people and true leaders — this is one of the most vulnerable points in a democracy. For this has ended many democracies.

9/ When a protest is peaceful, the burden of proof lies with police, and penalties shall lean towards the minimum. When a protest is considered violent, or a riot, the burden of proof lies with the violent protesters as much as reasonably possible, and the penalties shall lean towards the maximum.

10/ Protest should never be an excuse for violence. The right to protest is the right to protest without violence. Non-violent protest is perfectly fine for democracy. Violent protest is bad for democracy. Protest violence normally gets double penalties.

11/ No sign posts are allowed at protests. All signs must be on non-weapon sheet material such as cardboard or foam plastic with no sharp edges. No plywood, metal or timber backed signs are allowed at protests.

12/ There is no place at protests for any weapons or even potential weapon. Prohibited protester weapons include: firearms, bullets, firearm replicas, paintball guns, squirt guns, toy guns, bombs, firecrackers, fireworks, flares, lighters, matches, accelerants, pepper spray and other irritant sprays, electric shock devices, knives, folding knives, razors, axes, chains, scissors, pry bars, screw-drivers, pliers, rocks, bricks, canned food, sticks, picket poles, clubs, bats, hammers, saws, wrenches, metal spikes, nails, screws, glass bottles, broken glass, helmets, face shields, hoplite shields, body armor, bullet-proof vests, knee or elbow pads, heavy or hard-edged footwear, skateboards, bicycles, motorbikes, gloves, wire, rope, drones, quick-ties, hand cuffs, slingshots, ball bearings, marbles, cleaning fluids, body fluids, noxious fluids, sprays and gasses. At protests, the definition of what constitutes a weapon shall be much broader and more inclusive than normal. People may bring their wallet, keys, communicator, medications, soft plastic water bottles, soft food, and not much else.

13/ There shall be no bags, backpacks, suitcases or other means of concealing weapons at protests.

14/ There shall be no open fires at all at protest, including flag burning, effigies, and street bonfires. Starting, tending, or spreading a fire at a protest shall be considered as arson. Those carrying incendiary devices or burning objects at protests shall be presumed to be arsonists. The penalty for possession of fire accelerants at a protest shall be 30-years. The penalty for possession of a lighter, matches, or other fire-starters on one’s person at a violent protest shall be up to 5-years. Smoking shall be prohibited at all protests.

15/ Those distributing weapons at protests, to include rocks and bricks, get 20-years. Those recorded or witnessed at protests with rocks, or similar throwing objects in hand, or in their possession get 2-years of work camp. Those recorded or witnessed at protests causing breakage damage or looting get 5-years in work camp.

16/ Nothing weakens a protest like vandalism and destruction. So when part of a protest turns to looting, violence, or arson, the peaceful part has an obligation to flee (both physically and in unequivocal words) from the violent part. This is so the violent part may be more easily separated and punished. When peaceful protesters fail to separate immediately they may be held to be supporters and shielders of the violent protesters.

17/ Committing crimes in the name of protest is the opposite of justification. Those who commit crimes at a protest shall generally suffer double penalties for property crime and altercations without serious injury. They shall generally suffer triple penalties for violent crime to include arson, attempted arson, and weapons possession.

18/ When a mob runs riot through a city committing widespread vandalism and destruction, all who ran with them may be charged as co-conspirators.

19/ During times of protest, entering a business or home that is obviously being looted shall be enough to make a person a looter. The only except is when people are live streaming faces to police or the recorder.

20/ Those convicted of throwing water balloons, or using a squirt gun, or making menacing gestures, or throwing food or following people trying to get away from a protest, or similar micro-assaults may have to do up to 1,000 hours of community service per count.

21/ If recent protests have been violent, then government may require that all protestors pass through a metal detector. However government may not delay people more than 10-minutes for this.

22/ There shall be no night time protest from 20-minutes after sunset until sunrise. People can camp-out, but the marching through the streets and public speaking, one person to the crowd, that must stop 20 minutes after sunset.

23/ The right to assemble is the right to assemble openly, and unmasked. All who protest must so openly and they shall have no right to privacy. Also, all protesters may be freely recorded, and their images freely promulgated without consent or compensation. The penalty for wearing a mask, including a gas mask, at a protest shall be 40-days in jail + a fine of 3 month’s pay. If the person has no money, then the penalty shall be 2-years in work camp.

24/ There shall be special protections for individuals and small groups when their legitimate protest and participation in the public discourse brings even extra-judicial threat and menace. Memetic diversity must be preserved in the group mind, and small groups are especially vulnerable to extra-democratic coercion and menace from aggrieved parties.

25/ So long as all violent protesters are stigmatized by the mass of people, the protest shall be considered peaceful.

26/ Government shall be free to use video-drones, listening devices, and data traffic interception at protests.

27/ Giving away bottled water, beverages, or food shall be considered as paying for protest.

28/ There shall be a crime called “accessory to protest looting”. This is the crime of people who don’t loot, but don’t run off either.

29/ There shall be a crime called “accessory to protest arson”. This is the crime of people who don’t burn things, but don’t flee from protest fires either. Thus, those recorded near a “bonfire” during a protest may be charged with accessory to protest arson.

30/ All non-humans, and non-voters must keep-out of the nation’s protests to the maximum extent reasonably practical. This includes kids and elders. This also includes government and its police where reasonably practical. This also includes all fictional citizens, all visitors, all non-voting citizens, and all foreign governments and their people.

31/ Private drones and robots may only be used near a protest with prior approval by the police.

32/ Using fireworks and firecrackers at a political protests will get a person 5-years at a work camp.

33/ When people with long criminal records are charged with protest violence, or disaster looting, or disaster violent crime, they may be sent to a work island for life. (Looting here does not include provisioneering a reasonable amount of essentials).

34/ Nobody should ever be penalized for participating in a peaceful protest. This should be a worldwide rule. Any government breaking this rule becomes illegitimate. Any strictness comes from the definition of peaceful.

35/ Small protests of fewer than 50 people may go just about anywhere unless they are intentionally blocking some function.

36/ Only the national government may establish rules for free speech and assembly and all places open to the public shall obey the same access rules nationwide for those wishing to protest or spread information. Private property owners who violate a person’s first and foremost right of free speech and their right to reasonable political assembly or protest should pay toxic waste level fines. When police do this, they should be fired. When private security guards should do this, they should go to jail for a year. This rule R’184.36 only applies to political matters and it does not apply to matters of commerce or religion.

37/ Tear gas shall not be used on peaceful protesters, and police are expected to warn that they are going to use tear gas.