Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be the model Republican governor. Not only has he said that he would not lock Florida down again under any circumstances, now DeSantis says he will not tolerate destructive Democrat Peaceful Protests™ either.
Prepare for wailing, but in the state of Florida, you will not be throwing projectiles at police officers if DeSantis gets his way. That will earn you six months in jail if you are convicted. Luckily, most of those hurling items at the police line are caught and identified because they or their friends film it.
In fact, he has proposed a series of penalties in the event a Peaceful Protest™ goes awry.
Are you thinking about blocking traffic? That will earn you a felony. The only goal of blocking streets is to inconvenience people and intimidate them. Videos online of people in their cars being harassed are plentiful. One Virginia mother called 911 and was told there was nothing the police could do while people were banging on her car and threatening her and her child because the event was sanctioned.
Listen to her terror as she realizes no one is coming to help:
Gov. DeSantis is making sure this won’t happen in Florida. In truth, it should not occur anywhere in the United States.
Likewise, if you take down monuments or destroy property during your tantrum, it will be a felony. The recent blurring of lines between protesting and property destruction is something that needs to become a bright demarcation again. Just like toddlers don’t get to break things when they are upset, neither do Peaceful Protestors™. There is no constitutional right to deface buildings, damage windows, or light things on fire. It is high time these miscreants learned the difference.
Do you want to act like these spoiled, mostly white children in Washington, D.C., and harass diners merely enjoying a meal?
In Ron DeSantis’ Florida, that will be a felony charge as well. Again, it is always lovely to see these little twerps filming themselves doing terrible things. It serves two purposes. First, approval for Black Lives Matter has fallen drastically from a high point following the death of George Floyd. As riots continued over the summer, Pew Research reported a 12-point decline in approval for the group. The decline was even larger in Wisconsin, where riots in Kenosha destroyed a relatively small town.
Second, if law enforcement is empowered to arrest and charge these individuals, their self-aggrandizement for social media fame helps them be identified more quickly. The simple truth is this: You have no right to force people to join your cause. Scream your slogans and raise your fist all you like in front of city hall. There is no right to harass, mob, or intimidate shrouded in the First Amendment.
Hopefully, the details of DeSantis’ proposal will cover lunatics marching into residential neighborhoods in the middle of the night and making a racket just to keep people awake. This is the mob’s latest tactic in Portland:
Antifa are trashing a southeast Portland residential neighborhood in an effort to slow down Portland Police who are moving them away from the facility they were attacking with glass bottles. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/wnhduflKJK
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 2, 2020
They’re also attempting to terrorize Republican senators since the announcement that they would proceed with a SCOTUS nomination and confirmation. This was the scene at Sen. Lindsey Graham’s house last night, organized by the Sunrise Movement and Shutdown D.C.:
Crowds gathered outside Sen. Lindsey Graham’s home in D.C. early on September 21 to protest the possible replacement of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the presidential election pic.twitter.com/x6V56S0nA4
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 22, 2020
This trend of showing up at people’s homes is something that simply must stop. It has become a signature of Black Lives Matter to let people know they are not safe where they sleep. They have shown up at the home of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. They tried to burn down the condo where Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler lived. He actually had to move elsewhere. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was treated to a similar display until Chicago Police shut down her street.
Earlier this summer, the Minneapolis police union leader and his journalist wife were actually treated to protesters beating pinatas resembling them, right in front of their home.
The ACLU of Florida objected to Governor DeSantis’ proposal. In a statement from Micah Kubic, the executive director:
“Gov. DeSantis’ proposal is undemocratic and hostile to Americans’ shared values. This effort has one goal: silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians who want to see justice for Black lives lost to racialized violence and brutality at the hands of law enforcement.
“The Constitution firmly protects protests even when – and especially when – they challenge government policy, and express dissatisfaction with the status quo.”
Kubic says that Gov. DeSantis is using public safety as a pretext to deny protestors their constitutional rights. No one, including DeSantis, is saying protests that are actually peaceful are prohibited. The governor is clearly setting limits that are entirely in line with the guaranteed right to petition the government and peaceably assemble. There is no right to put others in danger or destroy public or private property during your temper tantrum.
Every Republican governor should look at what DeSantis is doing and follow suit, especially as we move through the Supreme Court nomination and the election. There is a significant risk that things will worsen before they get better if Peaceful Protestors™ heed the calls to “burn down the system.” And if this summer is any indication, they will.
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