Well said, please hit the link to read the rest. It is time for us to assert our rights, make it crystal clear with marches and protests and court actions that intimidation of those using their free speech will not be tolerated not by police, not by local governments.
By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:53am
This piece originally ran at POLITICO.
Tear gas, rubber bullets, and assault weapons; free speech zones, gags, and press pens: This is the arsenal of the police state. Some of these tactics are physical. The other ones—all the more pernicious for their quiet coercion—impose a veil of silence over the actions of law enforcement. And each of these weapons has been unleashed on the people of Ferguson, Missouri, since the killing of Michael Brown.
In the first few nights of protest, Ferguson and St. Louis County police responded with a truly inconceivable show of force. Officers suited up in DHS-funded military hand-me-downs, outfitted with goggles, machine guns, sniper rifles, riot gear and gas masks. Distressing warzone-like images flickered into the public consciousness: photos of armed police cohorts pointing loaded automatic weapons at citizens with their hands in the air, women and children’s faces streaming with tear gas and milk and white officers targeting black protesters like it’s Selma circa 1964.
The message was clear: The public is the enemy. And as we the people started getting that message, Ferguson starting working harder to shoot the messengers.