We were in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 2013 – the 50th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination. And we were protesting attempts by Dallas “authorities” to restrict and infringe on the rights of free speech and assembly. This, ironically, led to one of the most blatant infringements I have personally witnessed. It was a scene that should horrify every patriotic American, and inspire thoughtful action everywhere in defending the Constitutional standard we inherited from the Founders of this great nation. Freedom is fragile, and we are living in a time when we are on the edge of losing it.
Many people there claimed that the tyrannical actions of the deputies violated the First Amendment. Sure, this would be the case if done by federal police or in an area with federal jurisdiction. But we weren’t in a federal area, and these were actions perpetrated by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. Therefore, it should be realized that the First Amendment doesn’t apply there and to their actions directly.
That does not mean, however, that the rights thus protected by the First Amendment aren’t real and innate in every person everywhere, including in Dallas, nor does that justify their actions. This is simply a matter of jurisdiction and recognizing the extent of the application of law. The fact is that it is accurate to state that the tyrannical actions witnessed on that day were violations of Texas’s Bill of Rights as found in Article One of the Texas Constitution.
Article One, Section Eight of the Texas Constitution states, in part:
“Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write, or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press…”
And Section 27 of that same section:
“The citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good…”
Once again, and to be clear, the First Amendment is in the United States Constitution, and limits actions done by the Federal Government. The Texas Constitution is the governing document which should govern the government of the State of Texas. Therefore, I quote the Texas Constitution to more accurately and precisely show the specific Constitutional violation that these deputies engaged in against the people that day.
Here are a few videos for you to watch in order to partially witness what occurred.
As can be seen, the Deputies were not only violating the right to peacefully assemble (especially in a PUBLIC place), but they were physically assaulting the crowd. This is a perfect example of government infringing on the very rights its’ entire purpose it is to protect. An example of public officials bullying the very people whose rights they should be helping to protect.
A Dallas News article published the next day reads:
“Carmen Castro, spokeswoman for Sheriff Lupe Valdez, said the protesters had to be moved because they were starting to crowd ‘not only private citizens who were attempting to pay their respects but also equipment that was in place for the event.’
According to Castro, deputies repeatedly told the demonstrators to move and to ‘cease their disorderly conduct,’ which, she said, included ‘using profanity and obscenities.’
The allegations asserted by the spokeswoman for the Sheriff are patently false. I was there and saw this whole thing myself.
It was freezing weather with bitter wind and cold rain. There were no “private citizens” (besides those participating in the protest) to crowd. If any of them decided to brave the cold weather for the official JFK event, most left early, and most everyone else left very soon after. The other allegation about equipment is another lie. We were, in no way, crowding equipment. We were all staying behind the barricades put in place for the event and the equipment used therein.
The next bald faced lie is that we were repeatedly told “to move” and “cease disorderly conduct.” We were never once even asked to move from where we were. We were in a public place, and, as said earlier, not crowding or impeding traffic whatsoever.
Also, keep in mind that the protection of “liberty of” speech would necessarily include those forms of speech which are unpopular. It is not as if that protection is there for people to talk about the weather. And although protesting is seen, in modern times, as sometimes almost “culturally” unpopular and “weird,” that still does not rise to the level of “disorderly conduct” that would ever justify violations of free speech and peaceful assembly, let alone physical assault.
Hopefully the Dallas County Sheriff will get the message from the outcry that the conduct held by his own deputies is what would logically be considered “disorderly.” To speak nothing of the violation of his oath of office to the Texas Constitution, what the deputies did could (and possibly should) have led to retaliatory violence. This would have created nothing less than a modern Boston Massacre type situation. And who would know the consequences of that?
It is time for Sheriff Lupe Valdez to remember his oath, read the Texas Constitution, and remember the entire reason for having a sheriff in the first place. And for those who think that an event such as this in Dallas doesn’t effect them, please remember the axiom echoed by Martin Luther King, Jr that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
This is not solely about some “ruffians” getting bullied in Dallas last week…This is about the Rights of Man, and keeping governments in line with the Constitutions that facilitated their very creation. This is about being able to enjoy the blessing of freedom now, and passing on those blessings to future generations. None of that is possible if the Police State is allowed to continue where it is at, let alone allowed, whether actively or passively, to grow.
It is time to wake up and act. Now.