Saturday, April 29, 2006

Disorderly Conduct and Unlawful Assembly or Free Speech?

The Washington Post carried a story yesterday (5 Lawmakers Arrested at Darfur Protest) about five members of Congress who were among 11 arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly for protesting outside the Darfur Embassy. The story didn’t indicate whether the protestors employed amplifiers.

But that brings up a question: Just what did the group of 11—including the members of Congress—do differently that got them busted compared to the group that assembles every Saturday on the corner of H and 8th Streets NE to blast the neighborhood with an amplified loudspeaker?

Obviously these lawmakers wanted to get arrested to draw attention to events in Darfur, but did they have to beg the police to arrest them? Are the provisions enforced randomly by the District of Columbia?

If someone knows the answer to my many questions, please enlighten me.

The neighbors in and around the 700 block of 8th St NE don’t want people arrested or booted off the corner—just give us relief from the hours of amplified speech. And since the city noise statute is impotent, all other laws and regulations should be enforced evenly and fairly across the District of Columbia.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

> all other laws and regulations should be enforced evenly and fairly across the District of Columbia.

Including parking regulations?

7:12 PM  
Blogger Klav said...

We are a nation of laws, not men (or women, as it were). So, if a law or regulation is on the books, it should be enforced.

This includes parking regulations.

5:30 PM  

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