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Obama signs anti-protest Trespass Bill

 
 
 
 
 
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US President Barack Obama

Only days after clearing Congress, US President Barack Obama signed his name to H.R. 347 on Thursday, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events — essentially criminalizing protest in the States.

RT broke the news last month that H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, had overwhelmingly passed the US House of Representatives after only three lawmakers voted against it. On Thursday this week, President Obama inked his name to the legislation and authorized the government to start enforcing a law that has many Americans concerned over how the bill could bury the rights to assemble and protest as guaranteed in the US Constitution.

Under H.R. 347, which has more commonly been labeled the Trespass Bill by Congress, knowingly entering a restricted area that is under the jurisdiction of Secret Service protection can garner an arrest. The law is actually only a slight change to earlier legislation that made it an offense to knowingly and willfully commit such a crime. Under the Trespass Bill’s latest language chance, however, someone could end up in law enforcement custody for entering an area that they don’t realize is Secret Service protected and “engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct” or “impede[s] or disrupt[s] the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.”

The Secret Service serves as the police that protects not just current and former American presidents, but are also dispatched to monitor special events of national significance, a category with a broad cast of qualifiers. In the past, sporting events, state funerals, inaugural addresses and NATO and G-8 Summits have been designated as such by the US Department of Homeland Security, the division that decides when and where the Secret Service are needed outside of their normal coverage.

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund tells the International Business Times that the Trespass Bill in its current form “means it’s easier to prosecute under ‘knowingly,’” instead of both knowingly and willfully, “which is an issue because someone could knowingly enter a restricted but not necessarily realize they are committing a crime.” Speaking with IB Times, Verheyden-Hilliard tries to lay to rest claims that the Constitution will be crippled by the Trespass Bill, but acknowledges that it does indeed allow law enforcement to have added incentive to arrest protesters who could be causing a disturbance.

“[HR 347] has been described as a death knell for the First Amendment, but that isn’t supported by the facts,” Verheyden-Hilliard adds. “This has always been a bad law.”

Gabe Rottman of the American Civil Liberties Union adds to IB Times, “Bottom line, it doesn’t create any new violations of the law.” So far, however, it has raised awareness of the levels that the US government are willing to go to in order to make it harder to express ones’ self.

Under the act, protesting in areas covered by Secret Service could land a demonstrator behind bars, and the thing about the Secret Service (in case you couldn’t tell by their name), is that they don’t always make it clear where they are. You could even say that the service they provide, at times, is kept secret.

Presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are now officially covered under Secret Service protection, making it a federal offense to disrupt a campaign stop. That means whether it’s by way of a glitter bomb protest or causing a disturbance on the same Holiday Inn hotel floor that Santorum is staying in, doing such could cause a bit of a legal battle for the persons involved.

Although the G-8 Summit originally scheduled for Chicago this spring would have made much of the Windy City a protected area where crimes could easily be tacked on to arrested protesters, the event was moved this week to the presidential retreat at Camp David. In turn, many have suggested that the White House is only going out of their way to limit protesting rights. While a Chicago summit would have meant the Trespass Bill could have been enforced in the same area where thousands of demonstrators were expected to protest, moving the event to a heavily fortified rural location will instead deter protesters from likely coming close atto the meeting at all.

And before you forget, the president can now detain you for getting too close to his front yard, order your assassination if the country considers you a threat and lock you away for life with no charge if you’re alleged to be a terrorist. You, on the other hand, can’t yell obscenities at Newt Gingrich without risking arrest.

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  • Bonsai Guy.

    These republicans are saying that they will never allow another nigger to steal their thunder ever again.

    It’s a farting noise they make as they dont have the Kahunas to tell a bunch of kikes to go fuck themselves.

    • sky

      So much for the famous British wit.

    • pissedoffnotpissedon

      Bonsai guy you are offensive – I may not like the man but regardless using the N word and the K word only shows your lack of class. Obama is the worst president ever and our kids will be paying for his mistakes for the rest of their lives. Let the rest of these idiots figure out how the kids are going to pay all these taxes on top of thier school loans and start a life – good luck

      • Robert

        10-4 obummer is a COMMUNIST MUSLIM INTENT OF DESTROYING THE USA.

  • Viking

    Congratulations to USA!
    Congratulations to the US citizens!
    …for having voted dictators into the government creating this kind of law!
    According to real democracy, as it looks like in the US, it takes More than 50% of the votes, eg. More than half of the US voters are “less intelligent”, mildly expressed, for having allowed such a horrible government rule your poor country!
    You are Not free to express freely your opinion!
    You are Not free to travel within your country, considering the heavy surveillance…for what, ghosts??
    You are Not free to travel abroad, because of the overwhelming risk as a US citizen being exposed by retaliation because of your foreign policy which has created so much hate around the world.
    Your only so called “democracy” is the right to vote for a puppet president with good oral skills, how laughable, just look at Obama breaking nearly all his promises… thanks to the “law of democracy” as anyone normal intelligent human being can understand –> eg. it’s apparent more than 50% of US voters are dumb for letting this happen, blame on your self!
    You are NOT FREE!!!
    Regards from a true free European!

    • sky

      You honestly think that Americans are going to go quietly into the night?

      Take a look at how much firearms sales have skyrocketed over the past 3 years. America is on the verge of a total Civil war.

      • marshmallow

        Obviously the majority of the American voters go to sleep quietly every night, don’t they… 2 times voted in Bush junior though any wise person can see from a x distance he is a fool, a true puppet, nothing learned yet? Obviously not when Paul is well “unknown” for many Americans despite Obummers horrible record not living up to the Nobel peace price…

    • Karen Myers

      True free European ~ Wake up and Smell the TRUTH! Truth about Your Country ( My Ancestors Country too ) Wake Up to where this evil greedy elitist monarchy plot first began! Wake Up to the TRUTH that WE over here in the USA really have no clue who voted who or what to or for who or what…and PLEASE don’t make the false assumption … WE are All the same…brainwashed sheeple!!! Please ~ Love and LIGHT … WILL Prevail!!!

      • Bummer chocolate

        Rothschild went to London and the rest is history…good luck for him Hitler didn’t catch him

    • cls

      “America got its cool back”

      That was the front page of the Birmingham, UK newspaper the day after Obama was elected. At the time I was studying abroad there from USA. To be fair, many Europeans and Americans were singing Obama’s praise. Many were fooled by Obama. A politician who lies? That’s a shock :roll: is England still in love with Obama? Im genuinely curious.

      This man is beyond lying – he is destroying the country. Anyone else find it awfully suspicious Obama moved the G8 summit from chicago where it could be protested to the remote Camp David? Geez, this guy is on par with the Bilderbergs.

      …..and as soon as I hit submit the government or FEMA will be logging this in to my secret file. SIGH.

  • Bonsai Guy.

    Looks to me like these tools are Chinditz of some crazy’Nazi Jew.

  • Robert C. Laity

    Obama is a FRAUD.,BC a forgery as is his selective service records. Obama did not go to Columnia U. and uses another’s Social Security Number. Obama is a Usurper,traitor and Spy under US Law.

  • AJZ

    OBAMA IS BETTER OF DEAD, SOMEONE KILL THAT NIGGER.

  • AJZ

    OBAMA IS BETTER OF BEING DEAD, SOMEONE PLEASE KILL THAT NIGGER.

    • Robert C. Laity

      The use of perjoratives does no one any good.
      It only gives Obama another opportunity to charge Racism and to play the “Race” Card. Obama is Mullato,inn any event,both Caucasian and Negroid.The charge of Racism,however,should mot deter people from criticizinh Obama. Race is never a carte-blanche license to vetray the people that you represent.

      Obama has been,and stands,accused of Treason,which carries the Death Penalty,if convicted.The Long arm of the Law must be relied upon. See 18USC,Part 1,Chapter 115,Sec.2381.

  • jefferson

    @viking

    Our presidential vote DOES NOT COUNT in America.
    American citizens voting for someone to be president does not get that someone in office.
    It is the electoral college that counts, which we, as citizens, have NO control over.

    I do agree that many of our freedoms are being greatly diminished.

  • Bonsai Guy.

    You have no right to vote for a man who can and will.

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