Congressman Introduces Legislation To Criminalize Protesting In A Mask

from the paging-guy-fawkes dept

It's a weird time to be an American for many, many reasons, but the way the government and the public views and responds to public protests has to be among the very top on the list. Protests, for those of you who haven't bothered opening up a history book, are as American as apple pie, baseball, and drone strikes. Civic engagement via public demonstration is so central to the American idea that it is enshrined in the First Amendment, with rather limited wiggle room for government to bottle it up. It is also notable that the courts, including the Supreme Court, have ruled previously that anonymity is absolutely protected by the First Amendment as well. The EFF's page on anonymity makes it plain that this has long gone beyond the realm of online or digital speech.

The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A frequently cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

Which brings us back to the weirdness of the present, in which House Congressman Dan Donovan from New York has submitted legislation that seeks to criminalize protesting while wearing anything that covers one's face.

Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

This represents a severe ratcheting up of the sentencing structures just for wearing a mask. Now, you may be saying that this bill is not targeting protesters, but those who break the law as described above. Except we have to place this bill in the context of reality. That context includes first that the language in the bill as what counts as a violation is overly broad (oppresses, threatens, or intimidates) and second that the government has shown itself to be enormously awful at not trying to criminalize peaceful protests it doesn't like. And, if anyone had any question as to what this bill is specifically intended to do, one need only look to the nickname Donovan gave it to conclude that this is as pure an attempt to make the infringement of speech as partisan as possible as can be found.

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018.

Antifa, of course, being the favored bogeyman target from the political interests of those supporting the President, at least at the moment. And, sure, some protests where Antifa has participated in have gotten out of hand and criminal activities have taken place. We have laws for that. Using them as an excuse to specifically outlaw wearing a mask or face-covering while protesting is just plain stupid.

And pretty plainly unconstitutional. I would guess Donovan knows that, too, and is actually using this bill purely as a, shall we say... "virtue signal" to his constituents without having any expectations that it will both pass into law and defeat the immediate First Amendment challenges that will surely be thrown at it from many places. And, in case it isn't clear, playing those sorts of political games with free speech is about as scummy as it gets for a politician.

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Filed Under: anonymity, antifa, dan donovan, first amendment, free speech, masks, protests, unmasking antifa act


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  1. icon
    UniKyrn (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:48am

    So every government official who is masquerading as someone who represents the citizenry who elected him, shall be fined, imprisoned, or both?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:50am

    I wonder if Donovan is equally troubled by police that cover up or remove their name from their uniform? Making it illegal to work as a police officer without their name on display seems like something he could actually pass without constitutional problems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Michael, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:51am

    I like this law

    "while in disguise...threatens, or intimidates any person...in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution"

    I would like to pass this law and apply it to the congressmen that are disguising themselves as representatives of the people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:51am

    >or intimidates any person in.....

    Guess which group profession in the US will jump on this, the cops. They are so delicate that any wearing of a mask will intimidate them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Michael, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    Wouldn't this make it illegal for SWAT officers to wear masks?

    How about officers wearing riot helmets with face shields - I mean does the mask have to be effective?

    What about sunglasses?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:57am

    about time

    This sort of law is a good thing, and should have been on the books a long time ago, back when the KKK was going around "protesting" by burning crosses in people's yards and putting up tree decorations -- all under the cover of anonymity.

    Of course, like all laws, we should expect it to be abused as well as selectively enforced.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    ArkieGuy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 10:59am

    As scummy as it gets for a politician

    "as scummy as it gets for a politician".... Now there's an Olympic sport where the bar has no expectation of maxing out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:04am

    Re: about time

    So you disagree with the bill of rights?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:07am

    Re: about time

    It seems the southern states may already be well ahead of the curve, and have little need of this new law which criminalizes something that's already been criminal for more than half a century, at least in Georgia in particular.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/04/23/georgia-police-invoke-anti- mask-law-made-for-kkk-to-arrest-racism-protesters/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Michael, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:19am

    If this passes, they are apparently going to have to arrest every child that goes out on Halloween night wearing a mask and tells people that if they don't give them a treat, there is going to be a trick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    NeghVar (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:30am

    Goodbye Scientology protests.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Docrailgun, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:34am

    Can we criminalize wasting Congress' time with stupid bills?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    Police won't be banned from wearing masks, such as the "tactical" balaclavas which are often worn by SWAT teams, anti-riot police, or other special-purpose paramilitary cops, even in surprisingly warm weather.

    Police insist that balaclavas are not in any way used to conceal their identity. It's for presumably pure fashion reasons that police balaclavas are almost never worn with nametags or badge numbers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:37am

    Gotta love them badass 2nd amendment folks

    This Act may be cited as the Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018.

    You just have to love those "fuck-your-feelings, fuck-your-political-correctness, I-got-my-guns-bitch" 2nd amendment folks who show up to protests ready for WWIII who are apparently scared shitless of those "liberal snowflake Antifas" in their damn masks.

    It must've never occurred to them that the other side might show up armed too. And the masks make them scary as all fuck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    That would just be criminalizing Congress.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    I said they would be intimidated by anyone else wearing a mask. It will become another excuse to arrest, or shoot, people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Michael, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:44am

    Re:

    We could, but I am pretty sure congress would exempt themselves from that law like they do any other that they don't want to have to obey.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    John Cressman, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:46am

    Minor changes

    So, really they only need minor changes to include language that specifies something along the lines of "commits a crime" and it's ok.

    Personally, I think it's a great idea. Let's get rid of the days of KKK masked lynchings and Antifa masked beat downs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    ECA (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:50am

    Interesting..

    Think this will stop the KKK??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:52am

    Just wait until winter, when someone in a scarf and hat lips off to a cop. Jackpot!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:53am

    Well, we wouldn't have this bill in the first place if Eric Clanton hadn't started attacking people with a bike lock, while wearing a mask.

    Antifa has done a fine job of making asses out of themselves and they deserve no less. They deserve all the ridicule and mockery they get.

    If you want to protest something wearing a mask or a bandana, go right ahead. But if you show up to that same protest with a mask AND a shield, baton or whatever, you get what's coming to you, regardless of which side you are on.

    People used to protest with flowers, signs and loud speakers. Now they also show up with masks and weapons. Don't blame the cops or the lawmakers, blame the idiots showing up armed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:54am

    Re: about time

    Several states have such laws on the books, and they were originally passed specifically to take down the Klan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    "People used to protest with flowers, signs and loud speakers. Now they also show up with masks and weapons."


    .. and motor vehicles


    "Don't blame the cops or the lawmakers,"

    .. I will blame the politicians for the bad laws they rubber stamp - why not?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    if you show up to that same protest with a mask AND a shield, baton or whatever, you get what's coming to you

    If someone in a mask but not carrying a weapon gets “what’s coming to [them]” by someone not wearing a mask but brandishing a weapon, how would you feel about that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Woodchipper Joe, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:01pm

    Re: I like this law

    This is the part I like:
    Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law,... including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person ... in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution

    https://matrixbob.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/police-wiyh-masks.jpg

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re:

    The AC's comment was about name plates, not masks....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: I like this law

    Unfortunately, the next paragraph states:

    Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to deter any law enforcement officer from lawfully carrying out the duties of his office; and no law enforcement officer shall be considered to be in violation of this section for lawfully carrying out the duties of his office or lawfully enforcing ordinances and laws of the United States, the District of Columbia, any of the several States, or any political subdivision of a State.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Paul Brinker, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:15pm

    Re:

    Scientology has lost a LOT of power over the years.

    In the early 2000s they had a fairly effective book of tactics (bull baiting, bribes, members in government). Now a days unless your directly threatening the crazy leader, they really don't try to do anything anymore.

    Of course if I need to send a Tom Cruise Missle their way I would be more than happy to mount his head on a model rocket.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    Now they also show up with masks and weapons. Don't blame the cops or the lawmakers, blame the idiots showing up armed.

    Right - so instead of making it a crime to show up armed, they ban the masks. So yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and blame the cops and lawmakers.

    I guess everything was fine with all the 2nd amendment folks showing up fully armed and ready to go. Problem is they never thought the other side would do the same. And now they're scared like the shitless cowards they are. Fuck them. And their calls for civility.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:19pm

    How about hippocracy. that should drain the swamp to the last drop.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:26pm

    Re:

    It seems Eric Clanton was not the first Antifa counter-demonstrator to try to kill someone. A year earlier in Sacramento, a group of neo-Nazis, vastly out-numbered and out-gunned by counter demonstrators, were stabbed by masked knifemen. Judging by a quick browse through a few Youtube videos, it looked like the Nazis got a severe asskicking that day. Apparently no one died, but a number were hospitalized with stab wounds.

    https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article86099332.html

    No wonder that in future white-power rallys, the racist side grew to become increasingly armed and aggressive, since they knew exactly what to expect from the antifascist side which always showed up in response.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Let me restate.

    "Get what's coming to them = jail, not physical harm.

    No one should be attacked, on either side.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree with you on the mask part. As for the 2A part, how many 2A people have shot anyone at a protest?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    As for the 2A part, how many 2A people have shot anyone at a protest?

    Why should someone with a gun be afraid of someone in a mask? Seems like the side being targeted are the ones with masks, as opposed to the ones with guns. What's the bigger threat, the mask or the gun?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. icon
    Oblate (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:52pm

    Re: As scummy as it gets for a politician

    Would this then be one of the events where they allow professionals, as opposed to limiting to amateurs?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re:

    The best thing that can happen to any white-supremacist, Neo-Nazi or any racial rally is for no one to show up to counter protest. Nothing more pathetic than being ignored while trying to make what they think is an important point. They have a right to say it, but it would be funny if no one showed up to hear or oppose it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    Only if they injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate a "person".

    So it all depends on who they define as a person, since politicians (and corporations) disguise themselves to oppress, threaten and intimidate individuals all the time.

    Or is this one of those times when politicians and corporations AREN'T people?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They aren't afraid of people with masks. The mask is used to avoid potential prosecution. It won't help prevent you getting shot at. Both sides know this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    hippocracy

    Government by horses?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. icon
    Spaceboy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Bigger threat? That depends. Masks, like guns, have never hurt anyone. It's the person behind the mask/gun that is potential threat. That depends on their intentions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Interesting..

    Reading isn't your strong suit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Government by horses?

    No, hippopotamuses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They aren't afraid of people with masks.

    Sure they are.

    None of this was an issue when it was the KKK followed by the toothless rubes with their rifles slung over their arms.

    But now, when it's Antifa wearing masks and also showing up armed, they're losing their shit. Losing it so much, they named the act after it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Probably the same number of open-carry practitioners that have been assaulted at a protest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Masks, like guns, have never hurt anyone

    Then why ban them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:10pm

    He really didn't think this through,

    or has no Hollywood benefactors

    Hollywood make-up artists would be endangered. No actors in costume nor with make-up to make them older/younger or playing say an extra-terrestrial (Good-bye Klingons) would be safe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ask Congressman Dan Donovan. He is likely afraid of anyone who might protest things the powerful want, and not get arrested. This is a new excuse to arrest people, at least until the courts get a hold of this law and shred it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:14pm

    Re: He really didn't think this through,

    Damn. I forgot face painting for kids, oh and clowns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So you want to criminalize government by dirty, engorged, aggressively unpredictable swamp-dwellers? Sign me up!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: He really didn't think this through,

    Or cosplayers, paintballers, airsofters, welders, painters, firefighters, scuba divers, etc..., etc...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    Oh so it is perfectly fine to march with a (presumably, but not necessarily) loaded rifle? It's fine to march in order to provoke a reaction, and then to start something just half a step short of a riot? Oh and let's not forget about your boys wearing white Halloween Ghost costumes while burning crosses in Alabama, this affects them too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    An effective strategy is lie in wait a block or two away, and then ambush them after the event as they walk back to their cars, preferably alone. This idiot got the beating of his life by a large mob who showed him just what they thought of the confederate flag he so cherished. Apparently he lived, though with probably a lot more brain damage than he had going in.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=REM54O04KXE

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 2:12pm

    Facial Recognition software doesn't work as well when the subjects are obscuring their face.

    Solution, Outlaw masks, gradually or course, don't spook the natives.

    After all, we need to know who those protesters are so we can secretly wreak those lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re:

    RWNJ's that come packing to peaceful protests are injured, oppressed, threatened, and intimidated by dissenting voices that spew facts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2018 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No Halloween this year. *sigh

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Disguise

    What counts as a 'disguise'?

    'Cause I know plenty of women who are unrecognizable without their makeup.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Name

    > Making it illegal to work as a police officer without
    > their name on display seems like something he could
    > actually pass without constitutional problems.

    You think?

    That would make any kind of undercover work, or even plainclothes detective work illegal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > No Halloween this year. *sigh

    Well, no, not if your idea of Halloween is to dress up as SpongeBob and beat up people who don't share your political views.

    Most people's version of Halloween is perfectly safe from this law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > An effective strategy is lie in wait a block or two away,
    > and then ambush them after the event as they walk back to
    > their cars

    People like you-- who sit around gleefully figuring out ways to beat up people who say things you don't like-- are the reason we end up with bullshit laws like this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wait...Spongebob has political views?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 4:49pm

    Re:

    'Secretly'?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, he would be wearing a mask while doing the wreaking. Hand wave, "YOU CAN'T SEE ME".

    At the same time he thinks that his posting as an Anonymous Coward protects him from those that really want to know who he is. So, parenthetically, all he has to do is 'whisper' and it WILL be secret.

    Welcome to his world. We should remain in ours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Effective, yes, but it is also illegal and, despite my feelings about the Confederate flag and its supporters, immoral.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. identicon
    Daydream, 13 Jul 2018 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: I like this law

    Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to deter any law enforcement officer from unlawfully carrying out the crimes his office lets him get away with; and no law enforcement officer shall be considered to be in violation of this section for unlawfully carrying out the crimes his office lets him get away with, or enforcing made-up ordinances and laws of the United States, the District of Columbia, any of the several States, or any political subdivision of a State.

    FTFY

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 5:40pm

    Does that include Juggalo Facepaint?

    If it does and it's passed it means they can prosecute Juggalos for being Juggalos.

    If it doesn't or isn't passed, Juggalo a known defeat for electronic facial recognition.

    I thought we've had rulings about this before, though, like when the KKK wanted to run around in their hoods, and officials didn't like that either. But KKK hoods are protected by the first amendment, if conspicuous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 6:30pm

    But hey at least the cops can still show up and abuse citizens while masked & hiding their badges so we have that going for us.

    I am so glad he is trying to make us follow in the footsteps of our founding fathers, who boarded a vessel & dumped tea over the side to protest government overreach while holding up signs identifying themselves so that they could be easily identified and then harrassed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. icon
    nasch (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Minor changes

    If they're already committing a crime, why do we need another law to make it even more a crime?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. icon
    Wothe (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 8:11pm

    Re: masked intimidation

    "Guess which group profession in the US will jump on this, the cops. They are so delicate that any wearing of a mask will intimidate them."

    Unless it them wearing the masks and doing the intimidating (Ruling class exemption is/will be in there somewhere)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jul 2018 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re: Minor changes

    Stacking charges to force a plea deal.

    'Before we had you on a crime that had X as the penalty. Now we've got you on that and this new law that double/triple/quadruples that. Now, about that trial you were asking for...'

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 12:55am

    Re:

    MyNameHere? Is that you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. identicon
    dickeyrat, 14 Jul 2018 @ 5:23am

    Re: Interesting..

    Why, of course not! The KKK is only a group of Fine People, expressing their opinions under protection of the First Amendment. There are *no* Fine People among the Antifa, obviously, since they are all evil seditionists who would dare challenge Our Respected And Beloved Supreme Leader and his accomplices, who only want to protect Der Vaterland. Heil MAGA!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Minor changes

    Plea deals are a crime

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 7:10am

    So now wearing a mask is automatic reasonable suspicion resulting in pat down, body cavity search and the ever wonderful ride.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 8:47am

    Re: I like this law

    Except... he was elected. Believe it or not, people in a democracy get the government they elect, deserved or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75. icon
    JoeCool (profile), 14 Jul 2018 @ 8:47am

    Re:

    No tea was dumped over government overreach. It was dumped because it was undercutting the smugglers. The story they invented didn't even fit the circumstances.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 9:09am

    Anyone who attempts to pass legislation that undermines constitutional protections should be deported immediately and indefinitely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What court is that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: I like this law

    "get the government they elect"

    I don't think so Tim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 9:58am

    Can we do the nude body painting? I like when the nips are out but they are just painted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    Hey, keep your authoritarians to yourself, rather than inflicting them on somebody else,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 10:47am

    So... in other words, in order to combat the Antifa, let's become more fascist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In my experience dems/libs don't beat up people who don't share my political views. That being said, I'd love to dress up as SpongeBob and smoke a few trumpers. Livin' the dream!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83. identicon
    JEDIDIAH, 14 Jul 2018 @ 12:39pm

    A Nazi or Klansman by another name is just the same.

    So you're for getting rid of the old anti-Klan measures that parallel this one then? Cause this sort of thing is nothing new really. Although it's been amusing watching the reactions from people who sympathize politically with one group that advocates political violence versus another.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 1:13pm

    Re: A Nazi or Klansman by another name is just the same.

    Well destroy fascism at all cost is the goal. If you don't know the symbolism in that DIAF or to a NAZI

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 6:15pm

    So that means anyone going to a Furry convention has to sign some sort of indemnity waiver, even on private property? that's stupid

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2018 @ 9:26pm

    Aside from the issues already discussed, it would seem to me that this kind of legislation should be enacted at the state level, not the federal level, and that this federal legislation be limited to areas where states don't have concurrent jurisdiction.

    (That said, I'm thumbs down on this legislation.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 15 Jul 2018 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > In my experience dems/libs don't beat up people who don't share my political
    > views.

    Then you're not paying attention.

    http://cdn.redalertpolitics.com/files/2017/08/20914616_1497370606968259_495751426864911117 0_n.jpg

    http://cdn.redalertpolitics.com/files/2017/03/Berkeley-March-4-Trump.jpg

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2018 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Anti fascist is anti fascist. I don't associate but I like their motivation. Fuck Nazi's.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2018 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    360,000 American's died fighting it, Fuck every one of them. Yes I turn a blind eye to people that oppose Nazi's. Everyone should.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90. icon
    nasch (profile), 15 Jul 2018 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes I turn a blind eye to people that oppose Nazi's. Everyone should.

    The ends justify the means?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91. identicon
    William Johnson, 15 Jul 2018 @ 4:40pm

    Founding Father Follies

    This legislation would have outlawed the Boston Tea Party -- the protestors were disguised as American Indians so the Brits couldn't recognize them. Now the far-right names themselves after that event, then decides to outlaw it. Oh, the irony, it burns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2018 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well if your not against jackbooted thugs your profiting from them. Name one time in the history of humanity that fascism was opposed without violence?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2018 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    and when you do. Tell me what ultimately happened to that ant hill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Jul 2018 @ 5:17pm

    Boston Tea Party

    I'm pretty sure the Boston Tea Party was criminal beyond mere civil disobedience whether or not it was under British or US law. Destroying property is generally frowned upon, and would have been justification for a civil suit for the value of the lost commodity if it didn't warrant a felony conviction.

    Even Ben Franklin felt the cost of the lost tea should have been remunerated. (Robert Murray and three other merchants tried and were refused, the Crown deciding instead to shut down the harbor.)

    But at this point the Department of Justice seems to be eager to punish those known to participate in demonstrations against the current administration at even the slightest justification. Treatment of the arrestees of the 2017 Inauguration Protests (who were proximal to incidents of violence and vandalism, but weren't found to be participants) has demonstrated the DoJ's current tact.

    If we make it too difficult for one to protest peacefully without harassment, brutality and false convictions by agents of the state, eventually an epidemic of terrorism will be the end result.

    At least it'll be called terrorism, regardless if they're dumping tea or shooting up movie theaters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Jul 2018 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The only difference between An Anti facist and nazis is is what they is an anti fascist or a Nazi.
    I hope this law passes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 16 Jul 2018 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > I don't associate but I like their motivation. Fuck
    > Nazi's.

    "Yeah, fuck Nazis, even if we have to behave like Nazis ourselves to fuck them!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 16 Jul 2018 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > Well if your not against jackbooted thugs your profiting
    > from them.

    "Screw those jackbooted thugs! Let's go fuck them up! Hey, has anyone seen my jackboots?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 18 Jul 2018 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: Disguise

    First place my head went: https://youtu.be/nB1E0oAAc-w?t=39

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 18 Jul 2018 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed. Uphold the rule of law. If it's not okay to punch a regular person it's not okay to punch a Nazi.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 18 Jul 2018 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: A Nazi or Klansman by another name is just the same.

    Attempting to destroy anything at all costs tends to result in blowback. Better to work out what makes _________ so damn attractive in the first place and deal with that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 18 Jul 2018 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Eh, depends on what you mean by "Effective."

    Beatdown: 1
    Reversal of opinion: 0
    Benefit to society: 0

    I'd call that a net loss, people.

    The most effective strategy would be a festival or event of some kind with stalls and balloons and fun stuff designed to answer the questions of people who might be attracted to the nasty bigot groups. Positivity and having something to identify with tends to work better than Beat-'em-up-Team A versus Beat-'em-up-Team B.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  102. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2018 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Necro post. its a day on tech dirt. Still no on has told me what happens to people that don't oppose it with violence? What happened to them? The same over and over and over and over... But hey give them their voice. You smart motherfucks are opined right on point. But fucking stupid beyond belief.

    You all just told me Nazi is the wave of the future!!!! On techdirt. I'm liberal as anyone but this is stupid by your own Cognizance. Every one ove your prevailing thoughts "I MAy MAKE MONEY"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  103. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2018 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed. Uphold the rule of law. If it's not okay to punch a regular person it's not okay to punch a Nazi."
    "Yeah, fuck Nazis, even if we have to behave like Nazis ourselves to fuck them!"
    The only difference between An Anti facist and nazis is is what they is an anti fascist or a Nazi.
    I hope this law passes."

    and WHEN YOUR FREE SPEECH BECOMES A VIOLATION IM IN A GOVERNMENT position TO SILENCE YOU. iT WILL BE MY DUTY TO PUT A BULLET IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD.

    That' s fascism NEVER forget it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  104. identicon
    Too Much Coffee Man, 15 Sep 2018 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Those aren't liberals or Democrats. Those are radical militant leftists. If you called them liberal or Democrat they'd laugh at you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  105. identicon
    Too Much Coffee Man, 15 Sep 2018 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re:

    So you're saying that the same group of people that lynched blacks, bombed and burned churches, and a score of other horrible acts were intimidated into arming themselves because counter-protesters bothered to show up at their neo-nazi hate rallies?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  106. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Sep 2018 @ 3:53pm

    Radical Militant Leftists

    Antifa cells don't have a consistent ideology beyond the obligation to confront and challenge promulgators of fascism wherever they might arise, and defend all others that also stand to oppose fascism.

    A given cell may hold notions beyond this common principle, some are anarcho-capitalists or anarcho-socialists, but such ideals are particular to a given cell. None of them represent Antifa as a whole.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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