The RNC and “free speech” hypocrisy


As a member of Veterans for Peace, the Minnesota ACLU and other “peace and justice” organizations, I will not march with the RNC Welcoming Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, or any other entity that intends to “shut down” the RNC.(1,2) Much has been said about the right of marchers to protest the policies and actions of the Republican Party. However, virtually nothing has been said about the right of that party or any other party to hold its convention without unlawful disruption. The silence on that issue seriously undermines the constitutional credibility and impartiality of the “peace and justice” community.

As the Supreme Court has noted, “(T)he right of peaceable assembly is, in the language of the Court, ‘cognate to those of free speech and free press and is equally fundamental…. [It] is one that cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all civil and political institutions–principles which the Fourteenth Amendment embodies in the general terms of its due process clause…. The holding of meetings for peaceable political action cannot be proscribed. Those who assist in the conduct of such meetings cannot be branded as criminals on that score.'”–from “US Constitution Annotated: Rights of Assembly and Petition” at

Those “Rights” equally apply to “meetings” of the Republican Party, Democratic Party, American Nazi Party, Communist Party USA, Libertarian Party, Green Party USA, Constitution Party, Independent Party, Workers World Party or any other political organization.

(1) See “7 Reasons to Blockade the 2008 RNC” at

(2) “SDS Call to Action: Endorse and Participate in Shutting Down the RNC”