RT: Obama signs anti-protest Trespass Bill

Published: 10 March, 2012, 00:52

US President Barack Obama

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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11 Responses to RT: Obama signs anti-protest Trespass Bill

  1. ALi says:

    Well, how obvious can you get. Obama is scared, the congress is scared & that house of reps is scared
    that the people will burst into their places with guns, knives & bombs & tear it all down. Which they have
    coming to them after all they signed & voted for. To rob us of $ TRILLIONS right infront of us in our own
    living rooms & get away with it, is about the utmost insane crimes of the millenia. Then employ about 50%
    of the population for government enforcement & harrassment agencies, security, spy, cops, TSA, CIA,
    FBI, Homeland Sec., FEMA, on & on … time to explode it all… & it WILL happen. The human spirit
    can not be subdued. Hallelujah. We even got divine intervention on top of it all. Hallelujah. Don’t forget
    to bring along your dogs & wolves, let’s repay those dinosaurs, dragons from hell.

  2. Sid Skolnick says:

    This government has been a travesty since 1913 and it continues to get worse over time. The three branches could not care less about the constitution. As more and more people continue to wake up, the more and more they are hunkering in. Fascism anyone?

  3. Danny Boy says:

    I think its important to remember that even in the echelons of elite society there are good people. Obama does seem genuine when i have seen him taking questiona but his actions speak much louder… so far 😉


  5. Pingback: Media cover-up of Obama Impeachment Exposed – | Our Greater Destiny! Blog

  6. I live in Ireland and I supported Obama’s election, I liked the CHANGE message and I thought that he was the new JFK. I still think that he will be the new JFK. I don’t believe that JFK or his brother Bobby could have come into power UNLESS they were insiders of the system. (Their Dad was obviously well connected to the TPTB/illuminati). I feel that somehow they changed sides and tried to do good and paid the price. I believe that Obama is an insider who is a master of deception. I think that he is like Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars and that he WILL turn more to the Dark Side soon and that WILL AWAKEN lots more sheeple. Some part of that Dreamy kid inside me FEELS that Obama will then eventually bring Balance by switching to the Light and helping remove the System that he is part of. There can be no Good without Bad in this Dualistic world and We ALL are part good and bad. It is only ourselves who can choose our path and of course anyone can change direction at any moment.

    • tatoott1009 says:

      Tatoott, do you have anything to say? yes if you can see.avi

      • DaveLight says:

        Tatoott – Your “evidence” is absurb. 1) the “typewriter” inconsistencies are RUBBER STAMPS; 2) the “kerning” is a stretch of perception; 3) The “heart” and “smiley face” – you must be kidding! Whether this document is legitimate will not be determined by your highly unscientific speculations. Further, I don’t consider myself a “dumbass” as you implied. Light, love and Peace to you Mr. Toot.

  7. bchaplin says:

    But he’s still one of the good guys, right Jean? Haha.

    • Jean says:

      Whether or not he’s a good guy seems immaterial to me. After years of letting this pass, people are waking up! Where were you way back when? Do you see what I mean? Whether or not he is good/bad (a Duality concept, by the way), his actions are finally arousing people. They are waking up. I have a sneaking suspicion that you may be one of those people who has some ego riding on the outcome. . . don’t know, of course, except that you seem so delighted to see my proved wrong. Hugs, ~Jean

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