The Government Shutdown put into play by the United States Congress has occurred, but where are the protestors?
There's plenty of conversation regarding the fact the government has shutdown and how the United States Congress doesn't seem to "get it." They're not listening to the American populace and at last count have an 85% disapproval rating . . . so where are the government workers, military and other Americans regarding a March on Washington DC?
Perhaps, there's uncertainty in how to protest.
What does it take to protest?
According to the ACLU:
"Certain types of events require permits; generally, these events are:
- A march or parade that does not stay on the sidewalk, and other events that require blocking traffic or street closure
- A large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices; or
- A rally at certain designated parks or plazas
Many permit procedures require that the application be filed several weeks in advance of the event. However, the First Amendment prohibits such an advance notice requirement from being used to prevent rallies or demonstrations that are rapid responses to unforeseeable and recent events. Also, many permit ordinances give a lot of discretion to the police or city officials to impose conditions on the event, such as the route of a march or the sound levels of amplification equipment. Such restrictions may violate the First Amendment if they are unnecessary for traffic control or public safety, or if they interfere significantly with effective communication with the intended audience. A permit cannot be denied because the event is controversial or will express unpopular views."
To protest with a permit the following applies:
Registration with the National Parks Service, to do this normally a call (202) 619-7225 and or visit to National Parks Permit Office, Room 128, 1100 Ohio Drive Southwest, Washington, District of Colombia 20242 would occur. "If" government were open permits are oftentimes approved within 48 hours, to apply include:
- Starting point and ending point or gathering location for your protest and include this with the permit application; noting same on a map is helpful.
- Estimate regarding the number of attendees and include with the application.
- Ability to work with the National Park Service in implementing the protest.
Now that the National Park Service is closed - what is the alternative for protesting? Is there an alternative?
- DC Police may provide a solution - http://311.dc.gov.
- United States Park Police would have assisted, but under the National Park Service, they are also closed.
- United States Secret Service - http://www.secretservice.gov - they appear to be open, without website service updates.
- Democracy is a system which has risen from protest movements.
- Protesting gets voices heard.
- Non-protesters viewing protests are less fearful to voice their views if others share the same voice.
- The United States of America is a democratic system, which means the people have rights and privileges for voices to be heard - when a part of democracy is in decay - speaking to this publicly is not wrong, rather it is an act in defense of the nation.
With a 85% negative approval rating and a seeming blind eye to this reality by the United States Congress - it appears protesting is certainly worthy of consideration for citizens.
When a Government Shutdown affords Congressional leaders continued pay, while Americans going without pay may indeed suffer and the national exchange rates may be irrevocably damaged after the 25th of October - protests may be in order.
When a Nation's Congress acts in defiance to citizen demands it is no longer a representative body of the people, by the people, for the people. The right and act of protest may indeed be a requirement to aid the United States Congress in understanding they are elected officials who are in public service.
For readers from "other" localities who desire to protest - state, county and local government offices may indeed remain open. For permits, contact your local government resources and ask how to gain a permit.
Remember, the right of protest is not a negative act, it is a freedom!
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Quote: “True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.” ~Albert Einstein