A group of protesters has sued the Seattle government, arguing that “unmitigated police violence” has imposed a monetary cost on their right to demonstrate freely, forcing them to buy expensive gear to safely confront the cops.
Filed by five plaintiffs who took part in ongoing protests in Seattle, the suit seeks a temporary restraining order barring the city’s police department from wielding force and crowd control munitions on demonstrators, alleging heavy-handed police tactics have made “safe protest prohibitive,” as “one needs an exceptional amount of protective gear to enjoy that freedom.”
Because the Seattle Police Department has acted above and outside the law in dispensing its unbridled force, and the city has failed to prevent [the] same, the… effect is to establish a de facto protest tax,” attorney Talitha Hazelton wrote in the complaint, filed on Monday.
Individual protesters subjected to SPD’s unabated and indiscriminate violence now must purchase cost-prohibitive gear to withstand munitions – even when peacefully protesting – as a condition to exercising their right to free speech and peaceable assembly.
While a blanket ban on less-lethal munitions recently imposed by the city was struck down by a court in late July, a separate court injunction restricting their use remains in place. The prior suit was brought by local Black Lives Matter activists, who have since asked the judge in the case to hold the SDP in contempt of the standing order, alleging officers had continued to use crowd control weapons indiscriminately, including tear gas and pepper spray.
HEINLEIN’S CRAZY YEARS (CONT’D): Seattle Police Violated Civil Rights by Defending Themselves, Protesters Claim in Orwellian Lawsuit.
Try this new narrative on for size: Not only are the violent riots in cities like Seattle really just “peaceful protests,” but the “excessive” police response is also a form of invidious class discrimination, aimed at preventing the poor from protesting. A new lawsuit claims that Seattle effectively levied a “protest tax” by allowing police to use “military-grade munitions” to break up unruly crowds. Only people who are rich enough to buy armor have a First Amendment right to protest, or so the argument goes.
This argument is absurd from top to bottom. In fact, the lawsuit focuses on alleged incidents of police violence that came on July 25 — amid a violent riot that injured 59 police officers and landed one of them in the hospital. Rioters had fired mortar fireworks at the cops. Yet the lawsuit twice claims that police acted “in the absence of an immediate safety threat.”
The “protest tax” lawsuit
Five protesters — Jessica Benton, Shelby Bryant, Anne Marie Cavanaugh, Alyssa Garrison, and Clare Thomas — had the gall to make the outrageous “protest tax” allegation in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Monday. They claim that Seattle violated their First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights by allowing the police to use “excessive” force. Yet the most eye-catching claim involves discrimination in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause.
“Only those who have the means to purchase extensive protective gear can engage in 1st Amendment speech in the streets of Seattle, where its police force is not a source of protection but of antagonism for protesters,” the plaintiffs allege.
On Tuesday, Democratic senators again whitewashed violent antifa rioters as “peaceful protesters,” demonizing President Donald Trump for “bad-faith nonsense” for daring to speak the truth about the violence of the rioters.
“What we’ve seen in Portland are peaceful protesters in need of protection from federal officers,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said at a Senate hearing on “Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence” hosted by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). She argued that any mention of the antifa violence plays into a nefarious Trump narrative aiming to dismiss protesters.
WHEN STREET THEATER GETS TOO REAL: BLM Protester Stabbed in Portland as Another Anti-Police Protester Shouts, ‘Call the Police!.’
Before the nightly radical action in Portland, the BLM folks in the park near the federal courthouse had a little earlier drama.
A woman was apparently filming in the Lownsdale Square Park. That disturbed a couple of other people in the park resulting in an argument. The woman then allegedly took out a knife and stabbed a protester in the chest, why is not clear as of yet.
The video starts post stabbing where the woman stabbed who has an Antifa tattoo shows blood on her chest and three people follow the woman with the knife.
Warning not for the squeamish:
A protester was stabbed near the federal courthouse earlier today.
PPB says no arrests have been made at this time. pic.twitter.com/zHCX76KeJ5
— PDX Frontline Alerts (@pdxfrontline) August 4, 2020