JAMES BOVARD: Joe Biden And The Death Of Free Speech: The president’s first day was marked by a harsh crackdown on the right to protest. So much for a return to normalcy.

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via theamericanconservative:

The media loved Joe Biden’s inauguration: his platitude-laden speech and his calls for “unity” struck the perfect note for a Washington establishment that wants no more guff from the “deplorables.” But few commentators stooped to point out the radical changes of Biden’s big day, such as its being the first inaugural since 1865 with the military openly occupying the nation’s capital.

In his inaugural address, Biden castigated “a riotous mob [that] thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people.” But politicians invoked that same mob to justify silencing protesters for miles around the inauguration. Biden also declared, “That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our republic. It’s perhaps this nation’s greatest strength.” Yet during Biden’s inauguration, new “guardrails” drove free speech into the dirt.

The Washington Post, a bellwether of the media’s adulation of the new president, had no problem with silencing dissent. Its report on the issue was headlined, “In closing Mall, officials try to strike a balance between the First Amendment and securing Biden’s inauguration.”The “balance” was achieved by suspending the First Amendment on the most important protest day on the American calendar.

The Post noted that only one protest would occur during the Biden inauguration “with about five demonstrators manning a video screen, tucked away near Union Station, along a secure perimeter, surrounded by largely vacant D.C. streets.” Amazingly, the Post portrayed this as proof that the First Amendment had survived: “D.C. and federal officials reached a compromise. They said the plan allows the city’s tradition as the nation’s preeminent stage for protest and free-speech gatherings to continue.”

The federal government dictated so many restrictions on protests that almost all the groups that planned to demonstrate threw in the towel.But that didn’t deter federal officials from taking a victory lap. National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst declared, “When the government is under assault, that’s especially a time you do not want to appear to be denying civil liberties or denying people their rights under the First Amendment.”

 

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