Posts Tagged ‘freedom of speech’

People have the right to assemble. Not Riot.

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Vancouver Canucks just lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.

I live close to Vancouver, and I was cheering for the Canucks. I’m not a Canucks fan, but I hoped they would win.

They didn’t, and …

For the past hour I’ve been watching the police disperse people in downtown Vancouver. Why?

Because some (a small percentage) of the crowd decided it would be a good idea to turn cars upside down, and set them on fire.

Idiots!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a proponent of lawful assembly and freedom of expression.

I want the police (and the government) to keep their big noses out of my life.

And I want to be able to freely express my opinion, even if some may disagree with it.

But when I watch scenes unfold, like the scene I just witnessed, I have to shake my head.

It has nothing to do with freedom of expression. It has nothing to do with “lawful” assembly.

And I understand why the police take some of the actions that they do.

Freedom doesn’t mean that you and I are free to do anything we want to do.

We aren’t free to do damage to other peoples property.

We can’t just set a police car on fire because our team lost the final game in the championship,

That’s an excuse, and not a good one.

And it’s a shame when something like this happens.

Because, believe it or not, it diminishes our ability to lawfully assemble.

Because many people start to associate “assembly” with trouble.

And if that happens, it can lead to rules that limit our right to assemble.

And that is very dangerous.

But what do you think?