Have you heard of H.R. 347? Called “The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011,” it expands laws allowing for the criminal prosecution of someone who “knowingly” enters a “restricted area,” whatever that means. The language of the bill is so vague that it makes any protesting illegal so long as it is in an area that has been deemed restricted. Some possible applications of the law include:
- A wide area around the next G-8 meeting or other global summit could be designated “restricted” by the Secret Service, such that any person who “enters” that area can be subject to a fine and a year in jail under Section 1752(a)(1) (making it a felony to enter any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so).
- Senator Rick Santorum, the ultra-right Republican presidential candidate, enjoys the protection of the Secret Service. Accordingly, a person who shouts “boo!” during a speech by Santorum could be subject to arrest and a year of imprisonment under Section 1752(a)(2) (making it a felony to “engag[e] in disorderly or disruptive conduct in” a restricted area).
- Striking government workers who form a picket line near any event of “national significance” can be locked up under Section 1752(a)(3) (making it a crime to “imped[e] ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds”).
H.R. 347 protects any politician guarded by the Secret Service from all of us regular people who they supposedly serve every day. The elite are turning into a new aristocracy right in front of our eyes, bringing to mind the French Estates or George Orwell’s society in 1984. The law violates the First Amendment, never mind basic human equality! I’m sure protests will be censored at the coming Republican and Democratic Conventions, and with the G-8 and NATO summits coming up in May, it is especially disconcerting. Past demonstrations at such events have erupted into violence and blatant police brutality in the police state’s attempt to silence free speech. Just a few days after the passage of H.R. 347, the White House announced, “To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the president is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues.” This will make protests highly unlikely if not impossible, but we wouldn’t want to interrupt the “free-flowing discussion” of our rulers, now would we? On a side note, the Japanese are taking a much more direct approach with a new invention that jams speech.
Unfortunately, these new developments might be the least of our worries. The NDAA passed earlier this year, legalizing state-sanctioned kidnapping and assassinations. Anyone who is determined to be a terrorist by the president is subject to indefinite detention or even death under the law. Eric Holder defended the administration’s tactics Monday in a speech addressing the assassination of terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki, who has formerly worked with our very own government. Holder was right about one thing when he said, “The unfortunate reality is that our nation will likely continue to face terrorist threats that at times originate with our own citizens.” With the terrorists we have running our country, of this I have no doubt! The erosion of our liberties in the name of safety is a poorly disguised attempt to force us into a tyrannical state. Use your free speech while you still have it and spread the word!