We explore restrictions on the rights of people to assemble and express dissent in the United States. The First Amendment gives us the right to peaceably assemble and redress our government for our grievances. Instead of protecting that right, the government, local police and private companies are acting to prevent and stop actions of dissent. The First Amendment also gives the right to freedom of the press, but today’s press are mouthpieces for the corporate state. What is being done to preserve our rights? We speak with Kevin Gosztola who has been covering this issue for FireDogLake as the Dissenter, and Tarak Kauff, a veteran arrested at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial last Oct for protesting the war in Afghanistan.
Relevant articles and websites:
The State of Dissent in America: Flex Your Rights by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
Kevin Gosztola – is a writer for Firedoglake.com, who regularly covers WikiLeaks, whistleblowing, secrecy and various issues created by the national security state of America. He has been regularly traveling to Fort Meade to cover the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning and co-authored Truth and Consequences: The US vs. Bradley Manning with The Nation‘s Greg Mitchell.
Tarak Kauff – has been active in anti-war, peace and justice activities since being discharged from the U.S. Army paratroopers in 1962 after 3 and 1/2 years of stateside duty. He organizes with the Veterans For Peace Direct Action Group and started the Veterans Peace Team. He was one of the founders, along with Kim Carlyle of War Crimes Times, the hard copy and online Veterans For Peace newspaper. A member of the Veterans For Peace Board of Directors, he is also one of the original members of Middle East Crisis Response. He lives in Woodstock, NY. Tarak is on hunger strike in solidarity with the prisoners in Guantanamo, has been involved in environmental protests, and is a key contributor to PopularResistance.org.