The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

The Violation of Constitutional Rights is Becoming Commonplace

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While browsing many of the news and information sites I visit each day the headline of an article grabbed my attention; Handing Out Fliers Gets Couple Arrested.

I clicked on the link and read the first hand experience of Mark Passio and a friend, who were in Philadelphia at the Liberty Bell location voicing their concerns and handing out fliers about the Federal Reserve.  What happened next is chilling and should concern every American citizen with any understanding of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Rather than retell the story I’ll post it directly from Mark’s blog and include video of the incident and the Park Officers who made the arrest.  As I look at these officers, I see young men who I doubt ever took a school course on the constitution or bill of rights.  I don’t blame the officers for their ignorance, because they were indeed acting in ignorance, but I blame those who have written and passed unconstitutional laws that extinguish liberty and the right to free speech and free press supposedly guaranteed under the first amendment.  They were doing their jobs as they understood them, but at the same time were whittling away at the foundation of this once great nation.

From the blog What On Earth is Happening?

flierscoupleOn Saturday, May 18th at 3:00 pm, I was walking with my wife Barb in Philadelphia from Market Street to Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets, and handed out a few fliers about how the Federal Reserve Bank is de-valuing our nation’s currency to people standing in the line at the Liberty Bell location (something I have done almost 20 times in the past). I briefly spoke to a couple of them who asked me for more information. We then proceeded to continue to walk to Chestnut Street when we were stopped by two Park Police who said that I could not hand out fliers without a permit (I had already finished handing them out actually; I had a few left in my hand, and was in the process of leaving the area).

They began citing some obscure federal regulation that I had never heard of. I calmly told them that I was peacefully exercising the Rights of Free Speech and Free Press as I was walking through the area, which are Natural Rights which can not be granted by man, nor alienated from man, and which they do not have the “right,” regardless of what the terms of their “job” may tell them, to usurp from me or to stop me from exercising. I informed them that the unalienable Rights to Free Speech and Free Press were also guaranteed and protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, which, as the highest legal document of American law, certainly trumps and negates any un-Constitutional federal regulation which they were quoting to me, even under their own legal system. I calmly informed them that they were violating those Natural Human Rights by even attempting to stop people from exercising them and claiming that our Free Speech Rights can be invalidated by an obscure regulation, and by making the claim that I now need to PAY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR PERMISSION to exercise a Natural Human Right. I then proceeded to attempt to walk away toward Fifth Street on Chestnut Street, when these Park Police told me that I was NOT FREE to walk away from them, even though I had long since finished handing anyone any fliers and had done absolutely nothing to harm anyone or violate anyone else’s rights.

They appeared to be viciously angered at my declaration that I had engaged in a peaceful activity that was a Natural Right, and that they had no right to attempt to stop me from exercising it. Along with many other Park Police who had gathered while I was speaking to the original two officers, they followed me and Barb onto Chestnut Street, violently stopped us from proceeding on our way, put handcuffs on both of us (mine were applied so tightly that I have lost feeling in a large portion of the top of my left hand and will need to see a doctor about possible permanent nerve damage), unlawfully arrested our freedom of movement for over 20 minutes, unlawfully searched my person when I told them that I did not consent to any searches, stole my property in the form of the remaining fliers which I had paid to print, and, adding insult to injury, also stole a $20 bill from my wallet, which I discovered was missing when they returned it to me, after releasing us. They attempted to give me a citation for exercising Free Speech, which I refused to take from them, because I will not admit that I did anything morally wrong or have my time wasted to “defend” myself, as my actions harmed no other being, and I was doing my duty to warn people about the de-valuation of their earnings and savings, and in doing so exercising a Natural Right which is “allegedly” Constitutionally protected in America. They told me that a warrant will be issued for my arrest if I did not take the citation from them, and I still refused.

Free Speech is being shut down in America. America is actively, right before our eyes, being turned into a Police State such as Hitler’s Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Russia, and if you do not agree with that statement after reading the above, you either think that “keeping your head in the sand” will make the increasing problem go away, or you are a coward who will not speak up for Human Rights, or both. The Rights and Freedom of your children and their children are at stake. When people say they don’t care because it happened to someone else and not to them, they should seriously keep in mind that it could very easily be them next, or their children. Americans need to WAKE UP, take their eyes off the television for a few minutes, and start to inform themselves about just how far into tyranny this once-great nation is slipping, and then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, by speaking out to everyone around them, and taking action to show so-called “public servants” that their immoral and CRIMINAL activities will not stand in our supposedly “free” land.

Interestingly after Mark and Barb were released they were both sent letters from the Department of the Interior stating that all the citations the park police issued would be voided.

Here is a copy of the letter he received and the flier he was handing out.  Whether you agree or disagree with his take on the Federal Reserve, his politics, or his pony tail, you must stand for his right to exercise his freedom to speak out in a peaceful and lawful way against perceived injustices by our government.

Department-of-Interior-Letter-MarkETF-2013

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