Sarosh Kumana & Michael Denny Discuss the New Proposed Ballot Initiative
to Discourage Public Disruption
I believe that
the liberty and freedom of protestors to protest peacefully (even in public
places) should be supported -- but with the important proviso that it not
interfere with the freedom and liberty of those others who also want to use
the same public places for the peaceful conduct of their own lives.
There were many thousands who were unable to go home, to to their
place of work, or otherwise move around. Traffic was blocked and stalled for
Do you support and respect freedoms (like the freedom of
movement) for those non-protestors who were directly and intentionally and
unnecessarily curtailed by the actions of the protestors?
The rights of
protestors do not and can not supercede the rights of non-protestors.
The exercise of the rights and freedoms of one group should not result
in the abridgement of liberty of another! Is a non-protestor's freedom any
less important than the freedom of the protestor? Are liberty and freedom to
be selectively applied?
How can it be a net increase in liberty if 1,000
protestors prevent 10,000 from peacefully going about their own
There are solutions: Let protestors be allotted a public space
for expressing their protest -- for example, Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate
Park, or Crissy Field, where they will not disrupt the lives of others.
The rest of us should not be held hostage by those who want to express
and celebrate their own freedom by limiting the freedoms of
Sarosh Kumana (Saroshk@aol.com)
Thank you for sharing
your perspective. And once again, please know that I am very sympathetic to
those whose lives were disrupted by the protests. And know that I personally
don’t appreciate reckless activity that wastes my time and makes life more
difficult as these protests did. But that is a condition of a free society
with lots of public property. And to be honest, while I was inconvenienced I
never felt personally threatened or in need of the police.
In English society
they have the old English Common Law concept of the "quiet use of the
commons." The protestors violated this concept when they blocked the roads and
sidewalks. They did not allow others to quietly use the commons, which is
everyone's right including the protestors. However this is the USA, born in rebellion, where we celebrate the destruction of tea in protest against government
authority. It would be nicer if all the protestors would go quietly to their
approved places but that wouldn’t seem like America to me. I’m glad our
country’s founders didn’t just go to some quiet corner and peacefully protest
the British as this country wouldn’t what it is today despite our problems.
I’m glad the founders got pissed off and took to arms and fought the
authorities tooth and nail. I want to encourage a bold America and I think this war
is an abomination worth getting angry about.
Once again, the
problem is not the protestors, our feelings about their behavior, or the war.
The problem is that it is impossible to define the “proper use” of property
when it is owned by everyone and when the public in a free and open society
have widely differing views on its proper use. Draw the property lines out to
the middle of the street, and let the property owners work it out with the
pedestrians. The use of more government and police to support one side’s view
over another’s will only make it worse for everyone. And in my opinion, it
undermines the values our founders fought and died for.
Yours in Liberty!