The use of the law to keep people from protesting and assembling did not start with the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. In fact, for hundreds of years, since the birth of the United States, there has been a slow but steady effort to keep people from being able to lawfully protest and organize. During the occupy movement there were extensive discussions about democracy, freedom, economics, and our future. Somewhere behind it all, there was the issue of laws and what protesters can and cannot do. In the end it was the police armed with tear gas and legal ordinances who were able to clear people out of the public squares they had peacefully occupied. In this podcast we speak with attorney Joshua Dratel, the first civilian defense lawyer to have worked with prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. His recent article “The Evaporation of American Political Dissent” talks about the long running degredation of the right to protest and assemble in the United States.
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