Reclaiming The Right To Petition

Friday, June 08, 2012


When protesters try to make themselves heard at this summer’s presidential conventions they’ll likely be penned by police some distance from the candidates. Law professor Ronald Krotoszynski argues in a new book that that’s a violation of the 1st Amendment, specifically the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. He explains to Bob why protest is a form of protected speech and why proximity to the government officials you’re protesting is paramount.


Latin Playboys - Crayon Sun


Ronald Krotoszynski

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [5]

Brian from San Diego

RE: Is proximity of protesters paramount especially at the present time?

When I was with a large group protesting at the Republican Convention in San Diego, they had us on the side of the convention center (not the front where people enter), with 8 foot covered fence so no one could see us, in a tiny fenced in area so it was difficult to organize AND it was across 4 lanes of traffic from the building with a a traffic divider in the middle, so no one really heard us or knew that we existed.

Meanwhile, during the Gay Pride Parade that same year the extremist "God Hates Gays" religious freaks were allowed to set up camp right on the parade route with blaring bullhorns?!

The religious extremist's protest was seen and heard loud and clear.
Our group's protest, due to location, could have stayed home and no one at the Republican Convention would have noticed a difference.

Jun. 23 2012 04:55 PM

The fact that "listener" below thinks that only proper and genteel protest should be protected is a perfect example of the problem. It's easy to support the right to assemble and petition as long as the people doing don't inconvenience you.

Jun. 11 2012 04:40 PM

Hear! Hear! One of the wonderful things that our founding fathers did for us was to give us the RIGHT to get in the faces of the people we send to city halls, state and federal capitals to let them know when they are doing an awful job and to let them know precisely what we want. The condition of government officials becoming disconnected from their constituency is not new.

Jun. 09 2012 08:29 PM

Is proximity of protesters paramount especially at the present time?

In regard to the recent Wisconsin recall election, was last year's takeover of the Madison capitol a successful example of protesters confronting government and should that be encouraged? Isn't the Tea Party an example of a movement staying well within legal restrictions and being hugely successful without the civic cost, disruption and filth often associated with "progressive" and Occupy protests and their lack of success?

If a protest message is reasonable and inspiring it will have a policy impact a mile away from the capitol and if a protest message is an infantile tantrum it will have little policy impact on the floor of the capitol.

Jun. 09 2012 11:05 AM
Robert from New York City

Sounds like great stuff, but ... $65 in hardcover ...$36 on Kindle!!! Where do we go to protest?

Jun. 09 2012 07:40 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.