This came across my Email box... you decide if we still can speak out without a govt penalty:
Imagine an America in which the government can prevent protest in any public space it deems fit. Where wearing a dissenting shirt around an elected official could be construed as a felony. Where First-Amendment protections become privileges subjectively doled out by the state. Sadly, that America is pretty much here.
In March, Congress passed HR 347, a bill that limits Americans' ability to protest in public and on government grounds. Mainstream media didn't raise peep, but now there's finally some anger building. The bill, passed almost unanimously, makes it a federal offense punishable by up to ten years in prison to "knowingly" protest in the vicinity of the Secret Service -- that is anywhere the Secret Service "is or will be temporarily visiting."
Click here to demand that Congress reinstate -- and safeguard -- Americans' right to engage in protest. This campaign is being run by WatchDog.net, a side-project of Demand Progress. <http://act.demandprogress.org/go/692...1890687.0hCE2d>
It also makes many public events impervious to lawful protest. Any "National Security Special Event" (NSSE) requires Secret Service protection. NSSE-designated events have proliferated since 9/11 to include Super Bowls, concerts, campaign events, and now any public event that Very Important People want protest-free.
Most dangerously, it criminalizes protest. Under the bill, "disorderly or disruptive conduct" or activities that "impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions" could warrant felony charges. What constitutes such "disruptive conduct" rests in the eye of the beholder--or the eye of Eric Holder. To put it plainly: the government can decide where and when free speech is allowed and severely prosecute any "disruptive" activity, while we're confined to "free speech zones." We can help fix it, however!
Will you click here to sign WatchDog.net's petition to protect our speech rights? <http://act.demandprogress.org/go/692...1890687.0hCE2d>
Let's keep on fighting.