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Ross: Could there be an alternative to endless protests?

Demonstrators use shields while blocking an intersection near the Seattle Police East Precinct during protests on July 26, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Here’s a novel court case: In Seattle, five protesters filed a federal lawsuit claiming that their right to protest … is being taxed.

They argue that because of police crowd-control tactics, the only way they can protest safely is to order gas masks and body armor. And because that stuff is expensive, it’s like a tax on their right to peaceably assemble.

Two of the protesters claim that because they had to wait for their gas masks to arrive, they missed several days of protesting.

They argue the streets are a public forum, and you shouldn’t have to suit up like a commando to use them.

But the streets are not really a public forum. The sidewalks, maybe, or the parks, but the streets are there so that people can get around and do business.

Suppose businesses went to court to sue protesters for scaring customers away. Or for making it too easy for looters to carry their merchandise away?

People who live and work in these protest zones could argue that by NOT breaking up protests, the police are depriving peaceful residents of THEIR rights.

Could there be an alternative to endless protests?

If only we had a system where we elected people who could represent various points of view and whose job it was to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty! Maybe someday.

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