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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/15/12

Criminalizing Dissent in America

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Criminalizing Dissent in America - by Stephen Lendman

America's police state laws endanger dissent.

America has a sordid repressive history. Among others, First Amendment rights are violated. 

It guarantees freedom of religion, expression, to petition government for redress of grievances, and right to peacefully assemble.

The 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts restricted First Amendment freedoms. 

So did 1919 anti-communist Palmer raids, the 1934 Special Committee on Un-American Activities, its House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) successor, secret FBI COINTELPRO crackdowns, the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the 2001 USA Patriot Act, and other post-9/11 measures.

These and other measures expanded government surveillance, eroded habeas, formalized military tribunals, permitted torture-extracted confessions, and instituted violence for national security.

FBI "terrorist profiles" can investigate anyone for any reason. So can local police working cooperatively or alone. Street protests can be criminalized. America's right to dissent is endangered.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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