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Protesting the President banned?

No.

I was Googling my name and some other keywords and ended up on a web site called “Dumbell Nebula” and while there I saw this article listed about HR 347 supposedly outlawing protest in the country. I was a little curious, but I see such crazy unfounded stuff all the time on right-wing web sites and chain emails and would have passed it by except the link was to the Huffington Post, not typically noted for right-wing nut job articles, so I clicked through.

Huffpo indeed had the article that went utterly ballistic about this new law that passed the Congress with only 3 nay votes, and was signed by the President in 2011. The article by comedian Lee Camp said:

So basically if the government wants to shut down a protest, they just send a secret service officer down there to scratch his balls, and then they can start putting people in jail for a year or more.

Commenters (but not all) on the story ranted about the Constitution’s First Amendment being trampled.

I wouldn’t have written about this old news except that Googling “HR 347” protest returns an estimated 51,600 hits. Snopes has “been there, done that.”

In actuality, the bill makes a minor change to a law dealing with trespassing and disrupting government operations passed in 1971. The original law doesn’t mention protest, but trespassing and disrupting operations. HR 347 is an amendment that basically lowers the intent requirement for a crime to have been committed. The ACLU was concerned about the law, but only in a larger context, noting that the actual impact of the specific bill is very small and creates no new offenses, although it might make abuse more easy.

Read the new HR 347 here. The previous version of 18 USC § 1752 reads:

18 USC § 1752 – Restricted building or grounds

(a) Whoever—

(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;

(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

(3) knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or

(4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds;

or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

(b) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is—

(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if—

(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118 (e)(3); and

(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

(c) In this section—

(1) the term “restricted buildings or grounds” means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area—

(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

(2) the term “other person protected by the Secret Service” means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.

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12 Responses to Protesting the President banned?

  1. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    AUGH! The stupid! I burns us!

  2. avatar
    Slartibartfast October 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Do the people who believe this sort of thing ever realize that the fact that they are at liberty to say stupid things like this instead of locked up in a FEMA camp is that either they are completely wrong or the powers that be see them as completely impotent?

  3. avatar
    CarlOrcas October 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Slartibartfast:
    Do the people who believe this sort of thing ever realize that the fact that they are at liberty to say stupid things like this instead of locked up in a FEMA camp is that either they are completely wrong or the powers that be see them as completely impotent?

    Nah! It’s all part of the plan. Lull them into a false sense of security and then……bang the gate at the FEMA camp slams behind them.

  4. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    I keep messing with birthers, telling them that if they don’t straighten up that there is a FEMA coffin with their name on it. 🙂 Gee, ain’t I a stinker?

  5. avatar
    Bob October 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    Birthers enjoy fantasizing that twenty years from now we’ll be having memorial services for all those who were disappeared during the Obama years.

    And one day the Obots are going to be sorry.

  6. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG October 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Bob:
    Birthers enjoy fantasizing that twenty years from now we’ll be having memorial services for all those who were disappeared during the Obama years.

    And one day the Obots are going to be sorry.

    Any day now. 😉

  7. avatar
    Yoda October 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Reminds me of a video I see posted frequently on birther/bagger sites with the notation that the video was banned by FEMA. They never get the incongruity.

  8. avatar
    American November 1, 2013 at 4:10 am #

    Why would anyone believe a President who has told so so so many lies instead of Honarable men!!! Many have DIED because of this President do you not have ounce of care in your blindness and soon you will see!!!

  9. avatar
    American November 1, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    Why would anyone believe a President who has told so so so many lies instead of Honorable men!!! Many have DIED because of this President.These men gave their lives to save other Americans are you not an American.You are blind but someday you may see but it may have been to late!!!!! These Honorable Brave Men Are the Truth!!!

  10. avatar
    Lupin November 1, 2013 at 4:34 am #

    Troll alert!

  11. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 1, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Don’t mock! Concern troll is concerned.

    Lupin:
    Troll alert!

  12. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 1, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    Why would anyone believe any birther after all the lies they’ve been shown to continuously repeat?

    American:
    Why would anyone believe a President who has told so so so many lies instead of Honorable men!!! Many have DIED because of this President.These men gave their lives to save other Americans are you not an American.You are blind but someday you may see but it may have been to late!!!!! These Honorable Brave Men Are the Truth!!!