Yesterday we brought you “As Tea Party Activists Protest Dodd’s Big Brother Bill, Bank of America Deploys Security Forces,” the story of a group of Tea Party and 912 Project protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina who showed up at the Bank of America headquarters to protest the bank’s sweetheart deal with Senator Kay Hagan on the financial reform bill currently moving through the Senate. As protesters arrived with the intention of standing peacefully while holding signs that read things like “No More Bailouts” and “CFPA = Big Brother”, they were met by several local police officers, a number of Bank of America paid security guards, and a few hired security extras from Wackenhut.
No one knows how the police or Bank of America were informed of the protest, as the event coordinators had not sent such a notification, nor had they filed for a permit with such a small number of attendees. Further, the event was only scheduled the prior day. Nonetheless, the bank was obviously prepared enough to have beefed up their security staff and hired the extra guards.
All that, for this peaceful bunch of patriotic citizens, there only to exercise their 1st amendment rights and express their discontent with the out of control bailouts and Big Brother environment created by the marriage of Big Government and Big Banks. The financial reform bill only makes that environment even worse. So they had something to say about it.
Sure, officers and security guards have every right to direct citizens away from private property and onto the public property boundaries. Standing there in a line however, and hovering in the corner in numbers that outweigh that of the protesters themselves only creates a chilling effect on 1st amendment rights like free speech and the right of the people to peaceably assemble.
If you don’t like what’s going on in this country, you have a chance to speak out about it yourself. Attend NCFreedom’s statewide rally tomorrow, May 12th in Raleigh, NC, where some of these very protesters will be exercising their 1st amendment rights, again.