Trump’s threats to ban protests contradicts fundamental rights


Ginny Atwell (@ginny6363) on Twitter

Protests have always been a vital part of our country, even back before the country existed.

Rylan Hefner, Interactive Storytelling Team

Following the protests at Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in early September, President Donald Trump made several comments suggesting a ban on protests. Protests have always been a vital part of our country, even back before the country existed. It has brought about major change in our democracy, and it is part of American citizens’ right to free speech. The mere fact that our president could be threatening to take that right away is a terrifying concept and one that Americans need to do something about.

Trump made a recent comment in an interview with the Daily Caller on September 5.“I don’t know why they don’t, why they don’t take care of a situation like that because it’s terrible. I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters, you don’t even know which side the protesters were on. But to allow someone to stand up and scream from the top of their lungs and nobody does anything about it is frankly — I think it’s an embarrassment,”he said.

This statement directly contradicts the First Amendment to the Constitution, which says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The amendment has allowed protests for years, which have often resulted in change in government and society. Americans have been given the right to free speech, including protest, and the current leader of our country is threatening to take that right away.

The protesters at Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing have been backed up by the Human Rights Watch, which said his confirmation could put key rights at risk. However, on September 4, Trump tweeted, “The Brett Kavanaugh hearings for the future Justice of the Supreme Court are truly a display of how mean, angry, and despicable the other side is. They will say anything, and are only…. ….looking to inflict pain and embarrassment to one of the most highly renowned jurists to ever appear before Congress. So sad to see!”

These comments, including many he has made throughout his time as president and his campaign, go against the fundamental rights of our country, and it is shameful that our president doesn’t recognize that.