User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: Now we protest in peace, we use civil disobedience, 9 students arrested, activists support RIFA and CIR ASAP

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Now we protest in peace, we use civil disobedience, 9 students arrested, activists support RIFA and CIR ASAP

Peaceful protests.  How do we civilly disobey?

How to bring attention to immigration reform?

Civil Disobedience is the act of refusing orders by a governing authority for the purposes of social change.  It is always done peacefully.

There is an art to civil disobedience.  Do it right and you can make a statement.  Do it wrong and you can spend time in the pokey for little benefit and harm the movement you want to help!  Here are some ideas for those who decide to take the drastic step of civilly disobeying the “lawful” command of authority:

1.  It is usually best to civilly disobey in numbers.  It gives each of you a witness to the events that transpired.  It is good for moral support.  It says more than one person is willing to sacrifice.

2.  Civil disobedience is always done in peace.  If you chain yourself to the capitol doors, do it passively.  Don’t "resist".  If you refuse to obey commands of law enforcement then there are consequences to you.  If you go yelling and kicking and screaming or use threats of any kind, there may be consequences to the movement.

3.  Call the press before you act.  That gives you more witnesses.  That also is the whole point of civil disobedience.  This is free speech, not a pain in the ass to law enforcement.  Getting even gets us nothing.  Your speech is best heard through the voice of the press.

4.  Call your attorney before you go to the event.  It is always better each person has his own attorney as each person may have diverse levels of culpability.

5.  Have bond money ready. 

6.  Be sure you have emptied your pockets of all sharp objects, pepper spray and anything else that could be considered to be a weapon.  Be sure you don’t have any substances out of favor with the authorities in your possession.  Fortunately, today’s protest movement has been without popular support of mind altering substances, unlike the war protests of the 1960’s.  Don't expect medical care in the cross bar motel.  If you require frequent medication this may not be the step for you.

7.  Have your plan well laid out.  Perhaps there will be a few to be arrested and others to cheer them on.  Maybe you all go.  It is best to know where you are going and how you will do it. 

8.  Explore alternatives before you civilly disobey.  Phone calls to the governor’s office might be one alternative.  How about a work stoppage?  If you have not tried the tactic yet you are probably early in your civil disobedience.

9.  If you decide to take this step then do it in your own name.  It is unfair to hold the movement accountable for your actions.  Be aware a criminal record may affect you in the future.  It never goes away.  It is hard to explain on job applications.  Take the decision with care and well considered thought.  But if you are dedicated and ready, do as your heart tells you!

10.  Call your secretary, your college professors, your hair dresser and clear your schedule.  You may be on vacation for awhile.  Then call your mom!

From my point of view, the purpose of civil disobedience is to get a law passed or an unjust law repealed.  It is not to be a martyr.  If you sacrifice yourself, do it for the benefit of the movement.  Reform Immigration For America is not acting.  You are. 

That means we must perform these kinds of things peacefully and keeping our objectives well in mind.  While you may not be acting for RIFA, your actions could be attributed to it.  Conduct yourself like a ladies and gentlemen while you are being hand cuffed and arrested!

If you are demonstrating against the travesty of justice in Arizona, which occurred with the mere passage of H.B. 1070, let alone signature of the bill if Governor Jan Brewer signs it, try contacting the Governor’s Office:


(602) 542-4331

We are fighting an uneducated public.  Comprehensive Immigration reform (CIR) (CIR ASAP) is a cause most Americans will support if they are armed with the facts.  Some have already taken this step of protest. 

We are asking for students to be allowed to go to college through the dream act and break the chain of poverty;

we are asking for the ICE raids to stop;

we are asking for a path to citizenship for 14,000,000 people using a background check and the payment of a fine which could equal as much as $2,800,000,000.  That is two billion eight hundred million and no/100’s dollars;

we are asking for a way for all drivers on the road to be licensed, and therefore insured;

we are asking for help to keep families together because we believe in family values;

we are willing to protect our borders as part of comprehensive immigration reform as a complete package;

we are working for a law that will provide labor to businesses as the baby boomers retire. 

We are asking for basic civil rights and justice in a country that prides itself on both.

If you have not signed up for RIFA yet, be sure to sign up! 

Nothing I have said here should be taken as speaking on behalf of Reform Immigration For America (RIFA) or any other organization.  I don’t speak for the civil rights and immigration movement.  These are my personal thoughts.  I don't advocate breaking laws.  I do advocate free speech.

If you are already in legal trouble or on probation, getting arrested is probably not a sacrifice you should make.  This is general advice, not legal advice.  Consult your attorney before taking this step.

God bless you.  The civil rights movement of this generation is in full swing.  The English speaking community has mostly ignored us.  It is time to wake them up! 

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