The resistance has officially come to the Chicago suburbs:
The protests earlier today against Congressman Peter Roskam of our state’s 6th Congressional District were in response to Roskam’s congressional staffers canceling a constituent meeting because he’s afraid of being held accountable the media:
Rep. Peter Roskam’s (R-IL) office cancelled a meeting with constituents about Obamacare on Wednesday when a staffer for the congressman learned that a reporter was present, according to the Aurora Beacon-News.
Constituent Sandra Alexander told the Beacon-News that she arranged the meeting about the Affordable Care Act with Roskam’s staff ahead of time and informed them that she would be bringing along a small group.
But staffers cancelled the meeting before it could begin, ostensibly because there were members of the media present
Even though Roskam’s district was gerrymandered for him thanks to Mike Madigan and his cronies, there is a huge opportunity for a Democratic candidate to run against Roskam and possibly ride a wave of left-wing backlash towards the Donald Trump-era Republican Party all the way to a congressional victory.
A little over 30 miles from my home, a flag-burning case is all over the local news.
In Urbana, Illinois, Bryton Mellott, 22 years of age, was booked by local law enforcement for burning the U.S. flag as a form of political protest. Specifically, Mellott was booked for disorderly conduct and violating the Illinois flag desecration statute, which officially classifies flag desecration as a felony in Illinois.
I want to share my own thoughts about flag burning.
Unless there are aggravating circumstances in a particular case (such as flag burning on government property of any kind, flag burning on private property not owned by the individual burning the flag without permission from the property owner, or causing a broader public danger by burning the flag (such as igniting a wildfire or setting fire to something other than the flag)), flag burning should be considered a form of protected free speech. As someone who comes from a family that has had many family members serve in our nation’s Armed Forces, I regard the U.S. flag as a very important national symbol, and burning the U.S. flag is something that I would never do. If I wish to air some kind of grievance that I have about politics or government policy, I will write a blog post, either on this website or another website, about it. However, as long as no damage is being done to property other than the flag itself, the flag in question is the property of the individual burning it, and the flag burning is taking place on one’s own private property or, if on someone else’s property, with permission from the property owner, I don’t believe that flag burning should be a criminal offense of any kind. Keep in mind that I don’t personally approve of burning the flag as a form of protest, and it is something that I would never even consider doing. If you wish to dispose of a U.S. flag in a proper and dignified manner, I recommend contacting an organization like the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for information before disposing of the flag.
Also, I strongly disapprove of making violent threats towards people, even people who are convicted or accused of criminal activity. We have a judicial system in this country that is built on the principle of due process, not vigilantism.
Jeremy Diamond, a reporter for CNN, posted this Twitter video of a black man being physically assaulted by attendees of a Donald Trump presidential campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama earlier today:
According to CNN and Raw Story, the protester was heard saying “black lives matter”, referring to the Black Lives Matter movement, which prompted several Trump supporters to physically assault the protestor. Trump himself can be heard saying “get him the hell out of here” or something along those lines, which, in effect, amounted to condoning the violence against the protester. According to the Birmingham (AL) Police, three people were removed from the rally by law enforcement as a result of the scuffle.
With Donald Trump calling for an unconstitutional surveillance scheme of mosques in the United States and preventing Syrian refugees to enter the U.S. instead of facing the threat of death at the hands of ISIS and/or the Assad regime in Syria, it’s no surprise that a mob of Trump’s far-right supporters would physically assault a peaceful protestor. While Trump has every right to remove people he doesn’t like from a campaign event (all other presidential candidates have the same right to remove people they don’t like from their campaign events), his supporters don’t have the right to form a mob and beat up a peaceful protestor.