Protestors Question Breach of First Amendment

Melanie Rovinsky

DENVER–With the Democratic National Convention underway, local and federal authorities flocked to the site in order to deal with as many as 30,000 protestors who were expected to disrupt the week’s events.

Secret Service officials and FBI agents were not be alone in their mission to keep the peace; over $2 million was spent on protection equipment for local police officers in an attempt to quell the anticipated disturbance. Similar to most current issues regarding the first amendment, the preparations against the protestors caused quite a controversy.

Dr. Weinstein, a CNN contributor, has devised a “code of ethics for protesting” in response to the situation. Weinstein’s code consists of seven points for individuals on both sides of the protest to consider. A few of the most important include: obey the law or be willing to accept the consequences, be tolerant, accept that fairness is a bedrock of democracy, and take the high road. According to Weinstein “The goal of any protest is a moral one… however, this concern must be balanced against the ethical obligations to do no harm, respect others, and be fair.”

Whether any of the protestors present at the Democratic National Convention found Dr. Weinstein’s code beneficial is unknown. However, it is likely that just as many, if not more, protests are planned for the Republican National Convention taking place in Minnesota during the first week of September.