Right to Free Assembly

I was listening to talk radio the other night on my way to work, and they were discussing Klan marches. Someone made the point that, although they have a right to free assembly, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a right to police protection. His solution to Klan Nazi Marches was: OK, you’re free to march, but you’re on your own. Bye. My problem with this is that there would be violence guaranteed almost everytime they marched. But then again, I hate wasting money on this shit as a taxpayer. So do these groups have to pay for the police protection, or not? Do they even WANT the protection, or is this something that is forced on them by lawsuit gunshy governments? Any opinions?

I’m not sure it’s protection for the Klan as much as it’s protection for the populace as a whole. A government entity has a duty to keep the peace. If an otherwise saintly person shot a klansman, said saintly person would still be brought up on charges because a crime has ben committed. To the extent that the police are there, they’re preventing the crime from happening in the first place. Both parties in the avoided fracas are better off then they would be otherwise.

Note to the OP - This feels like the old Danville paper website days. :wink:

Everyone has the right to police protection, regardless of their beliefs. Klan rallies, AFAIK, are mostly non-violent these days, but it’s reasonable to suspect that they’d be in danger for merely participating in the ritual. If someone is potentially in danger, for whatever reason, the same standards must be afforded them that are afforded to anyone else.

Yeah, but the cops charge non-‘political’ group for protection all the time. Do they charge the Klan, or do they consider it protecting the crowds from the Klan, and not the other way around?

tpayne: Yes, it seems that way at times, except the SDMB won’t dry up for a lack of intelligent people responding.

It was always my understanding that nobody had the right to police protection. There is even a USSC ruling to this effect.
However, the government turning it’s back to allow private citizens an opportunity to riot and use force against a political (I consider the klan political) group to be damn close to Nazi/Soviet type tactics.