‘We support your right to protest, but can you do it in a manner that can be ignored completely?’ Fortuna High School Graduate Sentenced for Protest Before Supreme Court

Judges Gavel

Image from StockMonkeys.com

A Fortuna High School class of 1992 graduate who shouted a protest in front of the Supreme Court in April of 2015 was sentenced Monday to two weekends in prison. Yesterday, the Washington Post featured the story of how Matthew Kresling and his fellow protestors broke a 1949 law “restricting public protest at the court.”

The Post also linked to an essay written by Kresling that he read in court. In it, Kresling argued,

[W]e disrupted the Supreme Court: to warn that the public was losing faith in the fairness and integrity of its government…[T]here’s a growing, almost irreversible, feeling in this country that government is not responsive to the will of the people, only to a wealthy donor class…My friends and I broke the law because we couldn’t afford to influence the government legally…Of course, I understand that the government’s objection is not to what we said, but the manner in which we said it, and the timing. But this is always the establishment’s response to civil disobedience: We don’t object to what you say, but can you please do it where we can’t hear it? We support your right to protest, but can you do it in a manner that can be ignored completely?

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71 comments

  • Thinking allowed

    One man’s imperative is another man’s intolerable. That is why democracy is so difficult a balancing act.

  • You have a right to protest but you don’t have a right to protest anywhere at anytime in any event and in in manner.

    Other people have rights also and Snowflake Millennials are so wrapped up in themselves they are blind.

    • I know it’s always fun to blame millennials but a 1992 HS graduate doesn’t fall in that group.

    • The millennials of 1992.

    • This man is not a millennial. Or a snowflake. He graduated from Fortuna High in 1992. He’s in his 40’s. I thank him for exercising his first amendment rights. It’s the first amendment for a very good reason. He is living proof that in the fake republic of the USA, free speech isn’t always free.

      • What Truthy said.

      • Warner Von Braun

        I notice that the only people trying to curtail free speech are the progressives. Anyone who disagrees are labeled “haters” and they can’t allow hate speech. But if you have the “correct” message than you can just go riot in front of the Supreme Court even though the law says you cannot..

        • The curtailing was done because there’s a law on the books that restricts protesting at the Supreme Court. Stop blaming progressives for this. The opposite of what you assert is true.

          • Warner Von Braun

            I was responding to “Truthy”‘s comment and not the specific demonstration. If you had paid attention you would have noticed that I said “the law says you cannot” which would indicate that I am aware that “there’s a law on the books that restricts protesting at the Supreme Court”. Pay attention.

    • Triniboldticino

      Ah, this Snowflake is registered “R”, has a house full of guns, and would have voted for Bernie if the chance had been presented. I watched the people and the elections carefully. Wide eyed followers that have been bamboozled by the Golden Rule. Calling people names. LOL! That’s all you have anymore. Certainly intelligent, civil discourse based on facts (rather than “alternative facts”) is completely off the table.

    • A truly stupid, futile and rude action. Not much of a protest.

  • Warner Von Braun

    I’m not in the “wealthy donor class” and I’m also not responsive to the socialist agenda these protesters were espousing. This is America, not Europe. We are better than socialist Europe. Here, liberty is more important than equality. With liberty and justice for all, the American dream is possible. With socialism, it’s far more likely we will all be poor equally than prosper equally.

    • It isn’t liberty. With small government, the big corporations rule. They are not held to good standards of conduct. That already happened.

      • *nods* The reins of power don’t just lie slack when representative government is weakened. The wealthy know this perfectly well.

      • The power of one

        Of course it’s still liberty. We don’t have to BUY anything big corps make, or choose to work for them. Greed is everywhere, whether in big corp, big gov’t, or in our own homes. I’d rather deal with it on a small local level than with a big overgrown, dependent gov’t.

      • Big corporations are the construct of the government. Need I say more?

        • Warner Von Braun

          Well, you actually need to say a lot more than the nonsensical talking point you learned at your indoctrination center (formally called university). We do have major problems within the Washington D.C. “swamp.” The political elites consisting of career politicians from both parties, special interest groups and their lobbyists, crony capitalists and their minions in the mainstream media have insulated themselves from the rest of the country. So when people like you call for more centralized government to “protect us”, you are playing into their hands. Lenin would describe you as a “useful idiot”.

          • Someone opposed to higher education could be just a plain old idiot.

            • Warner Von Braun

              The socialists in this country should not be allowed to determine the ground rules of debate. To them, if someone calls for an unbiased press they interpret that as wanting to end freedom of the press. If one says that colleges are no longer what they once were they interpret that as being “opposed to higher education” when nothing is further than the truth. I was fortunate enough to have attended college when students were able to learn and debate about varied subjects and perspectives without being shamed and abused by totalitarian professors and administrators. You on the other hand have forsaken your individuality to walk in lockstep with your new religion: progressivism.

              • Triniboldticino

                Full of it. I never had any “socialism” indoctrination in any of my degrees. You’ve been trained to mouth the party line, most recently in fact, that colleges breed socialism. That’s an outright lie. Perchance do young men and women maybe have more altruistic bents than older persons espousing your new religion: corporate facism? Look it up. [edit]

                • Warner Von Braun

                  Of course young people have “altruistic bents”. I did too before I grew up. But don’t forget that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Many years ago I was told “If a person isn’t liberal when they are 20, they have no heart and if they aren’t conservative when they are 40 they have no brain”. I didn’t believe it then but I do now.

          • “We do have major problems within the Washington D.C. “swamp.” The political elites consisting of career politicians from both parties, special interest groups and their lobbyists, crony capitalists and their minions in the mainstream media have insulated themselves from the rest of the country.”.
            I absolutely concur.

            “So when people like you call for more centralized government to “protect us”, you are playing into their hands. Lenin would describe you as a “useful idiot”.
            I absolutely object to being labeled as you described.

            The conclusion is where we differ, I suppose. Otherwise, it appears we are on the same page.

            Either I need to learn how you arrived at your conclusion, or you need to learn how I arrived at mine. Assumptions make asses, not solutions, so let’s not assume our conclusions and labels.

            To understand my POV, you would first need to back up the truck of quick reactions and reread my post.
            Inside the post are the unspoken words:
            The Federal Reserves is not owned by the Government. The Government is owned by the Federal Reserves. I recommend reading the insightful “The Creature from Jekyll Island” for starters.
            Corporate & bank bail outs, the IRS, and … if I need to continue explaining my pov, you have absolutely nothing in your truck except reactions.

            Your turn.

    • Better how than in Europe? I hear that wealth is much more about inheritance and being from the right people rather than hard work here in the US, but rather less so in the UK. Education is better and more accessible in Europe. Let’s not even start about health care and public transportation. The US scores worse on effective democracy, voting rates, poverty, murder, political corruption, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, blah, blah, blah. Freedom to be mediocre, I guess. I love this country, but others have taken our ideals and gone farther. I believe the US can do better.

      • Warner Von Braun

        You clearly don’t love this country. The USA is unique and should stay that way. That is why everyone is trying to get in and no one is trying to get out. Why do you think that is? It’s not because the people trying to get in are hoping we will become more like the shitty countries they are leaving, I assure you.

        • Lol everyone from Europe is trying to get to America? Syria isn’t in Europe and alot of refugees are trying really hard to get into a ton of European countries Sweden, Denmark, Norway, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Belgium… America isn’t the only desirable place in the world with a stable government and it’s really funny how all the states with the least education most obese populace and receiving the most in federal aid are all conservative states will progressive socialist states like California subsidize their lives but you don’t hear them complaining about that welfare. And I don’t care who you think is patriotic it sounds like you have no idea anyway.

          • Warner Von Braun

            I didn’t say “everyone in Europe is trying to get to America”. Pay attention. Words mean things. Another tactic of the left: being intentionally obtuse.

            • Esme said “Better how than in Europe?” Then listed standards Europe leads in over America to which your reply was “It’s not because the people trying to get in are hoping we will become more like the shitty countries they are leaving, I assure you.” You’re implying America’s the best at everything that’s why everyone wants to come here, anyone who thinks different is unAmerican, and all socialist/European countries are shitty and that’s why people are leaving. Then when someone confronts you on what your implying you deflect by saying their being intentionally obtuse. What am I missing?

        • I can love my kids and still hold them to a high standard. Same with my country. In fact, I think it is the responsibility of a citizen of a democracy to do so, not to become complacent because the word liberty is on our money. A country where the 1% thrive and the rest of us turn on one another over the scraps with their gleeful encouragement has very little of freedom or justice and no amount of waving the stars and stripes around changes that. The founders created something new, radical and unique. It’s our job to continue their work, not sit on our butts and say the work is done.

      • No matter where you go, there you are.
        We can blame our circumstances, the rich, the other races, all we want, but until we look inside and take responsibility for self, nothing will ever change.
        Speaking of rich people, I bet not a single poster here knows who the first female self made millionaire in the U.S. was or anything about her.
        Take a gander: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w64zkMY5H94

    • What are you blabbering on about? Perhaps you should get your information from sources other than Hannity and Jones. The biggest whiners are people like you that don’t recognize Democracy when you don’t agree with the message. You kick and scream and call people names like “libtard” or “snowflake” when in reality it is you that are frightened of rational discourse because your ideas are tired and non-sensical.

    • Tell it to the Swedes!!

  • shawn the fisherman

    Why is racism a America thing. You do not hear about racism in other countries. Everybody has to think the same or there is a problem. Dems and libs wont be happy til we are same luke warm. You are neither hot or cold so I spew you from my mouth. Accept diversity, Celebrate others. If you dont want too then dont, But stop shoving your pc down our throats…

    • Triniboldticino

      Guilty conscience much?

    • I just picked three countries off the top of my head to see if there was a problem with racism there:
      “Canada’s racism problem? It’s even worse than America’s” http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/out-of-sight-out-of-mind-2/
      “Racism Is Far From Being a Thing of the Past in Spain :”
      https://www.liberties.eu/en/news/racism-not-overcome-spain
      Organisations denounce blatant problems of racism in Russia
      https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/russia/organisations-denounce-blatant-problems-of-racism-in-russia-and-its

      • JustWantToHearTheEndoftheStory

        Thank you Kym. I’ve noticed that a great many people rave on and on about how crappy life is in the US, but they don’t seem to have any knowledge of the rest of the world. Context is everything…

        • America used to be the land of the freedom of speech, beliefs, press, petitioning, and addressing. All found in the example sheet of rights of the people, aka the Bill of Rights.
          America has indeed gone down the toilet, but together, we can get her back.
          George Washington’s Farewell Address warned us about politics and partys.
          He knew history. Genuine history.

        • I don’t want my nation to be somewhat less racist than Spain, or way better than South Africa. I don’t care about those kinds of comparisons. They are just excuses. We know what’s right and fair. That’s our only standard. What’s going on in other countries doesn’t somehow give us a pass on the work that needs to happen in ours, and it doesn’t mean that people who call us out on it don’t love their country, quite the contrary. To want the US to be better is not to hate it.

      • Latin American and African countries have their fair share of racism too. What continues to happen here in the land of the free and home of the brave is a shame.
        Bulworth says it best: https://youtu.be/pmNFDJgPrRI

      • shawn the fisherman

        Yes Kym Google is amazing, But you have to search for racism . Like I said you do not hear about it from other countries? You can search up anything..Im sure I too could pick a country off the top of my head and search for problems.

    • Shawn, you need to get out more. Or use your internet to check your opinions. Try the BBC.

      • shawn the fisherman

        Aaron, I have been all over from Mexico to Alaska, Never have I seen racism. True I am so white I sunburn in 10 minutes so Im not oppressed and I do not have a single friend of color but come on I think the problem is blown way out of proportion. Its like saying you are an alcholic cause all you do is talk about liquor but you never drink. You have to actually oppress someone for it to be racism.

        • Questionably sarcastic

          White privilege.

        • Of course if you are white you wouldn’t see racism. You are blind if you don’t see it perpetrated on others. You must not be a very good fisherman if you can’t see beyond your own nose.

          • shawn the fisherman

            I assure you Dan, If I ever did see something like that? I would do something about it. Obviously you see these things happen? What have you done? Nothing! Just like if I were in front of you Dan, You would do nothing.

        • I have done ministry in several Latin American countries and racism is present in everyone of them. The indigenous people in Mexico are treated poorly and that has continued since they were on the bottom of the cast system. Costa Ricans do not trust or like Nicaraguans and it goes on and on.

    • Thinking allowed

      Ha. And every more ha! Read theCanadian press to learn lots of people who allege racism constantly. Don’t bother with the press of Japan, China, and Muslim dominated country, most African countries, the eastern Europeans, Mexicans, Russians, etc. They are much more united in thinking racism is just normal and unremarkable. Anyone except a few European countries who spend a lot more time in criticizing the US’s race issues but very little time on their own. Which they have in spades but you’d never know it by readingbtheir high regimented press. In fact you can easily get arrested in parts of the EU for expressing even a joke if someone wants to take offense at it.

      There is only one reason why you constantly hear about American racism. It’s known as the Second Amendment that give people the right to complain noisily and constantly. Apparently with very little thought about it or the need to be real or, heaven forbid, even polite.

    • Really? are you that ignorant? Stay in your little shell of thinking.

      • Thinking allowed

        Oohhh… such incisive reasoning. I must be devastated.

        Do you really believe that naming calling and insult qualifies as thought? Or does anything but make the insulter appear incapable as they flail around looking for anything, just anything, to say to avoid looking weak? Especially to themselves?

        You do have other options available that will make you feel better about yourself. Try them. Or as I suspect will happen in this case- not. Your choice thanks to the 2nd Amendment. It’s a very, very rare and wonderful thing- freedom of speech enshrined in a constitution- even if it means suffering fools.

  • ” “Clearly, a federal law which is contrary to the Constitution is no law at all; it is null, void, invalid. And a Supreme Court decision, which is not a ‘law,’ has no ‘supremacy’—even if it is faithfully interpreting the Constitution. So it is the height of absurdity to claim that a Supreme Court decision that manifestly violates the Constitution is the ‘supreme law of the land.’” (William Jasper)

    and many more: http://www.ourrepubliconline.com/Topic/27

  • A very educational and important read: http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

  • More required reading. All of William Blackstone’s writings. Yes, he was a lawyer. Yes, he is one of the ones who inspired the revolution from oppression.
    http://lonang.com/library/reference/blackstone-commentaries-law-england/

  • I love sharing information, particularly about our own Government; “Points of Rebellion” by Wm. O. Douglas is my recommendation. (He was on the US Supreme Court.)

  • Thank you Matthew Kresling. The argument could not be better stated. Fortuna must be proud. I guess I should actually write this message to the Washington Post. If any of you all actually are in contact with Matt, please forward my message.

    • Got it, Sonia–thanks! Had to scroll through 69 other messages to get to one that responded to my statement. Thanks for reading it!

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