This has been bugging me. I remember reading something years ago, it was this old list of rights that Americans are supposed to have. As I recall, the very fist thing on that list said something like:
“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
There was something about religion in there too, but that’s for another post and another time.
There is another document I remember reading that seemed pretty important as well. It said that we are endowed with certain “unalienable rights” that include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
I bring this up, because I read an article on the Detroit News website about protesters being arrested for demonstrating and speaking out against the City of Detroit shutting off water to residence who are behind in paying their bills. Wait–bills–the first quotations was in a Bill of some kind. Anyway, it seems to me that those people had peaceably assembled–as there was no violence reported–and were verbally petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances. It is the city government that runs the Water and Sewerage Department after all. It also seems to me that these folks were protesting because without water, which is essential to live, the Government would be depriving them of that first “unalienable right” of “life.” I would even argue that it infringes upon the “pursuit of happiness” as well, since thirsty, dirty, stinky people rarely seem happy.
I wish I could remember in what documents I read these rights. Oh well, I guess they aren’t that important, or even relevant these days.