After 75 days, Louisville has had enough of its too-often violent protests
Protests over the past few months in cities like Portland, Seattle and even New York have led to violence all too often. Louisville, Ky., has had enough.
On Sunday, its police department banned street marches and caravans that block city streets, restricting protesters to sidewalks.
It’s more than reasonable; it’s wise. Clashes with police have led to injuries and arrests, and though the right to assemble is guaranteed by the First Amendment, public safety matters, too.
After 75 days of protests, no one can say Louisville doesn’t allow dissent.
Meanwhile, radicals, cop-bashers and downright criminals have hijacked Black Lives Matter protests, there and elsewhere. The movement — which has its own radical roots and openly says its goal is to “disrupt” Louisville — is susceptible to that, especially from groups like antifa.
That’s likely what Attorney General William Barr had in mind on Sunday when he castigated BLM as an anti-government “revolutionary group” interested in “some form of socialism, communism.”
Barr warned that antifa members were waging “a new form of urban guerrilla warfare,” looking to “insinuate themselves” into lawful, peaceful protests and “shield themselves” as they attack police.
The right to dissent is a bedrock American freedom. But when the right to assemble infringes on the rights of others to go about their business, as in Louisville, a constitutional line is crossed. AG Barr is right to call out such radicals. And other cities should take a cue from Louisville.
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