The first thing I saw today when covering the Confederate Rally downtown, this time in favor of keeping the monument on the courthouse square, was a clever use for the shoebox shaped public transportation buses. Police used them to build a wall between the folks rallying in favor of the monument, and the protesters located across the street. Not really a particularly brilliant idea, but the ugly boxy buses fit front to back very closely – as though the snug fit discouraging anyone trying to sneak in between was by design.
The next thing I saw was typical arrogance of Huntsville police engaging in unconstitutional searches at the most used entry to the rally. This ain’t Panoply, and requiring a permit is constitutionally problematic to begin with, however, the searches are without question an abridgment, and harassment, and a brazen violation of the constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search. The was no probable cause, and therefore the searches create an aversion to exercising the freedom of assembly. In truth, this is exactly the kind of result the terrorists who perpetrated 911 had in mind. Interestingly, only this “entry” was subjected to the illegal searches with the three other approaches to the rally from different directions were nearly wide open with no check points.
I was actually surprised that there weren’t more participants in favor of keeping the monument. The protesters across the street outnumbered the supporters by three to one. As is typical of the Alt Left, they were extremely loud and deliberately attempting, in spite of the Wall of Buses, to disrupt the peacefully orchestrated support rally. One lady entertainer attempted to play guitar and sing but was almost drowned out by the raucous protesters across the street. One rebel man attempted to fly the confederate colors high above the buses in answer to the rowdy bunch across the street, but was turned back to his own side by police.
The rally had been scheduled for all afternoon, but I only stayed around for a little more than an hour. Roy Moore was also in town this morning speaking to a group of republicans at the Von Braun Civic Center, and I thought he might make a surprise guest appearance in favor of the Confederate rally. Once I was convinced he wasn’t going to show up, I left. Other reports did not indicate any problems or violence – the Wall of Buses did seem to work.
© 2017 – Jim Casey
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