(NationalSentinel) The price of rioting in the nation’s capital during the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump is extremely high, as many of those arrested on Friday are discovering.
As reported by CBS/DFW, federal prosecutors will charge most of the 250-plus people arrested for rioting in Washington, D.C., with a felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000:
A first group of 10 men appeared in Superior Court just before 3 p.m., and their lawyer entered a not guilty plea on their behalf. A judge released all of them on the condition they not get re-arrested in the District of Columbia.
Interim D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said Friday that 217 people were being charged with rioting.
The arrests took place in a four-block stretch of downtown Washington around the time of President Trump’s swearing-in ceremony.
The arrests came after some protesters created chaos. Windows of downtown businesses were smashed, and police deployed pepper spray and “sting balls” against the crowd.
While this may seem extremely harsh and even a violation of the First Amendment, keep in mind that these people were not arrested for “protesting,” they were arrested for rioting, which carries stiff penalties in a city that is very accustomed to protests and marches.
But we’re betting a large number of Americans–maybe even most–will applaud this because for the past few years of the Obama administration we’ve seen city after city come under siege by hooligans and thugs who riot, burn and loot under the pretense of ‘protesting,’ only to get away with the destruction. Apparently, Washington D.C. officials and Congress understand the difference.
And so are more and more states and cities. As this story from Activist Post notes, new measures are being introduced in at least five states that criminalize blocking of highways as a “protest” and seek to not hold drivers legally responsible if they happen to strike someone intentionally blocking the highway for a protest (or any reason). AP, which attempts to tie such state crackdowns to President Trump, doesn’t appear to like these laws much, but the American people are obviously getting tired of watching criminals get away with criminal behavior under the guise of the First Amendment.
The Constitution recognizes and protects the right of Americans to speak freely and to “peaceably” assemble; it doesn’t give us the right to destroy city blocks, loot businesses, burn police cars and trash cans in the middle of streets, while calling such criminal offenses “protesting.”