Protests or Riots, Not Just Semantics

May 1, 2016 Seattle’s annual May Day march and protests turn violent. Five police officers are injured by the anti-capitalist protesters that had reportedly began throwing rocks, bricks, and molotov cocktails. Are these protests or riots? It’s not just a question of semantics.

Protests or Riots1

Protests or Riots, Not just Semantics

The right to protest is not in the Constitution of the United States. It is however perceived to be a right, and the First Amendment states:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 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.

Please note that in the above quote it clearly says “the right of the people PEACEABLY to assemble.

It clearly does NOT say to assemble to throw rocks, bricks, or molotov cocktails at police.

When people gather together to:

  1. a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons,as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy,etc., in the streets.
  2. Law. a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes.
  3. violent or wild disorder or confusion.
This is defined as a Riot. (see ref.

Today’s Protests are Riots

I believe that a huge majority of today’s protest are actually riots by definition. I also believe that they should be treated as such.

When a group of people gather together to disturb the public peace, commit acts of violence on persons or property, hurl projectiles, or intimidate those engaged in legal assembly or commerce, they should be labeled as rioters NOT protesters. And dealt with accordingly.

It is the duty of the police to protect the public from the mayhem and violence in rioting, and I’m sure there are laws in ALL jurisdictions that could be enforced to promote the peace and general welfare of the community.

It is illogical to provide rioters and thugs the comfort and ability to continue their violent tirades. We need to make public examples of each and every rioter.

The should be dealt with quickly to the full penalty of law in an effort to dissuade any and all like minded people from following in their footsteps.

Multiple offenses should carry stiff penalties to further dissuade these actions.

It is of extreme importance that we have an open system for the discussion of public policy or politics. And it is just as important that we do not accept the violent acts of rioters just because they disagree.

Paid Protesters and Rioters a Much Bigger Problem

You have probably been hearing rumors that people are getting paid to protest. The evidence is mounting that indeed this is the case.

The Washington Times has run a story that Black Lives Matter protesters have created a new hashtag, #cutthecheck because they are being stiffed by the organization that promised to pay them.

Here is an unvalidated image showing a list of people and amounts.

Protests or Riots 2 on March 27, 2016 ran a story online that Paul Horner, a protester at a Donald Trump rally in Fountain Hills, AZ confessed to being paid $3500. He answered an ad on Craigslist, interviewed, was accepted, then paid after the event. The check came from an organization called “Women are the Future.”

Here is an ad from Craigslist that was posted in Janesville, WI on March 29, 2016. Offering $15 per hour for protesters at the Trump rally.

Protests or riots 4

This problem of paying people to protest is an insidious one. People with money and the desire to manipulate the system and the population are able to create a false narrative.

We, the citizens of our great nation are then manipulated into believing that there are people who really feel so strongly about a topic or political candidate that they would spend their time, at their own expense protesting.

Instead we are mislead and manipulated by these wealthy individuals and organizations. Perhaps some are stirred into a frenzy. Perhaps some are moved to violence, and yes, now they are rioters.

I submit to you that we need to prosecute people who are involved in these paid to protest movements.

Protests or Riots code

(a) Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including, but not limited to, the mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television, with intent—
(1) to incite a riot; or
(2) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or
(3) to commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or
(4) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot;
and who either during the course of any such travel or use or thereafter performs or attempts to perform any other overt act for any purpose specified in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this paragraph— [1]
Shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both

Read this US Code here

Protests or Riots is it just Semantics?

I ask you then, do you believe these are protests or riots? Is it just semantics?

I don’t think so.

Worse yet is that I believe people are being paid to riot and very little is being done about it. Public opinion is being manipulated.

The freedom of the people to peaceably assemble is being threatened by what are likely wealthy socialist progressive individuals and organizations.

The very roots of our capitalistic, democratic republic are being poisoned. Be on your guard! Look for the real answers, not just what you are being fed by the media.

Most of the media is NOT on your side.

Protests or Riots?  Leave your comments below.


8 thoughts on “Protests or Riots, Not Just Semantics”

  1. Hi Tom,

    Much obliged to you for composing such a fascinating article talking about what is going nowadays before the race of our new president. I think it has been unmistakably characterized that if viciousness is included it is a mob. In the event that there is no viciousness and all is tranquil, it would be a challenge. You additionally need to understand that some dissents have the expectation of beginning calmly and circumstances cause the general population to be fierce. Like for example showering pepper splash on individuals while they are gently challenging. I think what a challenge is has been obscured since when the constitution has been composed.

    Yours Truly,

    1. Greeting Carlton!

      Thank you for visiting, and for your comment regarding Protests or Riots, Not just semantics.

      Protests can turn ugly because of actions on either side of the line. You are right. The meaning of protest today may be somewhat different than what the writers of the constitution had imagined.

      I hope that you will spread the word that without civility there is no credibility! Please come back and engage the community here again when you have the opportunity!


  2. Hello, Tom, you cover in your article a sensitive topic because when people start to talk about politics, friends can become foes.
    I agree with you that protests can be peaceful and without harmful actions. Anyway, it takes communication between organizers and people who participate in these actions. Not so many people think that they do and sometimes emotions take over clear minds.
    Crowds can be easily manipulated.
    You mentioned paid people who can disturb events. I think that exposing these types of practice could help recognize what is going on when people protest against something or somebody.
    All the best, Nemira.

    1. Hello Nemira!

      Thank you for visiting, and for your comment regarding Protests or Riots, Not Just Semantics.

      We live in tenuous times. I hope people are aware of the things that are going on to try to manipulate their perspective. You are right that sometimes emotions can overwhelm people. I think we just need to be aware of this, and remember that without civility there is no credibility.

      Thank you again for visiting! I hope that you will come back often and engage the community!


  3. Very intersting topic. I am not into politics because I am not confident that politicians want what is in our best interest.
    I agree that when protest evolves to include the throwing of bricks and stones it becomes a riot. In many cases, such actions only irritates and lead to more chaos.
    The matter of paid to protest is just sad. I believe one should protest for what they believe in not because they were bribed.

    1. Hello Denise!

      Thank you for visiting, and for your comment regarding Paid Protests or Riots, not just Semantics.

      I tend to agree with you that it seems that politicians rarely have the interests of the people at heart. My goal here is to expose in civility in the streets, the government, and wherever it may rear it’s ugly head.

      Paid protestors have no credibility. And, those involved in this could be violating US law. It is despicable t9 me that we would have people paying others to create hate and discontent. It is an abomination of our laws and political process.

      Thank you again for visiting! Please come back and engage often!

      All the best to you!



  4. I would agree with you Tom, that the paid protesters and rioters need to be brought to account and they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what they are doing as it just emboldens them to do more.

    From what I’ve seen is that they don’t tolerate any views that are different from their own, as they threaten them with violence and anybody who speaks out against them.

    I think that the people who are behind the paid protesters and the rioters want to suppress free speech and I think that they should be investigated and charged.

    1. Hello Adrian,

      Thank you very much for taking the time to offer your comments regarding “Protests or Riots, Not Just Semantics” and of course for visiting TheCivilVoice.Com.

      It appears that today’s left, has lost the tolerance that they scream so loudly that the rest of the world must have. The behaviors are in my opinion more reminiscent of fascists than of peaceful tolerant people.

      It is imperative that we stand strong in the cause of freedom and liberty and not allow those that would try to divide and conquer. Those that are engaging in illegal, subversive, riotous behaviors should be brought to justice.

      Ignoring evil only empowers it.

      I look forward to your comments in the future!


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