In the documentary Shouting Fire, the last clip questions about the right to protest. The constitution clearly states in the first amendment that gives “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The protest that took place in in New York during the Republican Convention in 2004 was not harming to anyone. I think the NY police force took it too far because they worsened the situation by arresting the protests, who were protesting peacefully. 1801 protestors were arrested for expressing their freedom of speech. The documentary make an important point that in midst of war people’s rights tend to shrink.
After watching the entire documentary, what surprises me is how people allow the government to get away with this. We should understand by now that in order to have complete freedom of speech we would have to allow people to express their freedom any way they want as long as it doesn’t break any laws. This could mean that we would have to tolerate people like Chase Harper to express their opinion, even if their opinion wrong. Taking away rights from people like Ward Churchill, Martin Garbus, Debbie Almontaser, and Daniel Ellsburg was very wrong because the government fired them for expressing what they believe in. When the government takes such a drastic measure, it puts fear in people that they can’t chose to believe in something that goes against what the government believes in.
I agree with Garbus when he says in the end of the documentary that if you don’t fight for your freedom every day that you’re going to lose it. It is the citizens’ job to stand up against the unfair treatments the people in the documentary faced. The documentary really changed the way I look at our freedom of speech and how we might actually not be able to say anything we want. Before we make accusations we should know about the entire situation first. Everyone treated Churchill and the other like they committed a huge crime, when they were simply just expressing their belief.