Better East Texas: Protesters have right to assemble peacefully

Better East Texas: Protesters have right to assemble peacefully

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Protests continue in several cities across the U.S. in reaction to the election of Donald Trump.

Most groups have been calm and law abiding but there have been some incidents where arrests have been made. It is an American right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully. Just like voting – just like the freedom of speech – we are a nation that encourages individuals and groups to voice their individual or collective opinions.

That right should never be threatened or diminished. But this is exactly what happened recently when a group of protesters in Nacogdoches were greeted with an open fire hydrant along the route they were gathering. Now, the protesters were on the sidewalk and the hydrant was flowing water on to the street but it still interfered with the demonstration.

It was later discovered that a worker for the City of Nacogdoches opened the hydrant on purpose to impact the demonstration. The worker was disciplined and life goes on. But this example is something we can all relate to.

When we see a group gathering for a protest, we immediately, mentally align with them or against them. That is the way freedom of speech works. But we must all be vigilant in defending every person's right to gather and demonstrate to get a message across.

Now, if you break the law, which has happened in several of these protests across the nation, you need to be thrown in jail. I applaud those that exercise their rights – we need more action in the country not less and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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