The Patriot's Brigade is a gathering of individuals who have received Jesus Christ, believed on His Name for salvation and life and have been
empowered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to become the Sons and Daughter of Almighty God. (John 1:12-13)
The Patriot's Brigade's purpose and our resolve is to restore that which our Creator gave to us through our founding fathers: a Christian form of government. We pray that God will grant us the wisdom and ability to re-establish and maintain the Constitution of the United States of America as the supreme law of the land.
We take literally what God's word tells us as Christians. Ephesians 6:13-17 and 1 Timothy 6:12. We contend against evil in all of its forms. We believe as Christians, we are obligated to become educated on the Constitution and get involved in our government.
PATRIOTS BRIGADE OF TENNESSEE
P.O. BOX 2442, GREENEVILLE, TN 37743
June 5, 2020
Dear Select Gentlemen of the Tennessee General Assembly:
The conduct that is being done in the name of "peaceful protest" is startling!
Most actions are neither peaceful nor a protest. Here is what our Tennessee Constitution says about it:
Article 1, Section 23. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address of remonstrance.
Here is what the U.S. Constitution says about it:
Amendment I. Ratified December 15, 1791 -- 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.
First, let's discuss the "PROTEST." A protest must be done WHERE the protested action was performed. If you wanted to protest Lowe's, you wouldn't go to Home Depot or to Ace Hardware. If you wanted to protest the police department, you wouldn't send your group to the fire department. If you wanted to protest the Nevada governor, you wouldn't go to Atlanta, Georgia. If you want to protest the Minneapolis police, you have to go to Minneapolis. Thus, these so-called protests are not legitimate protests at all. They are not protected by any Constitutional provision.
Note: Neither the state nor the federal Constitution authorizes a "protest," only the right to "assemble." I assert that "assembly" is vastly different from "protest." The Tennessee Constitution specifically indicates that the right of assembly is so that the people may "instruct their representatives" or to apply to the "powers of government" for "redress of grievances."
So you don't have an unalienable or Constitutional right to protest all police, because not all police did the thing that was unjust. In fact, I've made the argument that the protestors are complete hypocrites, because they are doing the exact same thing of which they complain: they are incensed that an innocent person was unjustly treated or accosted, yet they unjustly treat and/or accost others who are likewise innocent.
To summarize, in Constitutional language, "assemble" or "assembly" does not equal "protest." When people gather at a church or assemble together in a school, they are exercising the right to "assemble," but there is no corresponding right to "protest."
"PEACEFUL" (or its various forms) discussed
There's no real argument that breaking windows, setting fires, looting homes or business, etc. is a peaceful action, so I won't insult your intelligence by dealing with this point. It is self-evident that any conduct that results in a trespass upon private property or any destruction of private or governmental property is not "peaceful conduct."
But what if I and a few friends peacefully set up a lemonade stand in the middle of an interstate highway? Would that be "peaceable assembly?" Of course not. If I did such a thing, I should be cited for a breach of the peace, and I should not be able to sue anyone who ran over me. Similarly, if I blocked or barricaded a public sidewalk or a city street to pass out Bibles, that would likewise be a breach of the peace, even though I have a Constitutionally-protected right to freely exercise my religious beliefs.
Thus, it is also a breach of the peace for "protestors" to interfere with the flow of traffic, whether foot traffic or vehicular traffic. Said another way, when one exercises the right to "peaceably assemble," he cannot at the same time defeat other citizens' rights to be unmolested, to move about, to conduct business, to patronize businesses, or even exercise their own right of free speech.
Picture the "picket lines" that unions legitimately use on a public sidewalk --- they walk around with their signs and sometimes use chants, but they must not interfere with others who want to pass by on the sidewalk, nor may they become too loud so as to disturb the general peace or even interfere with the operation of the business they are protesting.
I recommend that we do the following:
1. We should propose legislation that absolves Citizen A from criminal prosecution and from civil liability if they harm Citizen B (or Citizen B's property) when Citizen B is protesting in a way that interferes with Citizen A's unalienable God-given rights, said rights being identified in the Declaration of Independence, in the U.S. Constitution, in the Tennessee Constitution, and in the historic English common law.
[Note: There should be no criminal immunity if the harm is deemed to have been carried out with premeditated malice aforethought.]
2. We should pass first a statute (because it can be implemented more quickly):
(a) which defines "peaceful" (and its various forms) so as to insure that the unalienable rights of other citizens are not infringed, and
(b) which defines "protest" in a manner where it is clear that any act of protesting against any governmental entity is illegal unless:
(1) it is done peaceably and only at a legitimate governmental office or place where the complained-of conduct has occurred. [Explained another way, we should not grant to the citizen a right to complain to someone who is not able to do something about the complaint. I explain to my church that a person is "griping," "grumbling," or "murmuring" when they talk to someone about a problem when that person cannot do anything to resolve the problem!]
(2) it is being performed in a manner which does not interfere with the unalienable rights of other citizens, such as their right to be free from: physical and verbal molestation, interference in their movement upon their own property or upon public property, invasion and/or destruction of their property, etc.
3. We should propose next an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution (because it will make the law organic and more permanent) which incorporates the statutory definitions of "peaceful" and "protest" as defined above.
THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS FOR MY RECOMMENDATIONS
I have long been of the opinion that there is one progressive strategy that has been more effective for their cause than any other: they avoid the legislative process (and thus, they don't have to expend energy or funds to persuade the public of the merits of their cause), because they simply get the courts to rewrite and/or redefine Constitutional provisions and other legal terms so as to be able to claim that the "law" is on their side. Therefore, in order to counter their strategy, we need to get some important definitions nailed down --- definitions which are, to the best of our ability, unassailable by the courts --- then we can start to slow the implementation of the progressive agenda.
Jeffrey A. Cobble, Esq.
Cobble Law Firm
Jeffrey A. Cobble
COBBLE LAW FIRM
1315 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy.,
Greeneville, TN 37745