questionswhen did protesting become a crime?

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Protesting is not a crime. Being a douche about it, blocking access for other citizens (who also have rights, just like you), arguing with reasonable requests by law enforcement, etc., IS a crime.

You can't inconvenience the entire world just because YOU have a beef with the system. There's a group of cyclists that "protest" by by blocking major highways/thoroughfares. When you do that kind of crap, you're saying your right to protest is greater than my right to get home from work. And you're being a douchebag.

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@tsfisch: Kind of glad that sometimes people do have a "beef with the system" otherwise some people would still be sitting on the back of the bus, and not "inconveniencing" others as they go home from work.

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So if you're going to protest, why not protest things that really need changed?

Examples:

People on welfare that could work but chose not too costing you money.
Trying to take away gun rights (also guarenteed to us).
Politicians that refuse to listen to their voters.
Refusal to drill oil that we already have.
Attempts to socialize our country.

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@atd15: @tsfisch: I think you are both right. A lot hinges on the gravity of what you are protesting. If you are protesting something minor, in a major way, it's annoying. Like if you shut down a major street, to protest a restaurant not serving food to pets, for instance. People sometimes get worked up over the stupidest stuff, and blow things out of perspective.

On the other hand, if that same restaurant is serving stray pets AS food, and claiming it is beef, well then, protest away.

The freedom speak out is a powerful tool, the reason despotic governments do not allow it is because it leads to insurrections in oppressed populations. Many positive changes have begun as grassroots efforts.

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The "system" we have is progressively slipping into communism (at least it feels that way). The way protests are being dealt with, more and more resembles the way protests are dealt with here in China...

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"America: Love it or Leave it" is not a new sentiment.

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Protest all you want, but when you block my way to work, pee all over the streets, wear those stupid V is for Vendetta Masks so no one will see your face, turn a tent into a sex club and do those stupid hand signals, I've had enough and you should go to jail, just to get the free shower.

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protesting is a crime when the protester:
trespasses
vandalizes
assaults
threatens
blocks traffic
blocks the sidewalk
chases away customers and costs people their livelihood

I have no problem with people speaking out against bankers, government officials, whatever, but when they realize that most people don;t give a rats ass about their idiotic position, they resort to breaking laws in order to get people to pay attention to them. How would you like it if some poeple didn't like what YOU were doing and decided to camp out on your doorstep, crap on your lawn, and make noise all night?

your rights end where mine begin, and vice-versa

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Damn those idiots that threw the tea into the harbor! I wanted my hot cup today, and now I can't have it. What gives them the right to deprive me of what I want because they are protesting it? I am so inconvenienced that they should all be locked up forever!

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@pickypickypicky: Wait... there is a restaurant that refuses to serve to pets?! Sign me up for the protest!

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@nageltr: And guess what? That was a crime.

The OP seems to want to do stuff like that with no consequences.