To the Editor, For over a week, protests have erupted throughout the country in response to the tragic death of George Floyd. Many cities across the nation have implemented curfews in an effort to quell the violence and protect its citizenry. However, I
To the Editor,
For over a week, protests have erupted throughout the country in response to the tragic death of George Floyd. Many cities across the nation have implemented curfews in an effort to quell the violence and protect its citizenry.
However, I have serious doubts about these curfews and their ability to control protests. On the contrary, I think they could make the situation even worse. A curfew, which orders American citizens to stay at their homes or face arrest, is against the First Amendment of the Constitution. “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.”
When these curfews are implemented, it forces protestors to disperse, and the ones who remain are at risk of being pepper sprayed or hurt in other ways. Some protestors might just stay to challenge the curfews as a violation of their Constitutional rights.
You can have more Police and National Guard troops to keep order without a curfew going on. For example, there did not need to be a curfew in Warwick for the Police and National Guard to protect the Warwick Mall. Also, as seen elsewhere, looters and arsonists still go out at night whether there is a curfew or not.
You also do not need a curfew in place to arrest arsonists or looters. The only reason for these curfews is a misguided notion that they protect us, while instead they are just instruments to dismantle our democracy.