In the 1970’s, agents of the state began demanding people ask permission before protesting. The Washington Post reports that this Saturday, 31 people were arrested on steps of the Capitol Building in Richmond, Virginia. These people were forced to pay for that building, all the workers inside, all of the utilities, and they were told by agents of the state that if they remained on the property for which they are forced to pay, then they will be taken under threats of violence to a jail filled with cells and workers for which they are also forced to pay.
Their real charge was challenging authority, but the authority recorded the charges as unlawful assembly and trespassing. Those charges are in the highest bracket for punishment allotted for misdemeanor crimes, meaning each of the 31 people charged face up to 1 year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. Despite this, some protestors had the inner serenity to give peace signs while being kidnapped by strange men with guns–men who ultimately made the decision to change the fates of these protestors and introduce immense financial and emotional roadblocks to their lives.
About 850 people were in attendance altogether, but “most people left after being asked. Those who did not were arrested,” said Capitol Police “Captain” Raymond Goodloe. The event was organized by a group calling itself Speak Loud with Silence, and they were protesting the signing of a piece of paper by a man calling himself the governor because they fear that action will interfere with the freedoms they enjoy with their doctor-patient relationships. The protestors, who were mostly young women, were joined by faceless men geared up in full body suits of black and military green wielding tear gas, automatic weapons, black storm trooper shields, and helmets.
The Washington Post article reported that around 1,200 people gathered in the same location just two weeks ago to protest the same thing, and last week 150 people gathered outside the governor’s mansion to protest.