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Letter: Part of our freedom is the ability to protest

Mayor Brown’s reaction to protest is unimpressive – The Buffalo News

Mayor Byron W. Brown said of the demonstration at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office July 11 – It was peaceful, but illegal, and it needed to be brought to an end. I think the mayor is mistaken.

Traffic laws are not the highest laws in the land. Any action needs to be seen in context, and if the context warrants, an “as applied” challenge can be raised against a traffic law; namely, is the law rightly applied in this context.

For example, an ambulance that goes through a red light is not breaking the law, because that law does not apply in that case.

The First Amendment allows people to complain to the government, without fear of arrest. The minimum obligation on the part of the government is to receive the complaint with feigned interest. ICE failed to meet this minimum obligation. They had security posted outside to prevent entry into the building, and to prevent even standing on the cement that they deemed their own “private property”.

The complaint was, as is well understood by any and all, a complaint against the camps along the southern border, behavior that may be a crime against humanity.

The mayor more properly should have come down and joined the protest. I say to the mayor – raise your game.

Martin Gugino


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