First Amendment suspended in Lowell

The Lowell, Massachusetts police did a very Trumpist thing when Donald Trump came to speak: They set up a “free speech zone,” implying freedom of speech wasn’t permitted elsewhere. I haven’t seen any reports that people were arrested for speaking without permission, but the most visible protesters were apparently intimidated by the massive police presence and stayed in the speech-permitted area.

'Free speech area' set up on MLK Way


To emphasize the point, the Lowell cops set it out on Martin Luther King Way. Trump carried the same theme: “See, in the old days, you wouldn’t have that, because it would be pretty rough when they take them out. Nowadays we have to be politically correct and take them nice and easy. “‘Sir, would you please come with us?’ In the old days, this wouldn’t happen.” The implication is that once America is “great again,” beatings of protesters will come back.

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