“Conspiracy Against Rights:” Are Masked Anti-Free Speech Thugs Breaking Federal Law?
From ABC News last February:
by Cornell Barnard
Friday, February 03, 2017
BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) — Some call it a group, others call it a tactic but regardless, Black Bloc caused a lot of damage at U.C. Berkeley Wednesday.
RELATED: Police criticized for lack of action during Berkeley protests
Many blamed violent protests on campus on a small group of demonstrators and their military-style tactics.
Swarms of people dressed in black unleashed chaos on the campus, invading what was billed as a peaceful protest against right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
“They asked Black Bloc to stay non-violent,” said U.C. Berkeley professor Katrin Wehrheim. She says student protesters made that request of the anti-fascist group, but it didn’t happen.
The group smashed windows, tossed smoke bombs, set fires and fought with police. The event was quickly canceled.
Student Chris Vinan said, “It was very organized and thought out.”
Most recently, Black Bloc has launched protests opposing Donald Trump.
From the U.S. legal code:
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 103(a), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7018(a), (b)(1), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(a), title XXXII, §§ 320103(a), 320201(a), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 604(b)(14)(A), 607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)
Attorney General Sessions should ask the mayor of Berkeley and the governor of California if they intend to enforce California’s law against masked intimidators and remind them of this federal law and his powers to protect the Constitutional civil rights of citizens and to sanction officials who fail to do so.