President Obama came to Wayne State University on November 1 for a campaign event, endorsing Democratic Party candidates in Michigan. Advocates of liberty from all over Michigan, including several YAL chapter members and myself, met to protest the President’s illiberal policies and to offer a competing opinion — but we were met with heavy resistance.
The local police department was ordered to work with the Secret Service, and they claimed that the entire block where Obama was having his speech was “federal property” although it was at a public state university! While the pro-democratic participants were allowed to hand out literature where all of the people were, those of us with a different view had our First Amendment rights limited to the other side of the street, well away from the speech and the people. But we didn’t give up that easily.
With help from YAL volunteers, we moved to the end of the street where there were less police and started handing out our event “programs” to the hundreds waiting in line. While everyone was eager to get their hands on an event program, they soon learned about the true nature of Obama’s policies with our satirical YAL versions:
Handing these out to everyone in line, we caused quite a stir amongst the attendees and caught the attention of a police officer on his (literal) high horse. Although he tried to get us to move to the other side of the street, we had already gotten our message out. Pro-Obama attendees got quite riled up, some issuing threats and many yelling at us, but it was just more energy for us to feed on.
Later, we all regrouped for a march with our picket signs, but we were met with an intimidating blockade of police on horseback, many of them following us as we walked on the sidewalk. At all costs, we were kept off of the property even though we were peaceful at all times.
Although our constitutional rights were violated over and over again, we made sure others would learn of it. One of our fellow activists from Americans for Prosperity got media attention as he stood between the blockade of horses and the protestors, yelling to all in earshot about the President’s unconstitutional actions. “The President is here for a campaign event, but we are denied our rights to free speech simply because we have a differing opinion,” Scott from AFP said.
Although we will be sure to meet future resistance, Michigan advocates of liberty demonstrated that wherever Obama supporters will go, we will follow, upholding the Constitution at all costs.Published in