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Political Science Essay 2 - June 28th 2011 Political...

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June 28 th , 2011 Political Science 321 Professor Popova Essay 2 If I was a justice of the Court in the Lee Segal case I would rule in favor of the government. Although Segal and several others were protesting in a peaceful manner, they still violated two separate laws. Segal feels his rights of the First Amendment were sacrificed because the protest consisted of peaceful songs, banners, and several barrels of fake “oil” that were tipped over. However, Segal was in violation of his permit, and was charged with the destruction of property, which had nothing to do with the violation of his First Amendment rights. It was stated in Segal’s permit that in order to have large groups gather in the park, all gatherings must end by 11:30 pm. This was the first law that Segal broke. Segal and his followers protested past the certified time, and police requested that the protesters vacant the premises. About a half hour after the protesters were legally trespassing, Segal lead a heated demonstration. He stood on a podium and bellowed, "U.S., we condemn you for a war that is only meant to save your precious oil-we spit on your efforts!" Segal quickly pushed over five of the fake barrels of “oil” and yelled, "We do not need oil if it is going to kill our brothers and sisters!" The second law that Segal broke was the destruction of property. When Segal pushed the barrels it released the dye inside causing destruction to several trees, the grass, a park bench and two picnic tables. I believe that Segal was arrested and charged with the accurate offense. No one is above the law, and Segal took his actions too far. Texas v. Johnson was an example of symbolic speech, which is what Segal was practicing. Since Segal’s intention was to provide insight to the meaning of the war, he did not intend to harm the community. As stated in Texas v. Johnson, the flag burning did not harm
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